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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,584

    Default Beekeeping Businessmen or Businessmen who keep bees?

    I met and chatted w/ a Branding Expert. He has worked for some pretty well known customers. Names you would recognize. He got me thinking about some stuff.

    I have 600 colonies and package and distribute 30,000 lbs of honey across Northern NY from the St. Lawrence Seaway to the other side of The Northway (Rt. 87) overlooking Lake Champlain. Just to give you a rough idea about my area and what I do. I migrate south for the winter and pollinate apples in NY in the spring. have done so for the last 20 years.

    So, am I just dabbling at business? Is my "business" just a hobby on steroids? My business w/ the hard to say and harder to understand name? Try saying "Hello, this is Mark from Squeak Creek Apiaries. Do you need any honey this week?" and see how many times you get a "Huh?" in response.

    So, you beekeepers who are running lots of colonies, are you beekeeping business persons or business persons who keep bees? What kind of business background do you have? Do you know who your competition is and do things differently because of that knowledge? Do you want to be on the NY Stock Exchange?
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  2. #2

    Default Re: Beekeeping Businessmen or Businessmen who keep bees?

    I started with two hives to control my allergies. I now have 300 and need to grow to 800 to supply the demand I have created. I was a sales manager for 20 years but left the corporate world when the stress became to much. Good Business Acumen is very important in running a commercial beekeeping operation. I started with a 3 year plan and a 5 year plan that is very fluid because problems come up and you have to change it but the focus is still there on what you need to do. I market myself every chance I get. I have donated hives and observation hives to tv stations, Museums, Nature Centers, County Fairs and every time I call the Local paper to do a artical on it. Every time someone sees my name it is a marketing opportunity for raines honey farm. I talk to every organization that wants a speaker and the demand for me to talk is so great I get booked up every year. I have to turn people away to get my beekeeping done.

    I also know a lot of other business men who want to keep bees but they lack the nurturing instinct you need to be a good beekeeper. To be really good you have to have both traits in your own personality.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,729

    Default Re: Beekeeping Businessmen or Businessmen who keep bees?

    are you beekeeping business persons or business persons who keep bees?

    I do not believe that the two are mutually exclusive, beekeeping and business, but rather on a continuum, a shifting percentage. If the question where asked, "where you a businessman first?, or a beekeeper first?" , I could answer that I was a hobby beekeeper for many years, but our family has been in the beekeeping business since 1852(commercial). So which came first?

    What kind of business background do you have?

    Took 2 accounting and 2 business courses in college. Degree in biology.

    Do you know who your competition is ...

    NOT that junk from China.

    do things differently because of that knowledge?

    Yes, but only slightly, pursuing the least chemicals in the hive that I can do.

    Do you want to be on the NY Stock Exchange?

    Don't have bees on Wall street.


    Roland Diehnelt
    Linden Apiary, Est. 1852

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Ohio
    Posts
    854

    Thumbs Up Re: Beekeeping Businessmen or Businessmen who keep bees?

    Beekeeper or Businessman

    OHIO'S LARGEST HONEY PRODUCER

    I'm a second generation honey producer. My family has been in the business for over 40 years. I'ts always been an out of control hobby running 800-850 hives a year for honey production only. My avg. production is 155 lb per hive. I've bought all the comm. beekeepers out years ago in my area. My costomers are the beekeepers that can't produce enough to meet demand.

    My biggest problem lately has been pricing. How high do you go??? The produce alway gets screwed.s Thats where the business man has to kick in.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Knox County, Ohio
    Posts
    2,694

    Default Re: Beekeeping Businessmen or Businessmen who keep bees?

    I've always heard that in today's world, the product you make/produce is not what will make or break you. It is the management decisions that will determine your business success.

    My Aunt's ex-husband has a PhD in entomology, specializing in honeybees. He probably has forgotten more about bees than I know. He has taught at universities for years. He even tried being a small commercial beekeeper for 4 years in South Dakota - he bought a guy's operation running 400 hives. He only lasted for 4 years because he went belly up. You can be the best beekeeper in the world, but without business sense, you won't make it.

    If you have business sense, it doesn't matter what business you get into - you will do all right.

    I have no college education. I was raised poor, and developed a hunger to succeed. My background is in eBaying, grain farming, heirloom vegetable seed production, etc....and growing into beekeeping.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Nigril, Jamaica
    Posts
    26

    Smile Re: Beekeeping Businessmen or Businessmen who keep bees?

    Perhaps the term BEEKEEPING makes our business sound like jokes to most "outsiders". To start accessing loan in my neck of the woods we now refer to ourselves as BEE-FARMERS instead, which in itself is a weird term since the bees does all the work.However whatever we chose to call ourselves,we will prevail.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Faulkner Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    1,699

    Default Re: Beekeeping Businessmen or Businessmen who keep bees?

    I think we need a balance of both. We would be unsuccessful if we did not.
    Last edited by honeyshack; 08-08-2010 at 10:16 PM.

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