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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Lexington, South Carolina
    Posts
    272

    Default Can you make a living with Bees

    How many bee hives do you have to have to clear $ 100,000.00 a year profit.

    What generates the most money for bees. Is Honey just considered a by product of pollination?

    Is their a marketing firm that works for the honey people, Like Got milk does for the dairy guys. I do not understand why honey is so Cheep. Or for that matter why is pollination services so low is it like the beef industry where the cattle guy gets the shaft while everyone else profits from there hard work?

    I would think if everyone that works with bees also had a council like the dairy, beef, chicken industry etc..... Maybe you guys do , but I will tell you if you do they are not doing a good job to market your products and service.

    Remember I am new to all this and have more questions.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    3,999

    Default Re: Can you make a living with Bees

    There is an american honey board, & some individual state ones.
    Dan

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Pigeon Falls, WI
    Posts
    2,573

    Default Re: Can you make a living with Bees

    The question is not how many hives. That is just one of the many variables. Proper honeybee management is the first major step. Then you need good locations for honey production or places to place your colonies for pollination. You then have to rely on mother nature working in your favor. If you accomplished these first steps than you hope they are not poisoned by the crop farmers trying to line their own pockets. Even if you accomplish all of this many other things can/will go wrong. As for some of the marketing groups that work for the beekeeper. I think they do a very poor job compared to what the little beekeepers themselves do with their personal contact with their customers to get top dollar for top shelf products.
    Last edited by Beeslave; 12-30-2009 at 09:30 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Fresno California USA
    Posts
    2,496

    Default Re: Can you make a living with Bees

    Join a national organization, like American Beekeeping Federation or American Honey Producers. You will learn a lot and meet some great people.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Can you make a living with Bees

    There are lots of people making money from beekeeping and they hire people to work for them. I think that anyone that is contemplating trying to make a living from beekeeping should seek out the best operation that they can find and work there for awhile. It is very possible to lose a lot of money in this business if you don't know what you are doing. Beekeeping is definitely harder than it used to be. There are some fairly good beekeepers with limited skill sets whose operations are going backwards. Producing your own bees will save you a lot of money compared to buying queens, nucs, or packages.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Centerburg Ohio USA
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: Can you make a living with Bees

    Brooklyn do you have any bees?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Delta, Utah
    Posts
    501

    Default Re: Can you make a living with Bees

    "How many bee hives do you have to have to clear $ 100,000.00 a year profit."
    It varies GREATLY. On a good year if the stars line up you could make that much with 500 hives or even less. (of course if everything falls into place vegas will make you that much). On a bad year, you could lose money with 10,000 hives.

    "What generates the most money for bees. Is Honey just considered a by product of pollination?"
    Personally, almond pollination generates most for me 'cause I don't make much honey and I'm relatively close to Cali. Other areas, honey sales generate more money. Bees need pollen and honey both. I wouldn't call either a by product.

    "Is their a marketing firm that works for the honey people, Like Got milk does for the dairy guys."
    Nothing that good. The honey board helps US honey as well as imported honey.

    "I do not understand why honey is so Cheep."
    China.

    "Or for that matter why is pollination services so low is it like the beef industry where the cattle guy gets the shaft while everyone else profits from there hard work?"
    Almond pollination prices are actually ok. But yes, I think everyone else makes more money than the beekeepers. But you keep bees 'cause we love it not to get rich.

    "I would think if everyone that works with bees also had a council like the dairy, beef, chicken industry etc..... Maybe you guys do , but I will tell you if you do they are not doing a good job to market your products and service."

    Honey board...a joke. American Honey Producers...our best hope IMHO. American Bee Federation...Good too. Many great state associations also. Just not enough beekeepers to provide the money like you have in the dairy industry or beef industry or chicken industry.
    -Rob Bliss
    Bliss Honey and bee supplies

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Morgan County Indiana
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: Can you make a living with Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by Brooklyn View Post
    How many bee hives do you have to have to clear $ 100,000.00 a year profit.




    .
    The number would be approximately the same as you would need to lose 100K in a year. Its a gamble like all agriculture. I would think to make a decent living you would probably need 1000+.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Farmington, New Mexico
    Posts
    6,279

    Default Re: Can you make a living with Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by Beekeeper's hubby View Post
    The number would be approximately the same as you would need to lose 100K in a year.
    Best
    Answer
    Ever
    Nobody ruins my day without my permission, and I refuse to grant it...

  10. #10

    Default Re: Can you make a living with Bees

    If you were serious, you might want to write a business plan. You will have to invest a lot of money before you have enough equipment just to gross
    100K in a year, let alone net 100K.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Seattle, Washington State
    Posts
    4,417

    Default Re: Can you make a living with Bees

    start small and se what happens first. Don't just jump in.

    On the marketing issue, you will need to create your own marketing end and plan of attack.
    Chef Isaac..Culinary Arts and Honey are a sweet mix! http://www.sweetascanbeehoneyfarm.com & http://www.adoptahive.info

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,267

    Default Re: Can you make a living with Bees

    The best advice given was to work for a commercial beek for a year, a couple of years would be better. You have to prove your worth as an employee to your employer. But youwill learn how to make a living at beekeeping, what it takes, and if it is really your cup of tea.
    There are easier ways to make a living...and less painful ways to lose money.
    Good luck!
    Steven

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Loganville/Greensboro, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    241

    Default Re: Can you make a living with Bees

    I am a sideliner and honey production is a part of our overall farm offerings. I plan to be at 50 hives in atleast 3 yards in 2 years. After all my ciphering I figure to net about 10K$ a year in honey sales if lucky. There's an old saying.."If you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans" What say you of experince?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Salem, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Can you make a living with Bees

    I started raising honeybees about 5 years and have slowed increased to twenty hives. The most important advice is start small so when you make mistakes you don't loose hundreds of hives. My profit from 20 hives is about $12000 a year and I plan on growing to 40 hives by the end of this year. My customers pay top dollar for honey ($9 a pound) plus we have a roadside market so I have a wide customer base. I also rent all my hives for $100 each for apple and peach pollination in nearby orchards.

    In order for me to make $100,000 in a year I would need about 200 hives and average 60 pounds per hive plus be able to sell 95% of the honey at $9 a pound.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland, Bladen County, NC, USA
    Posts
    2,771

    Default Re: Can you make a living with Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by huffmanbeekeeping View Post
    In order for me to make $100,000 in a year I would need about 200 hives and average 60 pounds per hive plus be able to sell 95% of the honey at $9 a pound.
    I must be doing something wrong....
    “Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have travelled.” - The Quran

  16. #16

    Default Re: Can you make a living with Bees

    if 9 bucks wasnt outrageous, my joke about your 40 lb average would be.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
    Posts
    3,121

    Default Re: Can you make a living with Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by huffmanbeekeeping View Post
    I started raising honeybees about 5 years In order for me to make $100,000 in a year I would need about 200 hives
    Yep..... I knew I was a slow learner. lol
    NUTRA-BEE feed supplements

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    24,477

    Default Re: Can you make a living with Bees

    It's a typo. He meant 2,000. And the $100,000.00 is Net, not Gross.

    "I'm from Missouri. You gotta show me."
    Mark Berninghausen "Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board." Zora Neale Hurston

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    1,883

    Default Re: Can you make a living with Bees

    Here's a trick: buy ten hives and bees. How much will this investment cost? See how much time ten hives takes. See how much honey they make. See how much money you can make selling the honey from ten hives at your current market. Subtract your expenses.

    Then do the math. How many hives does it take?

    My hunch is ten hives will not extrapolate into an accurate picture of earning $100K, but it will give you an idea of how much production your area will support and how adept you are at marketing your honey.
    Beekeeping With Twenty-five Hives: https://www.createspace.com/4152725

  20. #20

    Default Re: Can you make a living with Bees

    lol you guys crack me up

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