Beekeeping in California?
Hello! Are there certain areas in California that are more suited for Beekeeping? I'm new to this, but really intrigued. I'm an accountant, but when I retire I'd like to do something productive. From what I can gather, this way of life takes a LOT of time and hard work to make a decent return on investment.
How hard do you all think it'd be to net $50,000 yearly? From what I can understand, this isn't possible until you have about 400 hives. It seems to me that this work is something that you do out of love and interest, not profit. It'd be nice if both were possible. I've grown to respect those who work in agriculture; they truly don't get the wages that they deserve, but yet everyone depends on them. Does anyone see this changing any time soon?
Much about beekeeping is about location. In most every state I have visited or kept bees there are good areas and areas you would never wish to keep honeybees.
Much the same can be said for the $ you can make attending to the bees... the question is much about location. Actually relative to almost anything else agricultural in nature the return on investment is not that bad since capitalization for land is almost '0'. This advantage is more that offset by a steep learning curve and a great deal of labor input.
If appropiately located I would suspect a (1) 'good' beekeeper should be able to make a buck or so on 600 to 800 (that use to be the old rule of thumb by the commerical folks) hives. Quite obviously if you are near a 'hot' pollination area the possibility of turning a profit on smaller number is much inhanced.
There are several beekeepers in Martinez. One guy has over 1000 hives but I don't think they are all in Martinez.
If you haven't checked us out yet, there's Mount Diablo Beekeepers assoc.
We meet monthly at Heather Farms in Walnut Creek.
Dan in Concord