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Chris Schultz

Newbie wanting to short cut research set up

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Maybe to many people getting into beekeeping for the reasons. It's all about money now not the bees

 

Wrong reasons

 

Interesting statement. So if the price of honey went down to $1.00 kg your business would still be all about the bees ?

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More you earn the more you spend

I enjoy beekeeping it's great life

Others in it for the money not the bees

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Newbies wanting to go straight into a commercial operation with no clue about bees or what it takes to keep bees are a dime a dozen right now.

Like dairying was a couple of years ago everyone getting in at the peak of high prices.

Where there's a boom there's a bust .

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It wasn't that long ago when clover was $3. We made do.

 

yes & builders charged out at $25.00 !

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Or a outbreak of disease

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The first part of the topic remained focused and on topic. To quote a wise man....

 

With respect to the contributors, I doubt the man needs another cynic. Lets assume he's a grown-up, keep control of our assumptions, and let him prepare a business plan. You never know we might all learn something.

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I think the general idea is that the people who care about their bees would still be around if honey prices significantly dropped. Those who do not care, and are only beekeeping for money, would be gone.

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back on topic a little.......

one thing to factor in is that it takes so long to learn and gain experience. 10 years is only doing it 10 times. how many people do things perfectly after 10 times.

need to budget for the "1 good year in 3 (or 4)" rule. that may prove to be to little in competitive areas as that rule only accounts for weather not man made situations. it also doesn't cover beekeeper mistakes.

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10 years is only doing it 10 times. how many people do things perfectly after 10 times.

 

Not exactly, having 1 hive for 10 years is doing it 10 times, but I want 2 hives next season and 5 the follow because I can see I'm going to leant a lot more from the various problems the hives run into, even in the same seasonal weather, than what I can learn from one.

 

So if someone jumped straight in with 100 hives, after 10 seasons they would have a lot more experience than a hobbyist after 10 seasons. Doing it for a living would focus the mind and quicken the wits - or they'd perish.

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Doing it for a living would focus the mind.

Doesn't matter how focused your mind is. If you don't know anything about bees and jump in with 100 you run the risk of losing alot of money.

.

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Not exactly, having 1 hive for 10 years is doing it 10 times, but I want 2 hives next season and 5 the follow because I can see I'm going to leant a lot more from the various problems the hives run into, even in the same seasonal weather, than what I can learn from one.

 

So if someone jumped straight in with 100 hives, after 10 seasons they would have a lot more experience than a hobbyist after 10 seasons. Doing it for a living would focus the mind and quicken the wits - or they'd perish.

not quite.

certainly the more hives you have the more experience you pick up as you get to see more things happening and some things you learn better because of repetition. but your still only managing one season and all the interactions and decisions that go along with it.

 

if you start with 100 hives you tend to make the same mistake on all 100 hives.

 

 

Doing it for a living would focus the mind and quicken the wits - or they'd perish.

the trouble is they are not doing it for a living. its semi-commercial so its not as critical that they succeed as it is for a commercial who is solely reliant on bees providing the income.

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@frazzledfozzle , no disrespect intended but I sometimes wonder if you always take earlier posts in context when replying. Just a few posts ago I strongly advised the OP to think very long and hard about jumping straight in with 50 hives, let alone 100. I tried to summarise my research into commercial beekeeping in NZ, highlighting that it is a bloody hard and risky enterprise with a steep learning curve.

 

I used the 100 number to outline that time isn't the only crucial factor in learning, the number of hives is also important. Tristan does really seem to think so, as beginners will make the same mistakes on all 100 hives, apparently, which I have to say conflicts with my experience in about every other field I've been involved in, but bees may be different.

 

What I was hoping that experienced commercial beekeepers like yourself and @tristan, who know your stuff, and are successful commercial beekeepers would help the OP by discussing the accuracy, or lack thereof, of what I had outlined. Instead we got a minor point about my "no risk" comment of renting out sites, and a comment about new operators being a dime a dozen.

 

Not the robust discussion I was hoping for (I was hoping to learn from you guys too).

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I also disagree Tristan with your statement that you'll "tend to make the mistake on all 100 hives". Actually this is highly unlikely,

not as unlikely as you would think.

been there done that, been one of many who have been on the receiving of other peoples failure, still continue to see people do it every year.

eg spreading AFB through all their hives which is the biggy.

mistreating varroa and loosing all hives.

wrong gear, not having the setup, not getting things done in time etc

start shortcutting to make up the other short comings.

 

its not just down to what they do on the hives but also overall attitudes and mentalities.

that means they will make the same mistake over and over until it bites them in the rear. with the time difference between cause and effect, very easy to do the wrong thing at the wrong time on all the hives before you realize the mistake.

 

 

Negative nellies.

i don't think it is at all.

its experience talking. traditionally beeks started as hobbyist, did their failures in small scale. knew what they where in for before going semi for a short time and then going full time commercial.

now you have people who think they can short cut the learning process.

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Not the robust discussion I was hoping for (I was hoping to learn from you guys too).

sorry for sounding like a b*tch but its a hot topic with so many new ones starting, hives been dumped on top of one other etc.

 

i don't mind giving advice but often with these its advice they don't want to hear.

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@frazzledfozzle , no disrespect intended but I sometimes wonder if you always take earlier posts in context when replying.

 

I dont reread every post in a thread to see what someone has posted 2 days ago, I read the latest posts and will put my 2 cents worth down on that not on something that may or may not have been said 20 posts ago.

Negative nellies? Probably, but alot of us are just fedup with the BS in this industry right now, its sickening to see complete idiots who have no clue running around wanting to " become commercial beekeepers"

 

They dont want to be commercial beekeepers they want to be honey producers in particular " manuka" honey producers.

 

Unfortunately they need bees to do that and thats where what they do and how they behave impacts me directly.

 

.

 

in the planning stages of developing a commercial operation and starting with the development of a business plan. I'd be grateful for some advice and assistance so I don't flounder around on the internet and make mistakes that other people have made!

Can someone help with the following starting Qs:

 

What is a fair price per hive for set up of a super4, 50+ hives?

What is the best hive management software, barcoding, App and approx cost?

What is the cost per swarm and recommended supplier?

What is the best training course in Auckland and also Gisborne area?

.

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It wasn't that long ago when clover was $3. We made do.

How on earth did you make do on $3.00?

 

.

 

 

.

 

I'm in the planning stages of developing a commercial operation and starting with the development of a business plan. I'd be grateful for some advice and assistance so I don't flounder around on the internet and make mistakes that other people have made!

Can someone help with the following starting Qs:

 

What is a fair price per hive for set up of a super4, 50+ hives?

What is the best hive management software, barcoding, App and approx cost?

What is the cost per swarm and recommended supplier?

What is the best training course in Auckland and also Gisborne area?

Thanks and regards

Chris

My advice Chris is not to start at the business plan end of things.

That will just get you in trouble.

Start at the work and commitment end.

Are you cut out to be a beekeeper?

How strong and resilient are you?

What is your experience with livestock?

Can you work 7 days a week?

Will your family tolerate your required commitment to the new business?

Are you allergic?

If you get stung to bits, would you be able to carry on working through the day?

Do you have access to land?

How fit are you and what is the state of your back?

Are you skilled with your hands and do you enjoy woodwork?

And some

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i don't mind giving advice but often with these its advice they don't want to hear.

 

My advice Chris is not to start at the business plan end of things.

That will just get you in trouble.

 

But neither of you are answering his questions. Recent additions to the conversation are currently just giving opinion on startups, which is regurgitated every time someone says they are getting into beekeeping. Let's move on please. @Chris Schultz is very specific with his questions and background. He's NOT the beekeeping end, he's the business end of the team.

 

I'm in the planning stages of developing a commercial operation and starting with the development of a business plan. I'd be grateful for some advice and assistance so I don't flounder around on the internet and make mistakes that other people have made! Can someone help with the following starting Qs:

What is a fair price per hive for set up of a super4, 50+ hives?

What is the best hive management software, barcoding, App and approx cost?

What is the cost per swarm and recommended supplier?

What is the best training course in Auckland and also Gisborne area?

Thanks and regards

Chris

 

I'm a complete Newbie! We are forming a new partnership and I'm the business brains, my brother doing his training at the moment. We have 3 blocks in Te Araroa, East Cape. We will be hiring a bee keeper to look after our hives for the first year until we are on top of it and we can go into it full-time ourselves.

 

I have emboldened the salient parts of Chris' questions.

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@Chris Schultz it would be good to hear from you on your thoughts on your business plan . I know from my own experience that often I am a bee keeper and not a good business man . how do you plan to sell you honey locally or to a company that will buy your product have you seen what grade of manuka you have if that's what you are after is there other bee keepers where you plan to start .I'm from down south so don't know where you are .

PS if you think you are getting knocked about by keyboard cowboys you will need to deal with a lot worse on the ground by the sounds of what goes on up north. Not giving you a hard time just very keen to get your input it you are still with us.

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Gidday @Chris Schultz you have probably worked it out by now, Nucs are selling for around the $250 mark currently, single box hives quite a bit more ($500 ish). Autumn Nucs may be the way to go as the early spring prices may be sky high!

You are going to need quite a bit of gear as well. Hive boxes, frames etc, Queen excluders, feeders, varroa treatments and more, a suitable vehicle to access your blocks, workshop area & storage to say the least. Getting ahead with gear is quite important or you will be wagged by the tail! Quite an investment for darn all return initially especially if you are paying someone else to manage the hives to start.

A listing on here would probably find a seller for Nucs, more than 1 if needed.

There are a lot of decisions to be made as regards intentions, single/double brood, bee type etc.

I don't believe there is a safe way to "short cut" but an accelerated program is possible.

Best training has been covered I think but my opinion as a newbie is that a mentor (experienced beek or beeks) is the biggest help and of course the AFB recognition course if you are going to be hands on!

Diaries (yup old fashioned pen and paper & a laptop) is a good starter for record keeping without the outlay for higher tech stuff until you need it.

I think most folk here are concerned when they see anyone leaping in big. I would listen to their concerns intelligently, forewarned is forearmed. There is a lot to learn.

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How can you put together a business plan when you dont inderstand what you are talking about?

 

You want to know the price of swarms?

You want to know the best hive software app?

You want to know the fair price of a super4 hive?

 

Really?

 

Go ahead and give me negative reputation on my profile @Grant but this is exactly the kind of BS thats going on in the industry right now and as a commercial beekeeper I have to deal with it at the pointy end.

The man dosnt know one end of a hive tool from the other and wants to come to a forum so he " doesnt have to flounder round on the internet"

Thats the least of his and everyone elses worries.

 

What a crock.

.

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How can you put together a business plan when you dont inderstand what you are talking about?

 

You want to know the price of swarms?

You want to know the best hive software app?

You want to know the fair price of a super4 hive?

 

Really?

 

Go ahead and give me negative reputation on my profile @Grant but this is exactly the kind of BS thats going on in the industry right now and as a commercial beekeeper I have to deal with it at the pointy end.

The man dosnt know one end of a hive tool from the other and wants to come to a forum so he " doesnt have to flounder round on the internet"

Thats the least of his and everyone elses worries.

 

What a crock.

.

And mootch of everybody's intellectual property. One is tempted to say, go pay a consultant. However that dont appear to be how the beekeeping industry rolls...

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And mootch of everybody's intellectual property. One is tempted to say, go pay a consultant. However that dont appear to be how the beekeeping industry rolls...

Now there's a niche for somebody - when the consultants come in you know you've made it as an industry.

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I heard of case of guys making up gear for 1000 hives last winter must cost lots. come the spring had no bees to put in them .People who know nothing about bees may get burned badly .There are very few hives out there for sale and no staff to run them.

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