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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,324

    Default Re: Beginner Question: The Yearly Cost of Beekeeping?

    In a drought year, feed will be a BIG expense. When Mother nature doesn't provide, its up to the beekeeper to do it. And with no honey crop to sell to pay for it, credit then becomes an issue.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    omaha nebr. USA
    Posts
    494

    Default Re: Beginner Question: The Yearly Cost of Beekeeping?

    Good points by the 3 of ya!
    Very smart & well put in perspective!

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Default Re: Beginner Question: The Yearly Cost of Beekeeping?

    Newbee wanting to get into commercial beekeeping. Where have I heard that before?

    This guy!

    Didn't work out.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Beginner Question: The Yearly Cost of Beekeeping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    Newbee wanting to get into commercial beekeeping. Where have I heard that before?

    This guy!

    Didn't work out.
    I don't mind starting off doing it as a hobby until I've learnt all the ropes but eventually I would like to get into commercial beekeeping.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,934

    Default Re: Beginner Question: The Yearly Cost of Beekeeping?

    You are in a great location to learn commercial beekeeping, but you will be further ahead to go and find the commercial guys on Oranges and ask to work for them so you can get a real deal feel for what they do and when they do it and why they are doing it.

    Then price around a bit on what you need to make it all happen. Keep in mind healthy colonies need attention and your first goal is to keep bees healthy winter after winter. You will find yourself answering these questions better than we can answer them. Truly for commercial guys the annual cost of doing business greatly varies on size of operation, whether its a migratory operation, and how many miles per year the bees log on the road, not to mention what kind of season the individual beekeeper is experiencing in their local area (ie what local forage is available). Also shipping costs grow every year. Then there is hired help, taxes and keeping the better half happy. All included.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,604

    Default Re: Beginner Question: The Yearly Cost of Beekeeping?

    Then I would strongly suggest at some point you go to work for a commercial beekeeper for a short while before you jump into it. Priceless!

    [edit] BMAC beat me by two minutes!
    Regards, Barry

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Beginner Question: The Yearly Cost of Beekeeping?

    Thanks guys, that's exactly what I want to do here in Florida. We have beepeeker's meeting coming up on Sunday and if I'm lucky enough I might meet a commercial beekeeper that might take me under their wing and mentor me. I have purposely not purchased any beekeeping equipment for this very reason because I don't want to waste money on unnecessary equipment (which I might find at better prices with advice) and I am also quite big on learning everything I can so I don't unnecessarily kill bees due to my own lack of knowledge.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Wausau, WI, USA
    Posts
    212

    Default Re: Beginner Question: The Yearly Cost of Beekeeping?

    It helps if you start young and have a strong back! lol

    Wisnewbee

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,593

    Default Re: Beginner Question: The Yearly Cost of Beekeeping?

    >Wow, why so low? Also, what about winter feeding?

    You can't feed in the winter here in the North. The syrup is too cold and they can't take it. If you warm it up so they can, then they die from the condensation. I leave them honey for winter, unless it's a very unusual year and there just isn't enough food, then I feed them. But that is not a typical year.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfeeding.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #30
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,179

    Default Re: Beginner Question: The Yearly Cost of Beekeeping?

    No treatment costs, except powdered sugar. One 50# bag per year
    No hive maintenance costs in last 5 years.
    Normally only feed when starting a new hive. There are exceptions.
    I'd have to guess about $5 per hive.

    Income from hive.
    2 nucs $200
    honey $100 average
    Pleasure of working the bees priceless.

    I sink a lot of money in beekeeping but it all comes back within a couple years.
    Dan

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    FRASER VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
    Posts
    1,347

    Default Re: Beginner Question: The Yearly Cost of Beekeeping?

    I guess some guys do not really understand what you are saying Jim L. That being said I believe that Dr Eric Mussen ran a survey in 2010 and had the cost pegged around $200 per year for the guys who bring bees to almond polliation. Some were a little less, some were a little more. Prices since then have increased. I did not fill out that survey but I am pretty sure that this includes all costs associated with owning hives. This would include tings like vehicle insuraance and maintenance, salaries, feed, medications, probably depreciation of equipment but I am not sure. I am however sure that keeping bees is not cheap especially if you encounter a difficult season such as drought. If you are paying attention then you can recognize the situation, dig in your pocket and bring some groceries to your bees to maintain them in relatively good shape.If you do not then usually there is crying about this or that after you have experienced higher than normal losses. Most starting out cannot handle higher than normal losses.

    I personally find it amazing how much money I end up spending on bees every year. I would not believe it if you would have told me that before I started, yet I have the bills to prove it. In our area we have had diminshing honey crops in the last 7 years to the point where last year I did not extract. Most of my business is pollination and selling bees, but I still need some honey income if only for the fact that bees are in better shape and I spend less time and money on them.

    Jean-Marc

  12. #32
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    chilliwack, bc
    Posts
    646

    Default Re: Beginner Question: The Yearly Cost of Beekeeping?

    I've worked for you before Jean-marc (it's Will G. here) and have often wondered how you do it. Back in those days it seemed you had to be a better people manager then a beekeeper and the stress that came along with it. I think the main reason that i'll never get to that 2000+ operation is because i wouldn't be able to handle that kind of stress nor do I really want to ( i know my limitations) and my hat is off to you and all the other beeks who do.

    I'm stepping back from pollination and going back into honey production after losing most of my hives in 2012. it will be a long road to get back up to the 200 hives. there's still a lot of initial investment to make and hopefully I can keep my op-cost down to good levels, make the right choices, and not skimp on the really important things. So far I see my yearly expences being 55.00/hive but thats because i don't pay laborers (i should say I don't have any laborers and I run a one man show here) or have massive gas bills for trucking bees across the country side.
    Will Gruenwald Chilliwack BC

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Beginner Question: The Yearly Cost of Beekeeping?

    How did you lose most of your hives Chillardbee?

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    2,057

    Default Re: Beginner Question: The Yearly Cost of Beekeeping?

    How do you subscribe to a thread without commenting or posting?
    I don't want to miss this one.

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Beginner Question: The Yearly Cost of Beekeeping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mbeck View Post
    How do you subscribe to a thread without commenting or posting?
    I don't want to miss this one.
    There's a drop down thread that says thread tools. I think you can choose it in there. Though having said that, as you've responded you'll probably be subscribed!

  16. #36
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    chilliwack, bc
    Posts
    646

    Default Re: Beginner Question: The Yearly Cost of Beekeeping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Imperial View Post
    How did you lose most of your hives Chillardbee?
    Not intirely sure. I used a EO treatment thyat was supposed to be a natural way of controling mites. either it didn't work or it was to harsh for the bees. I think in the end that it was the mites that did them in and that the treatment (which was all that I used in the fall of 2011) did not work. I remeber that in mid july I had over a 100 hives with good populations filling up thier thirds with honey and by mid september they were only 4-5 frames of bees, devistatingly obvious that they were not going to survive the winter. last fall I used apivar and only had a 5% loss and the bees are very healthy.So, in short,my bees payed the price for my brain fart.
    Will Gruenwald Chilliwack BC

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    FRASER VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
    Posts
    1,347

    Default Re: Beginner Question: The Yearly Cost of Beekeeping?

    Actually Will I flexed my apicultural muscle and stretched them out to a little over 3000 last fall. I have a few nucs lately and we should run about 2500 or so come second pollination here. That's one way I end spending awhole bunch of money on bees. It seems to come back, but there is not a lot of margin so keep away from critical errors.

    As you know Will I used to spend all my money on women and whisky. The rest I would waste. Now I have bees with some hope of return.

    Jean-Marc

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,497

    Default Re: Beginner Question: The Yearly Cost of Beekeeping?

    Quote Originally Posted by loggermike View Post
    I think you will find the people who make their living from beekeeping will have significantly more inputs than those who dont.
    ha ha ha,
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Beginner Question: The Yearly Cost of Beekeeping?

    Quote Originally Posted by chillardbee View Post
    Not intirely sure. I used a EO treatment thyat was supposed to be a natural way of controling mites. either it didn't work or it was to harsh for the bees. I think in the end that it was the mites that did them in and that the treatment (which was all that I used in the fall of 2011) did not work. I remeber that in mid july I had over a 100 hives with good populations filling up thier thirds with honey and by mid september they were only 4-5 frames of bees, devistatingly obvious that they were not going to survive the winter. last fall I used apivar and only had a 5% loss and the bees are very healthy.So, in short,my bees payed the price for my brain fart.
    I'm very sorry to hear that Will. That's quite a big loss both financially and of course sentimentally.

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