# Thread: Can you make a living with Bees

1. Join Date
Apr 2009
Location
Issaquah,WA,USA
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## Re: Can you make a living with Bees

I figure every 100 hives cost 15k so building up to 500 hives is a size able investment. Then add in the truck and fork lift it is close to 100k to have a shot at 100k a year as a poor farmer.

2. Join Date
Dec 2008
Location
Menomonee Falls, Wis.
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## Re: Can you make a living with Bees

The point is that Householder has the whole family involved in the business(you should meet the super assembler). They where working untill 9 at night when I stopped by. It appears that most of the family helps out. Their cost is alot more hidden than the paper trail cost of new woodenware, extracting equipment, and building.

Crazy Roland

3. Join Date
Apr 2011
Location
Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
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1,530

## Re: Can you make a living with Bees

Eastside,
15k for 100 hives
Can you break that number down?
Is that buying them outright ?

4. Join Date
Sep 2011
Location
Reno, NV
Posts
1,543

## Re: Can you make a living with Bees

Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack
 ((\$2.20 * 127lbs) - \$90expenses) * 527.98hives = \$99,999.412
That would due to the number being rounded. not at all uncommon since there is actually a function on most calculators to round to the selected significant decimal point. in this case 2.
2.2*127-90=189.4
\$100,000 / 189.4 = 527.9831045
so you can see that when rounded the number of hives does work out to 527.98. This rounding would account for the error you see of 0.588

5. Join Date
Jul 2010
Location
Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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3,630

## Re: Can you make a living with Bees

my avg expences is \$90 a hive.
The way to find expenses per hive is when at years end your accountant does your balance sheet. Take the total of ALL items in the expenses column and divide by the number of hives you have.

These expenses include such "invisibles" as public liability insurance and legal compliances, interest on money you owe, depreciation on your equipment. If you employ your kids and don't pay them, it's a cost. Why? Cos if they weren't working for you they could have been working somewhere else and bringing home a cheque. What happens when they get a real job and leave you?

The true cost per hive, will be way more than a guy with 20 hives all paid for and not costing his vehicle, or time spent at markets, could ever dream of.

6. Join Date
Nov 2008
Location
NW, Ohio
Posts
805

## Re: Can you make a living with Bees

Originally Posted by jim lyon
2100 new boxes for 800 hives? There is the new standard for optimism.
Jim, these are just boxes to change out in the honey house this summer. Some of my boxes are getting a little worn out, even if Mom keeps trying to fix them up. Might have ruined her with painting these new boxes, she might not fix another box.

7. Join Date
Aug 2009
Location
Dublin, NC, USA
Posts
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## Re: Can you make a living with Bees

lol I dont think anybody talked about when half the bees die. Its probably better to start with a small number maybe 50, and build hive numbers from there. At least that way you arent juggling thousands in stock you can mismanage and kill in a single season. jmo

8. Join Date
Sep 2008
Location
Herrick, SD USA
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## Re: Can you make a living with Bees

Originally Posted by The Honey Householder
Jim, these are just boxes to change out in the honey house this summer. Some of my boxes are getting a little worn out, even if Mom keeps trying to fix them up. Might have ruined her with painting these new boxes, she might not fix another box.
I stand corrected, assumed boxes included frames and foundation. Doh!

9. Join Date
Jun 2011
Location
Duncan BC
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## Re: Can you make a living with Bees

Originally Posted by Skinner Apiaries
lol I dont think anybody talked about when half the bees die.
Optimistic business plans rarely account for the downside scenarios.

Realistic business plans, often start by acquiring equipment at a discount, from the reciever, after the optimist fails.

10. Join Date
Mar 2007
Location
Oregon City, Oregon
Posts
973

## Re: Can you make a living with Bees

One of our "big time" keepers out here said to net 100k a year in beekeeping start the year with 200k in your account....

11. Join Date
Apr 2009
Location
San Bernardino County California
Posts
168

## Re: Can you make a living with Bees

John the Baptist lived on honey and locusts no where near a 100k. But, he lived, and even influenced the course of history.
Can you make a living with bees? Who knows? Can bees help you live a better life? Definitely!

12. Join Date
Jun 2012
Location
Tampa, FL
Posts
10

## Re: Can you make a living with Bees

Wow - good number n the north. Florida the hives rent from \$35 to 50 a month or at each crop start (you may have a crop start mid month and so make double numbers that month). Honey is \$8 a pound in pound jars, and \$12 for 2 lb jars. Orange blossom is \$9 a lb, due to low rain fall. Gallons in plastic range from \$26 to 40 depending on the type of honey.

I agree in starting slow...making mistakes and learning from a smaller batch of hives is good. Then when you are comfortable, build to a sideliner. Start with one type of profit center. I did bee rescues first, charging \$100 to show up and then depending on the hive structure, charged more. Plus side, bees!

Next year I expanded the back door honey sales and branched out into farmer's markets.

I expect to expand by selling bee equipment now, seeking advise on wholesalers and who is a good company to distribute for. Seems Dadant does not have a program, just bulk discounts.

Welcome any advise on taking the next step.

If one wants to make a good profit in beekeeping,just like any business, you'll need to dovetail into different areas.

13. Join Date
Sep 2011
Location
Reno, NV
Posts
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## Re: Can you make a living with Bees

right idea but wrong numbers with the 10 hive suggestion. 10 hives will not give you even nearly a reliable average.
lets suppose that 10 hives can net \$1000 a year. this would only be 1% of the goal. not a very good number to base anything on. Also it would not require the same methods. You can manage 10 hives all by yourself in your spare time and manual labor. 1000 hives not only requires employees but equipment.
Management of 100 hives would not be of the same quality as that given to 10 hives. production would suffer and losses would be greater. A ten hive sample would be a complete waste of time. try 100 or so and you will get more into the 10% of average and a lot clearer on what it really takes labor, losses and equipment wise.

This last year I went from growing 130 or so tobacco plants in my back yard. to growing 1900. not even close to the same thing. Not grown in the same place, with the same equipment or with the same methods. completely different concerns and goals. last year focus was on intense care of every individual plant. this year is a general grow or be destroyed focus. It takes it from being a hobby to a job. and I want my profit period I have no interest in watching the plants grow this year. I am interested only in how much they will make me. They have a minimum requirement to meet or be abandoned.

14. Join Date
Apr 2012
Location
Rogersville, Missouri, USA
Posts
69

## Re: Can you make a living with Bees

Wait, go back... I still want to hear how to get \$9 per pound for my honey. Cause where I live, "that ain't happenin'!"

15. Join Date
Sep 2011
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Reno, NV
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## Re: Can you make a living with Bees

Originally Posted by Ozarks Honey Company
Wait, go back... I still want to hear how to get \$9 per pound for my honey. Cause where I live, "that ain't happenin'!"
Work at it.

16. Join Date
Sep 2008
Location
Herrick, SD USA
Posts
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## Re: Can you make a living with Bees

Originally Posted by Ozarks Honey Company
Wait, go back... I still want to hear how to get \$9 per pound for my honey.
Me too.
Daniel: I have known some who have operated up to a thousand hives with just seasonal help during the extracting season. We are currently operating over 1000 hives per full time worker though we will need additional help during the harvest. It's impossible to do a good job of that without good equipment though.

17. Join Date
May 2009
Location
Garland, Bladen County, NC, USA
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## Re: Can you make a living with Bees

Daniel_Y:

What are you doing with those tobacco plants?

Herb... from brightleaf country

18. Join Date
Sep 2011
Location
Reno, NV
Posts
1,543

## Re: Can you make a living with Bees

Herb, Growing it for our use. Four cigarette smokers in my household and this is meant to be a three year supply. if it works we will then scale back down to a one year supply per year. From nearly 1900 plants to 500. But it is going to be backbreaking work for this one year.

You can be proud, Brightleaf is one of the main varieties we are growing.

19. Join Date
Sep 2010
Location
Stafford, Virginia
Posts
186

## Re: Can you make a living with Bees

Here in the DC area, we charge \$10.00 a pound for honey and get it. We routinely sell out at Farmers Markets on Friday/Saturday. However, we are fortunate enough to be located next to a large government employer. Between selling packages, Nucs, equipment, and teaching classes, we do okay. We will never be rich at this, but I am never happier than when I work those bees. I work a day job as a contractor for FBI, and the satisfaction never comes close to when i am with my bees listening to that humming. I dont know what it is, possibly, it reminds me of working the bees with my dad when I was nine, but I do love it and cant imagine myself not doing it.

20. Join Date
Jan 2011
Location
Great Falls Montana
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2,645

## Re: Can you make a living with Bees

Remember Steve Martins comedy routine about how to live off the interest from a million dollars before he had a million dollars?? The answer was," First, Get a million dollars!"

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