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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Chowchilla, California
    Posts
    20

    Default What is considered commercial. Ok need help with budget?

    Is it a number of colonies or your primary income. I have been messing around with the insects for a couple of years now and would like to get to0 100 or 200 hives. Is anyone willing to share some of your budget rule of thumb with me. thanks in advance. Intially if I could look at it as cost per 100 hives with possible income strategies. As most of the local boys seem all over the board. I have a opportunity to purchase 25 ten frame new boxes, with 8 frame guarantee for 115. The idea being to split and get to 100 colonies by season end. Sounds pretty good but what would the cost be to add equipment and supplies and does anyone have some examples. I understand if I am asking to much info. but the old saying goes your miss 100 % of the shots you don't take. Much appreciated for any positive direction from the group Is the example above possible?
    Last edited by blackflag; 03-16-2011 at 11:05 AM. Reason: Question is answered in discription box above.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,497

    Default Re: What is considered commercial?

    Your fixed costs - boxes, frames, tops, pallets or bottoms, etc. should be easy to figure out. You just need to get a bee catalog and do the math. The other thing you didn't mention is are you just doing pollination or honey or both? If you are doing honey you are going to need supers, extrator, spinners, space or shop, etc. so you will need to figure that in . Figure 3 supers min. to start with so with 100 hives you should have 300 supers on hand and that may be short. Lastly, you will need a truck, swinger or use of one, and yards.

    On top of that, don't expect to get 100 hives our of 25 in a season. I like to figure it like this. If I have 100 strong hives for splits I figure I can get 70 good spits started. (3-5 frame splits) Given that, if nothing else goes wrong you can get close to doubling your hives but not necessary a honey crop.

    But if you are looking to do it from a business stand point and if you are doing it commercially then you should, I would start like this.

    Budget. What is your budget. This is going to determine how many hives you can manage and afford the first year. Remember that buying the equipment and bees are only ONE part of what your expenses should be. Once you start to generate some income, you can expand more and more which should allow you to make more and thus grow your operation.

    Some key things to remember. Don't quit your day job just yet. It will be very though to expand your business and make enough to live on at the same time. Most beekeeping costs are up front, so the longer you are in it, the cheaper your operating costs should be ONCE you stop expanding. Anyway, those are some things to think about. Good luck.
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid. John Wayne

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
    Posts
    9,123

    Default Re: What is considered commercial?

    Quote Originally Posted by alpha6 View Post
    Some key things to remember. Don't quit your day job just yet.

    Now that is the number one, most important point
    for sure.....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Malabar, FL
    Posts
    1,268

    Default Re: What is considered commercial?

    agreed, dont quit the day job...its gonna be a few years for an operation to support itself and start returning the initial investment
    A government large enough to provide everything you need is strong enough to take everything you have. T. Jefferson

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland, Bladen County, NC, USA
    Posts
    2,906

    Default Re: What is considered commercial?

    #2. Don't mortgage the farm on a bee operation.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Palm Bay, FL, USA
    Posts
    2,297

    Default Re: What is considered commercial?

    Don't even consider borrowing money to build a bee business. Next year could be a booming year or it could be 100% loss year. It's an agriculture business and subject to weather, pests, disease, and too many other nasties to list.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,103

    Default Re: What is considered commercial?

    I wouldn't have the business I do were it not for FSA Loans, which are different from Bank Loans.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,821

    Default Re: What is considered commercial?

    I built and paid for half a bee keeping operation at 16% interest money the last time Jimmy Carter was President. But I kept my day job and worked my butt off. I had wonderful locations though and low overhead. I worked off my extraction with a commercial guy. Had the ugliest truck in the world and didn't spend a dime I didn't absolutely have to. Ya gotta wanna!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Clear Lake, WI / Sebring, FL
    Posts
    618

    Default Re: What is considered commercial?

    Quote Originally Posted by alpha6 View Post
    ONCE you stop expanding.
    Most commercial beekeepers stop expanding when they die.

    A bee business is just that a "business" and like most businesses you need access to capital to expand. I wouldn't take a loan out and buy an operation without having the experience and a good foundation to run it though.

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