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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Ohio
    Posts
    856

    Default Re: What's all the hubbub bub?

    [QUOTE=suttonbeeman;443564]Been running bees for awhile...this is my 33 rd year. Started with 2 and within 5 years I had 100 then 150 and also bought semi loads of honey(some from Mr. Householders parents when he was in diapers lol ).

    Well Rick,
    I started my first 25 hives when I was 8 years old. I've been in the business now for 29 years. Don't you wish you could buy honey for those kind of prices again Rick. I remember went we sold honey for $.38 a lb. and now I get $1.85 a lb. Like Rick said there is good years like the 72 ton year, and then there is those bad years like the 8 ton year.

    Of coarse back in the good old days before mites, it was a lot cheaper to get into the bee business. It cost way to much to buy out a comm. beekeeper now at days. Back in the early 90's you could buy comm. guys out for $.40 on the dollar. Went to a comm. sale a year ago and almost everything went for $.85 on the dollar. It was nice to get out see other comm. guy and I took almost all my money home with me.

    GOT TO LOVE MY JOB!

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Allen, Indiana
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: What's all the hubbub bub?

    I have really enjoyed reading all of these posts. I can barely claim to have this as a hobby, yet. This is my first season, so I have harvested very little honey. I wish I would have gotten into this years ago.

    Reading the anecdotes, good and bad, does nothing but make me want to pursue this more and more. I have a solid full time job, but look forward to trying to build slow and make, at the very least, a good sideline.

    As hard as it is, I have always pined away for the life of a self-sufficient farmer. Never liked the city, or the rat race. Due to choices made years ago, and SOME circumstances beyond my control, I still ended up there. For the past three years I have slowly edged into the lifestyle I hoped for.

    Maybe reading this thread should scare me off. LOL It doesn't tho. Don't know if I will ever get to the level of a REAL commercial producer, but just being my own boss will make me grin.

  3. #43
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Fresno California USA
    Posts
    2,479

    Default Hi Joker

    It's a steep and slippery slope you're headed down, enjoy the ride!
    That fascination for the bee keeps a lot of folks going through the rough parts of the road.

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Tamworth, NSW Australia
    Posts
    259

    Default Re: What's all the hubbub bub?

    I say beekeeping is a vocation more so than an occupation.

    It takes many years and possibly several generations to make a truly great commercial beekeeper. I say it is some kind of a Karmic School for dissidents of the system. We all crave than sense of individuality that comes from knowing we can survive in the forest without the help of society. When we get refined enough to do that well, we will probably then realize that we are the tent poles than hold up the tent of society.

    Beekeepers are the salt of the earth. Thanks for letting me play.

    Cheers,

    JohnS

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Terre Haute, Indiana
    Posts
    240

    Default Re: What's all the hubbub bub?

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    A good portion of it is your determination of sucess. 40k a year for a lot of us is a hobby.....
    40K a year is more than I made working full time for most of my life, and we raised 4 kids on that.
    So I have to say that I agree in part. Alot depends on your view of what you need to feel successful. And what kind of lifestyle you need.

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Tamworth, NSW Australia
    Posts
    259

    Default Re: What's all the hubbub bub?

    ........................and you can have as much overtime as you like!

    Cheers,

    JohnS

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Long Beach, CA
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: What's all the hubbub bub?

    I had some questions I wish I had asked earlier. I'd really appreciate insights anyone could share.

    Is it more common than not to rent the land you keep your bee's on?

    Do successful professionals usually have more than 1 location / bee yard?

    Is it difficult finding a buyer for your honey, at a fair price?

    How much can you expect to make per hive in a good year? ( Is that even a good way to look at it, when you are estimating gross income? )

    What do you think the start up costs would be for a small/medium sized operation? Someone was saying it's best to own your own equipment and not to rent equipment. That made me wonder what equipment is being referred to? Hives seem like they'd be cheap if you build your own. I can see the extractor and packaging equipment being expensive. Is there much more to it than that if you are just producing honey, and not moving your hives around?

    Sorry for the barrage of questions, and thanks to everyone.

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Lakeland FL
    Posts
    839

    Default Re: What's all the hubbub bub?

    i never rent the land i put bees on or at least rent with money i give them a few jars of honey at the end of every year.

    yes any one making honey has to have multiple location i have around 30 summer honey yards for 1000 hives and am looking for more locations.

    I have not had a problem finding buyers for my honey the fair price thing well i guess that all in the eye of the beholder i never think its high enough the buyer always thinks its too high lol.

    how much honey in a year is very dependent on your location and the way you operate i know some who never make honey they just pollinate.

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