Pat’s 50-year Plan for regenerative bee-keeping

Most people can do the math and figure out want week, 35 years into the future, they will be retiring and moving somewhere warm. I don’t have this life planning ability which I feel gives me the licenses to be so bold in magnitude and scale. My plan is both built to grow the number of healthy and productive colonies of bees and to provide all the honey needs for those that sold commercially and honey consumed here in Northern NJ. It is a bold and hungry plan.

With such a time scale I am here to focus on two groups of people and myself. The first group being the new beekeeper. The person that has the itch to get into keeping bees and those that have been keeping bees for a couple years. I will focus on in the first 5 years of this endeavor only on the new beekeeper for reasons I will be happy to mention in future publications.

So, we are brought to the question, how do we get new beekeepers to keep health and productive hives? Education. I am in the process of building a program that will walk you through a season of keeping bees here in Northern NJ. This program is funded though the sale of all the equipment, medicines and supplies needed and mentioned in this blog. If you find this plan intriguing and want to participate, fund it, by stopping in my store and shopping. Thank you.

The current system, and the way we will continue of the next 5 years has new bee-keepers starting with bees is with bees from out of state. Brought from a southern region nucs are made up by a commercial beekeepers. I know only 2 people that sell nucs from NJ and their supply is dwarfed by the demand exists.

I am working with one of those commercial beekeepers in the south to bring in nucs for new beekeepers. In 5-years my hope is that those now seasoned beekeepers have bees they can split to fill the demand that I am currently fulling with out-of-state nucs. We will, together, grow the number of bees. How this will happen can be best explained in the explanation of how I plan to expand.

How We Grow

The term regenerative as-opposed-to sustainable is new to me, but not the concept. The major difference is that we are no longer trying to sustain and we need to grow. Grow in numbers, acres, both laterally and horizontally to build a more resilient food system. I current manage about 200-hives of bees and with the following methods I will grow that number.

Best explained starting with a nucleus colony in spring. That hive will be fed and kept for honey production that first year. It will over winter as a full-size colony and in the spring of the next year a frame, or two, will be removed as during swarm management. Those frames will get a queen or a queen cell and managed as a nucleus colony. Which will be kept as a nucleus hive until it is transfer into full-size equipment spring the next year. The cycle of growth continues.  

If you have any experience keeping bees you will know that the able not so cut and dry. There will be loses and there will need to be an enormous amount of learning on my part to make it happen. The main point I am trying to make here is that there is a plan and I am putting it out there to invite the criticism that might exist so to make improvements before making mistakes.

Future Learning

If you would like to help, participate or contribute. Let me know first of your interests. I do not know who reads this blog. For all I know it could be my mom signing on to a hundred different computers giving me the hundred views.

The above plan will require an enormous understanding of the mating biology and genetics of honeybees. I would like to make myself that expert. It is with this blog I will document my learning and understanding the way that a person might write papers in masters or phd program.

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