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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts
    145

    Default Your new business plan

    If you were to plan to make your living mostly from honeybees starting with nothing but time, money, and the knowledge you have now. How would you do it?

    Please be realistic for the average person.

    Include things such as how quickly you'd expand and to what final # of hives, services and products you'd sell, branding, etc.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    S Hadley, Massachusetts USA
    Posts
    690

    Default Re: Your new business plan

    Do you subscribe to bee culture magazine? If so, my mentor Dan Conlon, just published a number of monthly articles. Very well written from a buisness point of view.
    Pearl City Apiary Michael and Loucil Bach

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,802

    Default Re: Your new business plan

    If I were to attempt to do such a thing and could put things like where I'm living and family relations on hold, I'd start by working for a commercial beekeeper. There is no way that I know of to learn the ins and outs of the business other than by doing it. What I do as a hobbyist is play - the mortgage still gets paid regardless of the honey crop.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Hartford, CT
    Posts
    607

    Default Re: Your new business plan

    Can u get government finance and or grants for beekeeping?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: Your new business plan

    start the business up just like any other business, from the ground up. Secure a bit of financing, develop a business plan and shoot for your targets. Expansion is a progressive thing, just like any other aspect of business, you cant over extend your financial resources.

    most have a second income until they are established enough to full time beekeep
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Norfolk, VA
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: Your new business plan

    I would go in the direction that I am interested in. What are you interested in? There is pollenation, woodenware manufacturing, selling bees, selling bee products, etc.

    You have to have the passion for it first. Then start small and build your customer base. Just like any other business.

    I don't think you can open up your doors and be a Mann Lake, or an Almond Pollenator w/ xxx hives without the background and experience.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Frederick County, Maryland, USA
    Posts
    412

    Default Re: Your new business plan

    Quote Originally Posted by Joes_bees View Post
    If you were to plan to make your living mostly from honeybees starting with nothing but time, money, and the knowledge you have now. How would you do it?
    As someone posted previously, commercial experience is indispensable in
    forming decisions about becoming commercial. If you can work for or with a
    commercial beekeeper/honey farmer for a season or part of a season, you'll
    answer many of your questions through your experience.


    Adam Finkelstein
    www.vpqueenbees.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    brownwood, TX, USA
    Posts
    820

    Default Re: Your new business plan

    A business plan is honest accounting. The first thing is how much money are you wanting to net from beekeeping? Then, how many hives or colonies will it take to produce that amount of honey. When will your first crop of honey be available? If you start with package bees or nucs there may not be a first year harvest. If so, how much money do you need to live on for 15 or so months? What is the initial set-up cost? Will you need paid help part time or full time. What is the auto and feed costs?

    In brief, you need to fill in the blanks for all of the above and more and set aside some contingency money. I bet you find it real discouraging. Still, you need to be honest with all of your answers, as most businesses fail because of lack of capital. It will take a lot of money to step into this business at the level you want. For sure, you will need to know a lot about this beekeeping before taking the first step. Good luck.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    965

    Default Re: Your new business plan

    I'd start in the winter by working a job that would allow me to save several thousand dollars for purchase of woodenware and other capital expenses, such as queens or queen raising time and equipment.

    I wouldn't harvest much, if any, honey in the spring, but would gather a good deal of pollen.

    I'd concentrated my effort on splits and queen rearing until the next spring.

    I'd go into winter with most of my stock in 2 story double nucs, and take my profit by selling some in the spring.

    Again, I'd work hard all winter, to replenish capital, and concentrate on increase the second year, and each following year until I had enough colonies to do well selling queens and nucs.
    It would take several years, but as you didn't mention how much money you are starting out with. I asimed little capital.

    The years needed for increase can surely be shortend by application of capital to purchase bee stock

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Stillwell, KS
    Posts
    645

    Default Re: Your new business plan

    2nd year beek with 42 hives going into winter.

    I've turned doing removals and catching swarms into a nice weekend sideline. Cleared about 15 k in two seasons after buying all my equipment and I've gotten all my bees for free. Recon another 10 years I'll be up to 400 to 500 hives.

    Don

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