Most commercial agriculture relies on government subsidies. Facts are that corn farmers would lose money if it weren't for the subsidies (regardless of the weather). Want to change the face of the modern monoculture agricultural landscape...KILL THE SUBSIDIES...never going to happen with Iowa as the first stop on the Primary trail.
Probably the best way to make a million in agriculture (beekeeping or whatever) is to start with three million.
lazy shooter, you may well be right. But, I didn't mean to imply that working hard was all it took. It takes knowledge of bees and beekeeping, and as much business knowledge and skills. It doesn't hurt if one does not need to have all the latest gadgets, toys, bells and whistle, material objects, conspicuous consumption.
The beekeepers that I know who appear to me to be doing well are smart business persons who work when they need to, not when they want to, put in long hours in the beeyard, the truck, the Bobcat, and the honeyhouse. They also know how to take time off and smell the roses. Ain't nothin' prettier than a sunrise over the blueberry barrens, unless it's a sunrise over an apple orchard.
Yes, I am a hopeless romantic and proud of it.
Sidenote: How come when I enter a Thread titled "Money", the w/in Thread title is "Re: There is a lot of bluesky to sell a dreamer in the beekeeping field..."? How does this sort of thing happen? How is it done? By whom?
So, that's how it's done? Whatya know?
I'd honestly like to see packages fall to the wayside. They are a product with planned obsolescence in a sense. They keep customers coming back in my view.
With the increase of pathogens, and the increase of pathogens in old equipment that is spread by Nuc sales(AFB in NE?), I predict that Nuc sales will not replace packages any time soon.
As for making money, it sure helps to have a history that is salable, skills and knowledge that exceed the competition, the ability to minimize repair and capitol expenditures(read "make your own woodenware and Stainless equipment"), and most important, to have deep enough pockets to span the lean years that have now become typical. Time will tell if we have what it takes. I believe that the above variables far outweigh any regional differences.
I used to help my friend Sonny farm. He said "farming is a nice way of life, not much of a living though".
Acebird, we are talking bees here, not something else. Let's stick to what it takes to make money keeping bees.
:scratch:"Now it is kept more than 100 hives?"
The original question was, and I paraphrase, 'how much profit per hive in Louisiana and Arkansas.' I still haven't seen an answer to that question. Actually, I think it is impossible to give a definitive answer to this question, as there are way to many variables, but I would have thought that someone could at least fired a SWAG at it by now.
If one wants in the bee business, he/she should copy Solomon's model. Just learn how to keep bees as a sideling for a few years. Test the market for honey, bees, pollen and whatever and determine how best to maximize profits. Bee keeping is a highly specialized and technical endeavor.
I ordered three packages with the thought of having home grown honey and putting some bees back in nature. I'm 15 months into keeping bees, haven't lost a hive and haven't harvested any honey, nor have I produced one swarm. It can be a tough business.
I asked a local beek how's business, is there money in honey? He said dunno about money, but there's work...
lazy, I did answer it. Sorta. I told the guy to find out the State production average and do the math. That's about as good an answer anyone not from LA can give, in my opinion.
And then I told everyone what it is like for me for the most part. I don't know if that translates to LA very well or not, but I believe it is about as good as or better than anyone else has explained. Other than Solomon I don't recall anyone else telling us what their numbers are like.
Acebird, you are right. But, I think I know quite a few more beekeepers than you and have seen what the difference is between those that make profit from beekeeping and those who don't. Maybe don't want to or care if they do, compared to those who do and those who strive and struggle to. But, yes, I see your point.
OK I might suggest that the OP simply look around him. It's pretty hard for anyone to intelligently assess the potential for beekeeping with something as general as Louisiana or Arkansas to work with. Sure the national honey report has always shown good averages for Louisiana, but that only tells me that there must be some pockets of good production. Are there a lot of commercial bee locations in the area where you are considering keeping bees? If so there is probably some potential if not well.......there's your sign.
Well said Bill Engvel. :)
@ jim lyon
It's easy to think since grain and bean prices are high that farmers are doing well, but that ignores the spiraling prices of input feed costs. Just ask a cattle farmer about that one. Corn and bean farmers...how about climbing lease prices, out of control fert prices and all the fuel costs exponentially compounding everything. You NEED elevated corn and bean prices just to keep pace with the escalating input costs. Simply put, any student of the market knows that there is NO FREE LUNCH. Yeah, record prices for your goods...that is if you can survive long enough to get it to market. All those factors don't even take into account seed prices and all the chemicals that accompany the planting. Chemical prices stay lock step inline with fuel prices. As far as subsidies, you get up front cash payment once you commit acreage to certain crops (such as corn), then you also get a back end payment once you're fields/harvest go to market. Pure and simple, subsidies drive a great majority of plantings, not "free markets". :rolleyes:
@ OP and original question
As far as making money with bees, honey prices (or lack of) is the biggest factor going. Making money with bees reminds me a lot of like the gold rush. The people that made the most money were the frontier hardware stores selling the picks and shovels. With bees, the money seems to be in THE BEES; selling queens, packages and nucs along with good service. Of course low honey prices drive commercial operations heavily into pollination services, but seems to bee the most important factor there. The backyard beek/hobbiest is most interested in making honey. I don't even want to go down the honey issue/problems road (what's in the foreign honey and what not). :no:
How much money to be made with bees? I suppose one could simply point to Burt's Bees and say millions. It's like in most everything, right place, right time, right message and tons more of hard work and luck (but then again the optimist says that you make your own luck). But what do I know, I didn't get into beekeeping for the money.
Okay I know this is a bit off-topic but I can't stand to leave erroneous statements unchallenged. There are no back end subsidies for grain and haven't been for years. I am a grain farmer I fully understand input costs. Ever wonder who is paying high lease prices for land and why?
Just grainfarmer deficiency payments and prevented planting payments and I wills shut up now. Incentives to stay on the tit. Subsidies to allow the big to get bigger. I first got in to bees the first time because of the relatively low inputs to make a crop. It is still do-able to build a business but it takes skill and luck and a God awful amount of backbreaking work. Now it is an old man puttering and wishing I was young enough to start over.