I got absolutely no honey this year. Well, that's not true. I bought 4 cases of quarts yesterday at $60 each and an 8 frame super of comb honey from a local beekeeper for $70. I wanted/needed to maintain the market I've built up the past two years.
Here are some questions for you all: and for those that know me , you know I ask this every year.
1. What are you selling your products for this year? I know prices have sky-rocketed.
2. What types of containers do you use?
3. Who do you sell to?
4. For those of you that use/have used Muth bottles: what do they sell for? Any drawbacks in using them? They look pretty to me and seem to be geared more toward the niche market. They'd be great for gift baskets. I have a farmer friend that does gift baskets for Christmas. What would be a good wholesale price if I used these bottles? Keep in mind, I only work part time and I AM trying to make money at this honey/bee business as a "second" income, as minimal as it may be. I don't want to be greedy though, and price myself out of the market.
I know this is long, but I do appreciated any thoughts, tips, or ideas you all may have.
Like you i am getting noplace fast getting honey this year.6 frames of so so quality honey so far. I do not use Muth bottles.I use 12oz Bears $2.50 24oz beas and pint masonjars $4.75,quart mason jars $8.75,$6.00 for cut comb honey in the nice boxes with lids from kellys,I talked to another beekeper and he is a bit higher on pints and quarts $5 and $10.Both of us sell mainly at the farmres markets.
I still have clover blooming here. The white sweet clover is about done and the dutch clove is still going strong,but still not much honey.Some of the fall flowers are comeing on to.It have been very wet here and everything is 2or 3 weeks behind.I am hopeing that i will get more hiney in the next few weeks
It seems to me that there are two kinds of customers at places like farmers markets. Those looking for something interesting and those looking for a bargin. I figure large inexpensive packaging is good for the bargin hunters and small packages with eye appeal are good for the people looking for something interesting. Here are what I have sold and what sells the best:
My best seller is cut comb honey. I have put it in the clam shells and the hard plastic boxes and it doesn't seem to mater much. I've been selling it for $4 last year, but may raise the price this year.
Next is chunk comb. I've put it in wide mouth pint jars for $4 and 2 1/2 pound square jars for $8. Both sell well. I've even put it in those little 4 oz canning jars for $2.50 and they sold fine too.
Next is variations on pretty. The hex jars, the Muth jars. These I've been selling for about $3 for the 4 oz and $6 for the 8 oz.
Another variation is to sort your honey when you extract it into dark, medium and light and take the 1.5 oz hex jars. and package one of each color of honey together. Most people don't even realize that there are different honeys and it starts a conversation. If you have samples there (a pretzel stick to dip or a cracker to dispese on with a sqeeze bottom) of all three kinds people get interested in that. You can build a crate to hold three or buy them from the Beeworks. and price it depending or how fancy you make the crate and the packaging. $8 is not too high.
And then there is gallon and half gallon plastic jugs for the bargin hunters. You don't sell as many but it moves some honey.
I just got my 1st copy of Bee culture and there was a nice nationwide summary of honey prices for small amd large quantities. Not sure if this is in there all the time or not but found it interesting - was actually surprised that prices seemed low comp to what I buy retail honey for and interesting to see regional differences of several dollars. I personally have not harvested any honey yet but paid 4.50 for a pint of dark stuff in one of those plastic deli containers.
About 2 weeks ago I pulled about 12 supers to get ready for our annual "RiverBoat Days" celebration here in Yankton, SD. I just got done bottling about 330lbs of the lightest honey my bees have ever made and I made (making) about 140lbs of creamed honey too. I have a honey grader and it grades 'water white' with moisture just near 18.6%. There was a lot of clover and alfalfa that the farmer did not cut until recently near one of my yards.
Anyway, I think my prices are going to be the following:
12oz bear - $3.00
16oz honeybee - $3.50
Quart - $8.00
Gallon - $23.00
5 gallon - $80.00
8oz cream - $2.75
16oz cream - $4.00
8oz round comb - $3.00
8oz cut-comb - $3.00
I just don't really have a market for comb honey around here so that's why I'm pricing them a lot lower this year. Actually, I'm probably, heck I know I am, too low on my honey pricing too. Who knows maybe I might just up them before our city's festival.
Regarding my last post about my lightest honey I have ever had. I was just wondering if anyone knows why my bees made such a light colored honey this year compared to the last 2 years I've had bees there. After posting I thought about it and relalized that alfalfa and clover are usually a lighter amber grade I believe. I am not really sure what the bees had found to forage but I'm not going to complain about it I guess. The weather this past Spring here had been quit abnormal to say the least. Could that have maybe been a factor? Who knows? I really should have paid better attention to them in the later Spring. Does basswood tress produce a lighter honey? John
I like using the 12 oz. squeeze bears from
brushy mountain. Not the ones with the flat
front for labels. Just the plain squeeze bears with yellow tops. I get $3.00 each for
them. I sell all that I can get. Last year
I put up 10 quarts of honey in quart jars for $7.00 each. I couldn't sell them. So, I took the honey out of the jars and put it into bears and sold all of them. Most anyone will give you $3.00 for a bear. But, for me it's hard to sell quart jars. Unless of course it is sourwood cut comb honey. Then, no problem. But there won't be any sourwood for me this year. Rain. Duane.
Here in Ohio we have black locust trees, the honey is as they call it water white, with a very light tinge of yellow hardly noticiable. the taste has a minty flavor to it. In ohio it blooms around the last part of may to the middle of june. In the old days the farmers used these trees for fence posts and grew them like crops for a ready scouce. Any connection to your honey???