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  1. #1
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    Default Is SC business plan, small sell?

    Oldtimer makes some good points and they are points I have carefully avoided because I respect the attempts that many are making to be treatment free but since it's out there I do think the issue of whether there is actually any successful business model out there of a profitable self sustaining treatment free operation for those actually wanting to make a living at it. I'm talking about someone who is earning a living by selling honey, bees or pollination income and not the side businesses of writing, teaching or lecturing about being treatment free. I don't mean this in any way as a criticism of those folks and their passion for keeping bees as they see fit, I just think the question of economic viability is a fair one to be addressed on this forum if perhaps not in this particular thread.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Is SC business plan, small sell?

    You wiley devil Barry. Oh well what can I say? The words are mine. Incoming!!!!!!
    Actually in re-reading the SC exchange I missed your question to me, no matter hope it turns out to be a constructive thread.
    Last edited by jim lyon; 12-07-2011 at 08:16 PM. Reason: correction
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  3. #3
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    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
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    Default Re: Is SC business plan, small sell?

    I believe it is possible for a FEW individuals to make a profit of adequate size to support themselves solely from treatment free beekeeping. Unfortunately, with CCD, it will be quite difficult for those that are not adept at epidemic control and sterilization techniques. "We ain't in Kansas any more". Mites alone are not that big a deal, it is getting past CCD and being treatment free, that is the tough nut to crack.

    It will help if that individual can bring allot of family history, and family experience, to help with the sell. Of course, the target clientele will not be blue collar, but rather the "carriage trade" , and the honey priced accordingly.

    I see no future in treatment free pollination. No one would pay extra for it, that I am aware of.

    Did that sound too much like "Mein Kampf"?

    Crazy Roland

  4. #4
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    Dec 1999
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    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    Default Re: Is SC business plan, small sell?

    Well, I've often had the same question. I don't get my income from bees, so this isn't something I have to be concerned about. But you and other's certainly do. Dee is the only one I know of actually making their living off of SC beekeeping. What are the real numbers? I don't know. Not sure how one in your situation could realistically convert over.
    Regards, Barry

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Is SC business plan, small sell?

    I'm looking forward to Seeing Michael Bush go full time. I will certainly be supporting his business.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Is SC business plan, small sell?

    BArry wrote:

    Not sure how one in your situation could realistically convert over.


    To whom was that addressed?

    Crazy Roland

  7. #7
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    Garland, Bladen County, NC, USA
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    Default Re: Is SC business plan, small sell?

    Is this the place... where it would not be too negative - to ask about the nature of the Lusby operation? Is her primary source of income Honey... Bees... or is she mainly involved with lecturing, writing, or something else we might not define as typical of a commercial operation. I am not asking this with any kind of agenda... just that if there is an SC commercial operation of some type out there... then there is something to be learned.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Is SC business plan, small sell?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland View Post
    I see no future in treatment free pollination. No one would pay extra for it, that I am aware of.
    I'm reading a possible assumption here, why must one pay extra? Is not one's extra payment the lack of treating required?
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  9. #9
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    Dec 1999
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    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    Default Re: Is SC business plan, small sell?

    Regarding Dee, she may receive revenue from side ventures (speaking, etc.), but selling her honey has been the main source when I last talked with her. Who knows if there are other side business interests (rental income, family monies, etc.). Then to get a real handle on things, one would have to know if that income is suitable for someone else's lifestyle. Lots of variables.
    Regards, Barry

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Is SC business plan, small sell?

    Roland, I was addressing Jim's post.
    Regards, Barry

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Is SC business plan, small sell?

    Thank you.

    Roland

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Is SC business plan, small sell?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    Regarding Dee, she may receive revenue from side ventures (speaking, etc.), but selling her honey has been the main source when I last talked with her.
    So if you take away the honey... she goes bankrupt? That would tell me she has real skin in the game, and therefore a fully qualified commercial SC operation.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Is SC business plan, small sell?

    I wouldn't draw that conclusion. I have no idea what her situation is, but people can have all kinds of "other revenue" that would allow them to still be financially secure should their work slow down. Another factor is what kind of overhead does one have. A bad year would severely hurt a guy that has buildings and equipment he's paying on versus a guy who has it all paid for. Just too many variables.
    Regards, Barry

  14. #14
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    Hamilton, Alabama
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    Default Re: Is SC business plan, small sell?

    The underlying question is whether or not small cell is viable in a commercial operation. The corollary question is whether the cost of treatments can be offset by conversion to small cell.

    Small cell is just as viable as large cell in a commercial operation. Essentially, there is no cost to converting to small cell given that you work with the bees to get them down to the size and that you do not spend up front for the conversion. In other words, as combs need renewal, do it with small cell and the expense is the same as it would have been with large cell.

    If you can run the small cell operation entirely treatment free, then obviously you forego the cost of treatments. This means you can avoid roughly $15 per colony per year in up front cost of treatments (labor plus materials) and you can avoid the long term but hard to quantify effects that treatments have on the bees.

    From my perspective, I really enjoy being able to produce honey without putting dangerous chemicals in the hive.

    DarJones
    DarJones - 44 years, 10 colonies (max 40), sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 11 frame broodnest, small cell

  15. #15
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Is SC business plan, small sell?

    As I understand Dee has sold all her property in town to buy the ranch so I'm sure she is not collecting any rent. She speaks at maybe three or four meetings a year, and I doubt they pay more than a few hundred. She makes her living selling honey.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  16. #16
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    VENTURA, California, USA
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    Default Re: Is SC business plan, small sell?

    Re;
    Mites alone are not that big a deal.
    Can you explain the above statement.
    Thanks,
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Is SC business plan, small sell?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    I wouldn't draw that conclusion. I have no idea what her situation is, but people can have all kinds of "other revenue" Just too many variables.
    Yea,,, I agree. It is definitely a qualitative judgement. The more I hear.. the more I suspect.. that she would fit into that category I would call a Commercial SC Bee Keeper.

    Now if someone comes up with a migratory SC one... , but I just don't see how they could exist.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Is SC business plan, small sell?

    Considering the losses I've taken moving in the past, I tend to agree. However Dean says they exist and I'm still looking forward to getting the details.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  19. #19
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    Jun 2010
    Location
    Stillwell, KS
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    544

    Default Re: Is SC business plan, small sell?

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    Oldtimer makes some good points and they are points I have carefully avoided because I respect the attempts that many are making to be treatment free but since it's out there I do think the issue of whether there is actually any successful business model out there of a profitable self sustaining treatment free operation for those actually wanting to make a living at it. I'm talking about someone who is earning a living by selling honey, bees or pollination income and not the side businesses of writing, teaching or lecturing about being treatment free. I don't mean this in any way as a criticism of those folks and their passion for keeping bees as they see fit, I just think the question of economic viability is a fair one to be addressed on this forum if perhaps not in this particular thread.

    Paradigm is wrong.


    Small Cell / Treatment free / Natural beekeeping and maximizing profits are completely different goals and in direct opposition to each other.


    Jeez, I sound like a tree hugger, somebody shoot me.

    Don

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
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    Default Re: Is SC business plan, small sell?

    Small Cell / Treatment free / Natural beekeeping and maximizing profits are completely different goals and in direct opposition to each other.
    I would not put them in direct opposition. I would consider them to not be aligned but not opposed. The reason is that maximizing profits inherently involves doing things that just don't happen in a natural colony. For example, it is not natural for a colony to be packed up on a truck and moved 500 miles four times in a year to get pollination rental. It is also not natural for bees to work a single floral source for several weeks because that is the only food available. These are what commercial beekeepers do to make a profit. It is not what bees do under natural conditions.

    Said another way, I make enough honey to consider my bees to be profitable. I just don't try to maximize profits to the detriment of the bees.

    DarJones
    DarJones - 44 years, 10 colonies (max 40), sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 11 frame broodnest, small cell

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