View Full Version : questions about how much $ you can make off one hive

03-11-2005, 01:23 PM
I am in the Carolina region and am curious about how much honey can one hive produce and how much the honey sells for in large containers (not small honey jars). I have no clue. Thanks for your help

mark williams
03-12-2005, 05:29 PM
Della:That would depend,As for the amount one hive can produce.How large of a hive (single,double,ect,)also the area they are in.
Also what size of container?
Sorry I couldn't be of anymore help,But need more info.>>>>Mark

03-13-2005, 10:31 AM
You can try going to this site. There is a lot of data available for each state on yield per colony and price. It looks like the average yield for the Carolinas could be anywhere from 40 to 80 pounds depending on location. Of course this is an AVERAGE. Any individual year could be dramtically different. You should read different as usually lower!


Statistics are only as good as the amount of planning and work expended in collecting them, so be careful how much you rely on raw numbers without getting more local input.

The price per pound is down quite a bit from a year or two ago -- probably in the range of a dollar or so per pound. Maybe quite a bit less if you are producing small amounts from a small number of hives. If you are a really small producer, sellling retail gives you a higher return.

03-14-2005, 07:40 PM
In the mountains of N GA last year (a HORRIBLE year) I averaged 70 lbs/hive and sold all at retail for average of 4.50 a pound for a 315.00/hive average.


03-15-2005, 11:43 AM
marc, i was thinking maybe 5 gallon containers.

03-15-2005, 01:29 PM
Just curious, do you get your 4.50 a pound for liquid honey vs creamed, chunk, comb honey, etc.? If liquid, are they little 6 oz. "gourmet" jars with fancy photo quality labels sold at tourist stops or quart mason jars sold to neighbors? Is it a specialty honey like sourwood?

Sorry for all the questions but it seems like there's a hundred times more information out there on making honey than there is on making money with your honey. Beekeeping is great but profitable beekeeping is much better. smile.gif It sounds like you have a pretty good "system".

Is there a good info source out there for small producers on things like how to effectively price your product (retail and to retailers), how to approach a retailer, what makes your product attractive to a retailer (packaging, pricing, labeling, etc). In some of the country style touristy places, health food stores, and farmers markets around here which I think would all make prime honey retail locations, I always see local liquid honey, usually see chunk honey, but never see creamed honey, cut comb, or Ross Rounds. I'm not sure if it's because there's no demand or no supply.

I guess I'm looking for honey marketing 101.

mark williams
03-15-2005, 01:56 PM
Della your profile say's ,in the south,All the talk & fury of these super bee's to me is talk.I'd say you will be lucky to get 5 gallon's from one hive unless you know how to work your bee's to get more.As Hillside said an Average is 40 -80lb per hive. 5 gallon is #60.
Although it is not uncommon for BEEKEEPERS to get as much as 200 lbs from hives.
But for them to get that much it is alot in the timing of when to add & remove super's & having drawn comb already in the super's before they are giving to the bees.
On the wholesale for 5gals (60lbs) $75.00 would be a fair price

03-15-2005, 04:26 PM
GA Steve, send me an email so I have your email addy and I'll send a message on how I market...it may or may not work for you, but I'm happy with it.


03-15-2005, 06:57 PM
I wonder if I could sell the cappings (or wax) to help defray cost of keeping a hive. Is there a market out there for beeswax??

03-15-2005, 08:01 PM
Mark ; I sell a few 5 gal buckets a year at 120.00 per bucket and have waiting customers. but I use no chems or pestisides.........and I loose bees to mites.

03-15-2005, 08:45 PM
We winter bees in SC where there has been a drought (except last year) for several years. We are happy to get 40-50lb / hive in the April Flow. Over the summers, in Upstate New York(Finger Lakes Region) we average 90-100 lbs. in good years. Running Well timed 2 queen units in good years we have seen double that. We sell all retail but last I saw in our area honey is wholesaled at around .85/lb. I think SC is one of the lowest average honey production states statistically.

03-15-2005, 08:46 PM
Della -- There is a market for beeswax and beeswax products. But you don't get much wax if you uncap and extract like most folks -- maybe a couple pounds of wax for every 100 pounds of honey that you extract. You will obviously get more wax if you crush the combs to get the honey, but to me drawn comb is more valuable than raw wax. Also, most beekeeping supply companies will offer a credit on foundation for any wax you send in (melted and strained - not raw cappings).

mark williams
03-15-2005, 08:50 PM
Scottybee:At $2.00 lb thats great.I can get that in the small size container's,get $2.25 in the 1lb size & $6.00 Qt($2.00 lb),but around here as I stated around 75,in the 5 gal bucket size,I could have bought it back afew months ago for as low as 75 cent's a pound.

03-19-2005, 06:24 PM
>GA Steve, send me an email so I have your email addy and I'll send a message on how I market...it may or may not work for you, but I'm happy with it.

Bubbabob, I sent you an email a few days ago. I installed new virus protection and I'm still not sure if all my emails are getting out as they should.

Anyway, my email address is ganofs (at) cox (dot) net

Star G
03-19-2005, 11:58 PM
A very few individuals have become millionaires in recent years by developing their beekeeping businesses into "agri-business" multiplexes. however, at the hobbiest and sideliner (less than 100 colonies) level, I have always remembered something an old beekeeper told me many years ago:

"Anyone who can make $10,000 keeping bees can make $20,000 doing anything else."

Primarily, I've always thought of that as a commentary upon the many areas of knowledge in which a successful commercial beekeeper must become competent, if not master, and how the acquisition of that knowledge handily prepares them for success and any number of other commercial endeavors.

Wholesale honey prices boomed in recent years, but are now on a downward spiral. A small commercial beekeeper is better off packing and retailing the honey and other beehive products directly to the consumers. The American Bee Journal has had monthly feature articles about successful family operators in the past year or two. You would do well to get the past couple of years of issues from ABJ (they sell them) and read those articles closely.

Star G
03-19-2005, 11:59 PM
Sideliner -- less than 1000 colonies, not 100

Star G
03-20-2005, 12:00 AM
Not MY definition, but the industry's.....personally, I think anyone keeping 200 colonies or more is "commercial".....