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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    collbran, co
    Posts
    535

    Default Re: Where's the $ in beekeeping?

    first if your in to making money you start to forget about the bees..as a hobby keeper i make money to play with my hobby and yes it takes a few years to make your money back.as it is with every business you have to spend the money then in time you will get a return on you investment...you also have to remember you make splits that has to be included into your profit since you didn't have to buy the bees that year also for me i get entertainment watching the bees how much would you spend for that..make your own equipment money saved there no shipping include that catch a swarm +$150 dollars since there no shipping and price of a 6# package of bees...

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,774

    Default Re: Where's the $ in beekeeping?

    Frank - yes. I've run an aquatics company for 12 years, and when I am worried about money, and profit and etc., I have to remind myself that first I am a fishkeeper. I tend the fish, the rest sorts itself out. I see the bees much the same way. I like Michael Bush's line - everything works if you let it.
    And I think I'm ready to talk to my ex-neighbor about the bees occupying her shed. Ferals. Am I ready? It will be an educational event.
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,382

    Default Re: Where's the $ in beekeeping?

    Quote Originally Posted by D Semple View Post
    This year (as a first year beek) I made close to 10 K doing removals on weekends and also
    The only way to make more with that model is to set some free to get more swarm calls. Just kidding there is money in removals. But, carpentry skills and liability is an issue with that.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Stillwell, KS
    Posts
    645

    Default Re: Where's the $ in beekeeping?

    Quote Originally Posted by EastSideBuzz View Post
    The only way to make more with that model is to set some free to get more swarm calls. Just kidding there is money in removals. But, carpentry skills and liability is an issue with that.
    Shhhhhhh - I figure all the new backyard beekeepers here in town are all ready doing that for me.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Galt, CA
    Posts
    881

    Default Re: Where's the $ in beekeeping?

    Quote Originally Posted by EastSideBuzz View Post
    carpentry skills and liability is an issue with that.
    That's what contracts are for, my contract clearly states, that I do not do repairs, I am not a contractor, so I can not do the repairs. I will do everything I can to keep cut out area to a minimum, and if there is a need to go bigger that I originally guess or expected, I let them know before hand. I had one wall that went into 3 different bays between the studs. I get my contract signed before I do the first cut. Overtime was pleantyful around work this year, so I didn't do any extractions even though I was getting calls for them. Next year, I will probably do some as overtime is suppose to be gone, that hasn't happened so far everytime they say that, but we'll see.
    As far as making money, it's there to be made, but I don't see early retirement from my current job anywhere on the horizons.

    C2

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,774

    Default Re: Where's the $ in beekeeping?

    Quote Originally Posted by D Semple View Post
    Shhhhhhh - I figure all the new backyard beekeepers here in town are all ready doing that for me.
    Unfortunately, I think you are right about that... It's rough being a newbeek
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,382

    Default Re: Where's the $ in beekeeping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gypsi View Post
    Unfortunately, I think you are right about that... It's rough being a newbeek
    This year is a killer for new beek's. For us here in WA wost honey year in a long time if not ever.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,887

    Default Re: Where's the $ in beekeeping?

    Quote Originally Posted by EastSideBuzz View Post
    The only way to make more with that model is to set some free to get more swarm calls. Just kidding there is money in removals. But, carpentry skills and liability is an issue with that.
    People willing to pay to have them removed is starting to wain some, it was booming at the height of CCD media coverage a few years ago, but over the last year I saw a big drop in people willing to pay... I quit doing them completely now.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Mansfield, OH
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: Where's the $ in beekeeping?

    I am obviously the odd ball out here, but in my opinion there is plenty of money to be made inbrekeeping. I have personally never figured out why people always say it is so hard, as a billion dollar industry there is money in it, and whichever fastet of the industry you choose there is relatively low start up cost, you will spend much more time just waiting on the bees mature ten anything since in my eyes beekeeping is a year turn around. Spend a dollar this year make two next you can't expect an immediate return; if you do woodenware smokers or other supplies you can however spend a dollar Monday and possibly make a dollar fifty Tuesday.

    You have to think as a business and act as such you are not a beekeeper, you are a business and must conduct your operation as such. If it's cheaper to buy wood and make your own boxes, do it, if it's cheaper to raise queens and make splits, well you better learn how to do so. Three people come to mind when I mention this, mr. Bush, don the fatbeeman, and mr householder. Each of these three run there operation not as a industry standard but what works and is profitable. Mr bush has a very streamlined operation that takes little resources for his splits and queen rearing possibly one of the most time and labor saving operations out there. Don I know less about but he as well is efficient in his use of resources with boxes, queen, rearing and nucs. Mr householder has his business plan down to a t and however controversial his method may be is an excellent businessman. He spends ten if thousands year after year, very abnormal, but with an excellent customer base and know how and when to do what with everyhive and every product from the hive he recuperates every bit of his investment plus a sizable profit.

    Woodenware, queen rearing, nucs, packages, beeswax, candles, all mmulti million dollar individual industries. My advice? Think for a week about what your going to do, what you need todo it, where and how your going to get those things, how much it will cost to make it, who will buy it and when. And then spend another week questioning more experienced people about your idea, do some trial and error find what works for you and is feasable and then spend one day making it work.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,086

    Default Re: Where's the $ in beekeeping?

    Quote Originally Posted by EastSideBuzz View Post
    For us here in WA wost honey year in a long time if not ever.
    The same here and for folks in Wisconsin too. I wonder what's going on? If I get half a crop I will be happy.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,774

    Default Re: Where's the $ in beekeeping?

    One reason removals are down locally is that $2.89 wasp spray at Home Depot. Texans are tough, hard headed diy people. My main niche industry involves rescuing them from their diy projects... (tough too, because I am a woman, but by the time they are on my phone they don't care.)

    Weather all over the country seems to have been "wrong" this year. My uncle in Nevada had normal weather, but family in Michigan never got their garden in, too much rain. I planted, and I've had garden despite drought, but I sure in heck won't have honey.
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,476

    Default Re: Where's the $ in beekeeping?

    Really Mark? How did the guy in Sauquoit do?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,949

    Default Re: Where's the $ in beekeeping?

    Quote Originally Posted by EastSideBuzz View Post
    For us here in WA wost honey year in a long time if not ever.
    I know that I am almost in Oregon, but for me this was an average year. I got 80lb/hive in one yard and 75/hive in the other. One hive filled 5 medium supers. I have never had one do that before. These were averages from hives that produced honey. My other hives were used for queens and nuc splits, and were not counted in the averages.

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Harsens Island , Mi , USA
    Posts
    241

    Default Re: Where's the $ in beekeeping?

    How to make $ in bees ? Have me buy stuff off of you .

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,086

    Default Re: Where's the $ in beekeeping?

    Why? Do you pay better than others?
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Imperial, MO, USA
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: Where's the $ in beekeeping?

    Quote Originally Posted by wkinne View Post
    I went to Home Depot Saturday to pick up four 1 X 12's eight foot long, but they were out But a salesmen told me he could sell me 10 footers for the same price

    So I get 12.5 deeps instead of 10 deeps!

    Wayne
    Watch out Wayne - that 1/2 of a deep is liable to allow lots of bees to escape!

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Northampton, MA
    Posts
    196

    Default Re: Where's the $ in beekeeping?

    We're starting to make some money keeping bees.

    We have a couple of very good wholesale customers, strong branding and a reasonable idea of what we want to do. We're not going to quit our regular jobs, we just want to turn a few extra thousand dollars per year.

    We wrote a business plan and met with the local Small Business Association. We run the business like a real business. We keep track of expenses and time. We claim a Schedule F on taxes.

    We went to local stores with product samples and asked them how we could improve the product to have more shelf appeal. We don't deal with people that cannot handle a volume that will make both of us money so that the relationship is important to both of us.

    We also seek out an manage publicity. We partner with locals (we're trying to be the honey of the local spelling bee) so that we're well know in our market.

    All this may sound like a lot, but what it really amounts to in having good outlets that give us a good price for our honey and are large customers. When we get endorsements from people (the mayor, for example) we're holding up our end of the bargain for those that retail our honey.

    In this way we manage hives and don't spend hours every Saturday at the farmers market.

    Next year we've struck some strategic deals with farmers so that we provide pollination for free in exchange for them bringing our honey to the market (from hives on their land) and giving us 100% of the retail.

    I figure my own time at $25/hr. There is no way I am going to make money if I have to schlep around to farmers markers.

    If I ever get to the point that my retailers cannot handle all my production I may start doing some retail, but I would sooner hire an attractive young woman to attend the farmers markets before I went to them myself.

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Bardstown, KY, USA
    Posts
    321

    Default Re: Where's the $ in beekeeping?

    Welcome to American Agriculture -

    Sad to say it, but when you enter the most efficient food producing industry in the world, it is tough making a large amount of money. However, I have found the one point that I call the Phil-Point (named after your's truely): "You can sell so much of an agricultural product from the farm with little to no problem. Once you pass that point, the effort grows fast....."

    I found that true with beef too.... So, when I wrote my business plan and goals (yes, you need to write them down) I wrote my advantage is I already have beef customers and my wife is a dessert chef (yes, I married well). Furthermore, I can harvest my own wood and split my own bees. I can expand at a particular pace with not much input cost.

    Therefore, when I do make some money, it will go into my piggy-bank until I have enough to purchase more bees if I lose everyone during one year. I am also attempting to understand what many are doing with chemical-free bee keeping....

    Hey - I know a man who live just across the river from you. He keeps 20 hives as a "sideline" and makes good money at two local festivals....

    Good luck and God's speed.
    Phil
    Grandchildren are the best.... Bees a close second....

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,697

    Default Re: Where's the $ in beekeeping?

    I predict(which is how I got the "crazy" moniker), that when the flow of funny honey subsides, and it will, that the sudden increase in demand will drive the price up for a brief period, until more people get into beekeeping and flood the market.

    Be prepared by focusing on producing the purest honey you can.

    Crazy Roland

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,774

    Default Re: Where's the $ in beekeeping?

    If the funny honey flow gets stopped at the border, or discontinues, I'd take that bet Roland.

    As it is, I didn't buy that 5 lbs of Burleson's at Costco today, even for my bees. I'll get some honey at the feed store tomorrow.

    Gypsi
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

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