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Thread: Money?

  1. #21
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    Southbury, CT
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    Default Re: Money?

    There are outfits in Ga which do not even extract honey... their complete business model is based on bee and queen production and they clear millions per year doing so. Some of the larger outfits don't even do pollination contracts and don't migrate.

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Money?

    This report has some honey production data. http://usda01.library.cornell.edu/us...992/sb1025.pdf

    Page 3 has state averages. It looks like for AR the state average is in the 70 something pounds a year for the years identified.

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Money?

    Quote Originally Posted by keeper View Post
    There are outfits in Ga which do not even extract honey... their complete business model is based on bee and queen production and they clear millions per year doing so. Some of the larger outfits don't even do pollination contracts and don't migrate.
    I thought we were talking the average beekeeping outfit. I didn't consider package or queen producers. You are probably right about that.

    Larger outfits not pollinating or migrating? Hmmm, the largest do. Maybe you know some large ones who don't. Ones I don't know of ort are familiar with. That's possible. I'll concede that.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Money?

    I think the average in TN/AR area is ~40lbs per hive, but who knows what you will actually get. It's all about the area your in and the nectar sources.

    I've spent somewhere around 3-5k on bees, woodenware, and associated gear over the last 3 years. I started with one hive and now have ~35.

    I've only extracted a little bit of honey. ~9 gallons off 2 hives last year and ~6-7 (80 1lb bottles) gallons off 1.5 hives this year.

    My honey has been selling for ~5 bucks a pound and expect to make $360 off honey sells. So in a perfect world that is full of rainbows and kittens, I "could" have made $12.5k off honey the 35 hives.......

    I'm sure I would have gotten more honey, but I've been splitting the bees pretty hard and raising queens. I should have my first 10-15 queens for sale on July 9th, which could be another 300 bucks.

    Eventually, I see the possibility of making money, but currently.... I could make more working a weekend of overtime.

    I plan to get up to ~200-500 hives in the next couple years. I might start making some money with honey, queens, and nucs.... But for the moment. I'm still in the hole.

    -Kevin

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Money?

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    $90.00 plus $38.80 plus $16.00 equals $144.00 income per colony. Somehow that doesn't look right. I must have missed something. If it takes $175.00 to support a hive, then I've lost $31.00/colony. Which I don't think I did. Something is wrong w/ my figures.
    It is a hard life isn't it? Everything looks like a cash cow when you look and the money coming in. It is not until you look and the money going out that you can differentiate between the cow and goose's egg.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  6. #26
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    Default Re: Money?

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinR View Post
    I plan to get up to ~200-500 hives in the next couple years. I might start making some money with honey, queens, and nucs.... But for the moment. I'm still in the hole.

    -Kevin
    What is your infatuation with losing money on bees if you can make a ton of money on the weekends? When you get to 500 hives it is not going to be fun anymore.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Money?

    If you talk about hours worked, I might have the 175 bucks per hive, but I don't have anywhere near that for maintenance cost.

    In fact, I don't think it would cost me 175 bucks

    $92 on frames/woodenware (top, bottom and 4 supers) and $80 for a 4lb package.

    I can feed, graft a queen and split the hive in less than 4 weeks for 100 dollar nuc. *shrugs*

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Money?

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    What is your infatuation with losing money on bees if you can make a ton of money on the weekends? When you get to 500 hives it is not going to be fun anymore.
    I work in IT and live in my cubicle, which I hate.

    I grew up on a farm, productive farming takes expensive land and equipment. Bees poach on other peoples land for a low investment cost.

    I wouldn't lose money, when I actually started to do it as a business. In fact, I'm not "really" losing money now.

    I have 35 hives for less than $145 per. I could split and dump them all for 70 hives at 100 per or $7000 and make 2000 over my total investment.

    But, I'm looking for the long term.

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Money?

    If you are trying to think like a businessman and you equated your time as $0 dollars invested you are behind the 8 ball. Not much future in that business.

    I work in IT and live in my cubicle, which I hate
    Switch jobs you could be seeing the world.
    Last edited by Acebird; 06-29-2012 at 06:13 AM.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Money?

    I could or I could retire from this career. I'm realist and make very good money.

    Don't assume that I don't know how the business world works.

  11. #31
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    Default Re: Money?

    I can't speak for AR or LA states, but I would figure how many hives above 6 frames of brood it would take to take to the almonds in California, where they took around $165 per box last couple of years (although some got as high as $250 late in the season).

    Alternately how many could be taken for the tupelo in the Gulf states. This is much different work - very labor intensive, and is the east coast / southern states favorite honey. I would wince to make comb honey unless I was a very small, new operation and could not afford a honey room yet. It is more of a labor of love / beekeeper only / health food zealot kind of thing, ie. not very profitable, but liquid tupelo honey on a good year could put some serious honey bucks in a guy's pocket.

    Also, if you read the Cornell university article Adrian Quiney included above, Louisiana beat Arkansas in per hive yield every year from 2003 to 2007. It would take a local veteran beekeeper to tell you WHY...

    The artful management of a reasonable mix of pollination, package bee / overwintered nuc sales, honey production, queen sales, and the 30+ other ways of making money in this biz should keep you in the black about half of the years decade in, decade out. If you are already an almond grower, I could see doing it to save money. If you own a different business that makes money in short bursts and you're looking for something to do with all the excess time on your hands, it is a good sideline sometimes. Watching the stock market is a better one, as are arbitrage, trading gold, and flipping houses. A Chiropractor who works 4 days a week could keep bees 2 days a week and make a little extra money sometimes. A guy who owns a pizza joint has to work every night and could never make it in the bee biz.

    It appears that for a career, move to California, Florida, the Dakotas, or Hawaii and get big and/or mobile or keep it a small to mid-sized sideline or hobby elsewhere. You still have to be already good at it to make it here in California, that is to say past the steep part of the learning curve, adept at spotting diseases, knowing how to treat everything, intuitive about hive and queen manipulations, etc., or you won't make it in a bee business even with mild winters and a 10-month bee season. Hawaii is a 12-month season, but you couldn't go there and make money in your first year - there's too much to learn and it is soooo different. Better to move into ND in the summer and out in the end of the summer. Florida requires lots of local knowledge like Hawaii.

    For steady income, work for the government, or sell insurance.
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 06-28-2012 at 09:37 PM. Reason: spelling, omissions

  12. #32
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    Default Re: Money?

    Tupelo?
    Do you think yards can easily be found?
    I would guess that it's a competitve game.

  13. #33
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    Default Re: Money?

    No, I seriously doubt it. I also wouldn't want to add the price of a load of docks, deal with the gulf oil spill, the fires in the panhandle or any of the rest of it, but a discussion of bees and money would require its mention. the conclusion of my post was work for the government if you want money...on second thought become a lawyer and a doctor who owns his own insurance company!

    If you happen to be in the Tupelo zone, that's where the money is. I happen to be in the Almond zone.The poor soul starting the thread is between the good money.

  14. #34
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    Default Re: Money?

    I don't think Mark lives high on the hog but living quite a distance from tupelo and almonds I think he makes good money but I am sure it varies.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  15. #35
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    Thumbs Up There is a lot of blue sky to sell a dreamer in the beekeeping field...

    Good question to stimulate discussion and expose us to the diversity represented in our membership.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oneupsuperdog View Post
    Can anyone tell me on average how much money a person can make on each (hive).....snip....?
    Quote Originally Posted by keeper View Post
    The most I have ever made off of a single hive in a single season was about $500.00 That was after expenses. But that was using the hives in nuc production and selling 8 nucs from each hive....snip....
    I'd like to see a graph of the demand and sale of NUCS over the last 15 years. How long will the demand be so high? I plan to keep four hives and a couple NUCS to bank brood and queens. To keep the mite populations under stress and slow the swarming impulse, it seems that splits are the way to go. When you reach your target number of hives, something has to change. You could go on selling the splits (when they are) established NUCS. Keeper shows us how to think outside the honey box.
    Last edited by Lburou; 06-29-2012 at 03:25 PM.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  16. #36
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    Default Re: There is a lot of blue sky to sell a dreamer in the beekeeping field...

    I'd honestly like to see packages fall to the wayside. They are a product with planned obsolescence in a sense. They keep customers coming back in my view.

    I don't sell splits as nucs, I sell established nucs with a queen who's been laying eggs in it long enough so that the most if not all the bees in it are hers. How much money can I make off this? Time will tell, but I've had not a single complaint about my products. I plan on keeping it that way.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  17. #37
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    Default Re: There is a lot of blue sky to sell a dreamer in the beekeeping field...

    I have only owned bees for 15 months, and I am to the point that the longer I stay with bees the more "confuseder" I become. But, in my opinion, agriculture is monetarily, a poor way to make a living. Almost all of my agriculture friends don't make a living, they just live on what they make.

    I think bees are on par with dry land farming. At best, you can make a sparse living, at worst, you will be broke and looking for employment after two dry years in succession. There appear to be a FEW commercial beekeepers that make good money out of bees, but it will take a long time to elevate yourself into their ranks. And even then you will only join them at the trough, if you are very good with bees and business and have good fortune. I think the long odds are that you can make more money working for WalMart.

  18. #38
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    Default Re: There is a lot of blue sky to sell a dreamer in the beekeeping field...

    Solomon seems to have the right idea - if you can average 90 lbs of honey per hive in Louisiana, you can make overwintered nucs and sell them for about $140 apiece.

  19. #39
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    Default Re: There is a lot of blue sky to sell a dreamer in the beekeeping field...

    Quote Originally Posted by lazy shooter View Post
    ...snip...There appear to be a FEW commercial beekeepers that make good money out of bees, but it will take a long time to elevate yourself into their ranks. And even then you will only join them at the trough, if you are very good with bees and business and have good fortune. I think the long odds are that you can make more money working for WalMart.
    I think location has a major role to play in success and failure...Oh, the weather too.

    Commercial Agriculture is based on the farmer paying retail for all his equipment and supplies and then sells for wholesale. Don't know any other business that does that.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  20. #40
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    Default Re: There is a lot of blue sky to sell a dreamer in the beekeeping field...

    Quote Originally Posted by lazy shooter View Post
    I think the long odds are that you can make more money working for WalMart.
    I sure hope not.One should be able to do as well as they are willing to work.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

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