Thanks to a great spring and some good luck, the bees look fantastic. I’m really going to be challenged by capacity this summer. I’m estimating about 400 hives will need to be split to prevent overpopulation. That means I’ll be looking at 1400+ hives come harvest season. That is about 450 more then my previous best year, in 2009.
To increase capacity I’ve decided to add another truck to the fleet. This one is a 4×4 C5500. It is a 2005, but seems to be in good condition. I’ve had to add a new deck, and I found a very good deal on a brand new Aluminum deck. I had to drive to Minnesota to get it, but it seems to be perfect. As things stand, the deck is on the truck, and will be operational by the weekend. I have to thank my Neighbor Chris for doing the welding to get everything just right.
People will get confused because this unit looks alot like my old truck. Which has served me very well, but is only 2 wheel drive. Here it is with the forklift behind it. Spot the difference? New truck = shiny deck. Old truck = black deck.
With the early spring, I think I will have to move alot of hives north to get honey in august. If it continues dry, this will be increasingly necessary. I think the new truck will probably be used primarily for moving hives, while the old one will be doing the honey hauling. With two trucks, I can move bees all night and sleep on the side of the road if I need to, coming home, while the other truck heads out to get the honey in.