Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Day Spring Planning

The young humans had us up at 7 this morning and finished assaulting the presents under the tree within an hour.  Everyone happy and fed with breakfast, naps were next on the to-do list leaving me, now, some time to muse about the near future with our bees.

...And a bit of anxiety.  I received from my kids Kim Fottum's The Backyard Beekeeper as a gift.  He reminds us the per-hive honey yield one should expect to net from the hives - north of 100 lbs!  And while I relish the idea of harvesting and marketing the honey and including the young humans in the endeavor, I confess that neither the economics nor the effort are terribly compelling.  That said, at Christmas Eve dinner last evening at Clyde's restaurant we had some honey on a cheese platter that got the whole family talking bees.

And it got me wondering if bulk honey production to sell to local restaurants (as local Georgetown honey) would solve two problems with honey production: 1) sales distribution; and 2) time investment.  An added benefit might be some reference to our local honey on restaurant menu's to continue to improve our outreach, especially to a demographic we are probably missing right now.

Do not misunderstand, I am interested in cultivating honey, but with perhaps seven hives on the rooftop by April, that's a material amount of honey and time exposure.   So here is my plan:
  • Let the honey flow for a Carni, a Bee Weaver, and a new Russian hive.  This will give me some important comparative production data points;
  • The remaining four hives will be aggressively managed and split to produce nucs for mid-summer sale.
  • Our modest operation will fund it's mission with a focus on propagation of bee colonies rather than the sale of bee byproducts.  Those byproducts will be distributed strategically to provide outreach, education, and awareness of our mission.  Surplus funds (please let there be some!) from any of these activities will be used to donate installations.
Merry Christmas, and thanks for caring about this stuff.


No comments:

Post a Comment