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Author Topic: Getting back in, in Northern California.  (Read 251 times)

Offline Spadeapiaries

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Getting back in, in Northern California.
« on: January 13, 2020, 11:58:50 pm »
I grew up in the bee business in Northern California. My dad had 1,200 hives and my uncle had over 1,000. I ran 800 of my own hives in the 1970's & 1980's. The closing of the canadian border because of mites (no longer closed) all but shut down my queen business and low prices on everything else lead me to leave the business. Now that I'm retirement age and prices seem to be WAY up I'm getting back in, but on a small scale.

When I was 18-19 years old I made all my own custom woodworking equipment for making beehives. Lock corner (finger joint) machine, double end saws, multi hole drills and more. I now own timber land and have a small mill so I figure I would get back to making hives to supplement my retirement.

Looking around I see that other hive manufactures are all touting "full top joints", "blind Rabbets", "Full top corners" frame rests as the latest innovation for a stronger box. I was making mine that way in 1973. I would be interested to know if I was the first to build boxes that way?
 



Old lock corner machine.


Milled lumber waiting to be finished.


A box I made in 1973.


No longer my address.

Offline yes2matt

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Re: Getting back in, in Northern California.
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2020, 07:09:41 am »
Welcome to Beemaster.

Wow! what a neat setup! FWIW, if you "listen to the wind," there's less talk now about "ventilation" and more talk about "insulation" so I would predict a market for a thicker walled box, if you have the raw stock to make them.  And also rough cut on the inside.

Offline cao

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Re: Getting back in, in Northern California.
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2020, 11:22:28 am »
Welcome  :happy:

Offline Spadeapiaries

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Re: Getting back in, in Northern California.
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2020, 02:45:45 pm »
New boxes coming off the line. Still adjusting the machines and yet to get the handle jig going.






Offline Bob Wilson

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Re: Getting back in, in Northern California.
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2020, 08:54:26 am »
Welcome, Randy. I am a newbee, but I really hope you are able to ride the market and succeed. During you hiatus, did you at least keep a few personal hives at home?

Offline Spadeapiaries

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Re: Getting back in, in Northern California.
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2020, 12:35:07 pm »
Welcome, Randy. I am a newbee, but I really hope you are able to ride the market and succeed. During you hiatus, did you at least keep a few personal hives at home?

For years I did, but not the last 10 or so. My oldest son still has a couple.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Getting back in, in Northern California.
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2020, 12:15:38 am »
I wish to welcome you also. Many times folks come here to learn, maybe you will seek some new ideas also, But I am thinking, more than likely, many of us will learn from you!!! WELCOME...
Phillip Hall

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Getting back in, in Northern California.
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2020, 07:53:02 am »
Randy,
Welcome to Beemaster.
There is definitely money to bee made making boxes. A friend of mine use to bee a cabinet maker until the Obama Crash. He was at a bee conference and someone asked if he could make 2000 boxes. He was making boxes by the thousands from that point on for years.if you want to sell boxes, go to your local bee conferences.
Bee sure to check out the BeeFest thread.

https://beemaster.com/forum/index.php?topic=53173.msg478794#msg478794

 
Good luck
Jim Altmiller

Offline Acebird

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Re: Getting back in, in Northern California.
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2020, 09:33:00 am »
Welcome Spadeapiaries.  The biggest nut to crack with any business today is shipping costs.  Amazon and the likes have created an era of free shipping on mail order items.  This makes it nearly impossible for a small guy to compete outside of their local area.  Good luck on your endeavor and your retirement.
As far as being first to do anything in beekeeping today it is not likely.  Even the flow hive was not new it was just perfected enough that it works.
Brian Cardinal
Just do it