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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Amador County, California, USA
    Posts
    138

    Default How did you become a commercial beekeeper?

    I know many beekeepers that have between 50-100 hives but never go beyond that (split) because of their work.

    I also know one man who bought 400 right off the bat, and in a matter of just some years he's now well over 5,000 (but has lots of employees that know beekeeping from his other business).

    I'm still a teenager and currently only have about 20 hives. I started with 2 some years back and I've pretty much grown consistently (except maybe this year as I had a huge setback, losing almost 50% of my hives).

    I like beekeeping (my grandfather and father were "hobbyist" beekeepers as well) and think I can make a living off of this from what I've seen.

    I'm wondering how difficult it is to become a commercial beekeeper that makes a living off of his bees as most beekeepers tell me it's a lot of work and gets hard down the road.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,682

    Default Re: How did you become a commercial beekeeper?

    There's an add on Craiglist with someone wanting bees for his land orchard up your way, you should check it out and keep on expanding. It is a lot of work because it's a constant battle of having enough equipment handy to meet your needs and places to put your bees and pollinations etc..

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,758

    Default Re: How did you become a commercial beekeeper?

    you should go work for a commercial beekeeper to give you an idea what your market is and how they manage their lifestyles. It will give you an idea of whats ahead for you if you choose the California beekeeping route
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: How did you become a commercial beekeeper?

    We got larger mainly by splitting, and buying nucs.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Athens, WI, USA
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: How did you become a commercial beekeeper?

    I totally agree with ian ,go work for a commercial beekeeper for a few years it will make expanding a whole lot more enjoyable

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Amador County, California, USA
    Posts
    138

    Default Re: How did you become a commercial beekeeper?

    Thank you all for the replies.

    This year I'll be going along with a commercial beekeeper to several places in California, and perhaps North Dakota. as Ian suggested. I'm also looking into purchasing equipment to make splits soon, as my hives have a good amount of frames of brood already.

    Thanks again.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    FRASER VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
    Posts
    1,303

    Default Re: How did you become a commercial beekeeper?

    I gave up the beer and picked up the bees. The rest was pretty easy with an addictive personnality.

    Jean-Marc

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,758

    Default Re: How did you become a commercial beekeeper?

    ha ha ha, that about right
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

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