Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 22
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Wayne, New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    9

    Default Starting a Beekeeping Woodenware Business

    Hey Everyone!

    So I recently found myself with a lot of time and no definitive direction after Graduating College this past weekend. I have always wanted to see what it would be like to start up a small business for experience reasons and I believe that now is the best time to try. Anyway, I am pretty good with a saw, router, etc... and have started building a beehive or two. I started building these hives after purchasing lower quality builds from a local supplier. Basically I feel as though I can do one better quality wise for around the same cost.

    Does anyone know what the requirements are if i was to begin selling these hives in NJ? Do I need a business license to market these hives to the public, and if so, what category does it fall under?

    I dont expect to make this a full time career. Only to sell enough to be able to afford more bees next season. Anyone have an idea about demand for hives? Im guessing it varies wildly.


    Thanks for all your input and help!

    Sincerely, Joe D'Agostino


    I have attached an image of a box that I made. I use rabbeted edges with 1.5" screws, Titebond 2, and full length cleats for ample support. If anyone has a problem with the way the box looks or the build, please let me know on here so I can look to improve it. I know many people trust box joints more than rabbets.

    052213161445.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,121

    Default Re: Starting a Beekeeping Woodenware Business

    Good luck with your new venture!

    At a minimum, for any sales in New Jersey, you will need to collect and remit sales tax to the state of NJ. That process requires registration with the state. More here:

    http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxa...s.shtml#Submit
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pickens County, South Carolina, US
    Posts
    823

    Default Re: Starting a Beekeeping Woodenware Business

    The only comment I have is the cleats are on the front and back and not on the sides where I generally lift mine.

    Good luck with the venture!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, USA
    Posts
    108

    Default Re: Starting a Beekeeping Woodenware Business

    No clue about NJ laws. But, I suggest have most of them painted and a few unpainted. Also, I buy cyprus hives. Don't know how much that would cost you but, I like them.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Casey, Il, USA
    Posts
    1,073

    Default Re: Starting a Beekeeping Woodenware Business

    What is your intended market? Guys with more money than time or skills tend to opt for standard finger type box joints because if they are going to shell out money they want them to last and have it stuck in their heads finger joints are superior do it yourselfers like myself with a limited budget like this type of joint because we can do it with limited equipment the only problem with that is we can make them for under $ 8 so we really aren't into the market to buy

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,724

    Default Re: Starting a Beekeeping Woodenware Business

    I mirror Harley Craig's post, but also add the difference between recessed hand holds and cleats. I like for my boxes to sit flush with other boxes, either on the front or the sides if I need to. For that reason I like recessed hand holds. Most diy'ers can make cleats. Most can't make recessed hand holds (or don't want to spend the time to make the jig that Cleo has on this site).

    So you have to ask yourself: are you trying to sell the same quality of products locally? Or are you shooting for a cheaper market, with a lower quality of product?

    Mann Lake sells their boxes for $16-20, depending on grade of the wood, with free shipping. Humble Abodes sells it for MUCH cheaper ($10-15, with out free shipping). So, take Mann Lake's $16 box (commercial grade). Price out the wood it would take you to make it. Then figure how much time it would take you to cut out the finger joints and the recessed handles. How much do you make in the end? If you can sell it for $16, why should the customer buy from you and not a trusted provider like Mann Lake? Is it because you are local, have better products, have better customer service? How hard will it be to sell one box? A dozen boxes? A hundred boxes? Those are the questions you need to ask, and those answers will likely tell you what direction you need to take.

    If instead you are saying "naw, I'll just sell them some rabbit joints with cleats to whoever will take them. Maybe they'll know better, probably not." My suggestion for you would be to make your own woodenware only, and not attempt to sell it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,985

    Default Re: Starting a Beekeeping Woodenware Business

    I live in Reno, not exactly a hot bed of beekeeping. An hour or two away in California is a little different. A year ago on craigs list I ran an add for bee removal. I also ran an add offering queens last year when I found I have about a half dozen extras. This spring I still get calls from both of those adds. the removal I get about a call a week. the queens not so many but I do get them. that is form almost no effort at all. I cannot say what woudl happen if I actually tried to promote but I am certain the demand is their. Right now I am trying to idle, avoiding attracting to much before I am ready to meet my customers needs. I do not over advertise removals. Queens. Bees Hives or even Honey and really have no trouble selling anything I need to at any time. I have someone traveling an hour and a half this afternoon to purchase two of my hives. I do not even really want to sell them but need to to move forward with my goal to have 20 hives by the end of this season. I did not meet my goal for queen rearing this year due to my apiary expanding faster than I could keep up with it. Everything I had went into making more equipment as my hives went from 5 to 12. That does not sounds like a lot until you consider I work full time. and the sole provider for a family of 9 people. and had 4 other major projects under way at the same time. I woudl get up at 3 am to have internet time and preparation and planning for the day. I woudl go to work at 6 a.m and get off at 2:30. I then came home and remodeled bathrooms, enclosed our front porch. hung doors etc. until about 6. and then I might find the time to get to the shop for an hour or two and make boxes or frames. Several times that schedule was interrupted with a call to come capture bees.

    From what I can tell you will need to be careful that you do not have this blow up in your face and get out of control. The guy coming to buy bees today has already been asking if I sell equipment. I had to say no. I cannot even make it fast enough for myself.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,646

    Default Re: Starting a Beekeeping Woodenware Business

    I think the market on wooden ware is tight. Places like Humble abodes, Western Bee, even Mann Lake with free shipping. Unless you can get your wood for free or very cheap the profit margin on each box is going to be small. Unless you make a top quality flawless hive and sell it at a premium. It is going to be hard to compete against the big guys that can pump out thousands of boxes a day.

    That's the bad news. The good news is like Daniel said there is a need for guys willing to do cutouts. If you are just looking to make enough money to buy some bees next year cutouts maybe just the thing. You can make some money doing the cutouts and get some free bees in the process. You can already make your own wooden ware to put the bees in. If you can build up your apiary, there is definitely a need for locally raised nucs.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    966

    Default Re: Starting a Beekeeping Woodenware Business

    To stay legal, you'll need a business license.

    To stay solvent, you'll need a very inexpensive source of suitable wood, and the ability to gang-cut boxes.

    If you want to make boxes to delay entering the job market while feeling productive but going broke, I think making wooden ware is just the ticket to accomplish that goal.

    Temporarily.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,141

    Default Re: Starting a Beekeeping Woodenware Business

    It seems like the competition for bee hives is pretty tight. I would specialize in things others don't make. There is some demand for things like Dadant deep frames, and medium depth queen cell frames etc.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,864

    Default Re: Starting a Beekeeping Woodenware Business

    I would consider what Michael Bush said, hive boxes themselves are probably the most sought after piece of woodenware from any supplier, and the price competition is tight. If you still want to manufacture them anyways, there are buyers out there for them regardless of price, but price will dictate how many you sell. When you start selling woodenware and shipping it, it gets expensive real fast because of the weight. Your price on the box may be great, but after tacking on shipping costs its not cheap anymore. After awhile it gets real tough competing with the big boys when it comes to free shipping and quality of the product, and most big buyers of woodenware realize that and stick with them, unless of course they make their own woodenware, which many do.

    You may be able to do better making anything but boxes actually, in my opinion. I know for a fact that you can build quality inner covers, outer covers, bottom boards, way cheaper than any of the suppliers have them listed for, even with quantity discounts. Just some suggestions and good luck! John

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clackamas Oregon
    Posts
    737

    Default Re: Starting a Beekeeping Woodenware Business

    I was looking at the exact same thing last year! Hive bodies and supers with finger joints and hand holds cut with Wimpies jig (also find it here on bee source).
    The local market here had a need for built boxes during swarm season. I would recommend getting a load of frames from one of the places mentioned above so you have parts ready to go. I found that by the time it was said and done I was working for about $8 an hour and I hate doing repetitive cuts.
    Both of the local brick and mortar stores have gone to fully assembled and primed. It is the only way to compete against the big shippers.
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Vernon, AZ. USA
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: Starting a Beekeeping Woodenware Business

    I make more on sales of gear, than on honey. Assembly has a value, and a hive with bees (new, with a domestic queen) not mean wild mutt bees, wil retail locally in most areas for $500. Thats standard insurance value,also. It is not overpriced to get 600 in some areas. Buying all the wood and assembling, will get you 1.25 a frame, and about 80 per hive, empty. More if you can make nice gear. Also, the bees,and most hobbyist dont care about perfection. I always sell out,no matter what i can manage to make. Fairly price your work, be honest,do what you say you will,and you can do well. Best of luck!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Laredo, Texas
    Posts
    60

    Default Re: Starting a Beekeeping Woodenware Business

    FYI I think you should go ahead. If you market on craigslist and have a decent inventory you will do business. Have like 10 complete hives (with stands inners, outers) completed and like 10 extra brood boxes done. Also have like 10 unassembled deep and supers and frames. If you keep a mild inventory that you can replenish every week. Put the ads on the internet I think you will have hobbiest from the local areas buy your stuff. And if there is no market you've only invested a couple hundred dollars in wood.

    I hate that the nearest bee keeping supply place is across Texas for me. I end up having everything shipped to me and waiting for ever. If I had a local guy who made stuff I would do all my business there.

    Also I don't think anyone has said anything about the box but from the picture it looks like the board is warped and not lining up in the corners. I think you need to be near perfect if your selling them and expected a reasonable price. Any defect and you have to discount it.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    berkshire county MA
    Posts
    1,472

    Default Re: Starting a Beekeeping Woodenware Business

    You'll never know if you don't try. I've been out of a "regular, full time" job for about 10 years. Since I lost my job, I've done a variety of things like make wooden toys and craft items for sale at fairs and craft stores, started a small wind chime making business, started keeping bees, do word of mouth handyman jobs, got back into playing music, and wrote a book for Storey Publishing called Build Your Own Beekeeping Equipment I haven't gotten rich but have managed to pay the bills all this time and I enjoy what I'm doing.
    If your venture doesn't pan out, you won't have failed, you will have gotten your feet wet, and gained some self confidence and experience as an entrepreneur.
    Think about how many businesses start out as one person working in their basement, garage, or kitchen. Two that come to mind are Burt's Bees and Yankee Candle. I say Go for it!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Chesterfield, NH
    Posts
    499

    Default Re: Starting a Beekeeping Woodenware Business

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    Good luck with your new venture!

    At a minimum, for any sales in New Jersey, you will need to collect and remit sales tax to the state of NJ. That process requires registration with the state. More here:

    http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxa...s.shtml#Submit
    Does NJ require sales tax on agricultural equipment ???
    I do know NY does not require sales tax on agricultural equipment. This has been my experience with
    Betterbee in New York.



    BEE HAPPY Jim 134
    Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA.
    http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,724

    Default Re: Starting a Beekeeping Woodenware Business

    Quote Originally Posted by berkshire bee View Post
    If your venture doesn't pan out, you won't have failed, you will have gotten your feet wet, and gained some self confidence and experience as an entrepreneur.
    Think about how many businesses start out as one person working in their basement, garage, or kitchen. Two that come to mind are Burt's Bees and Yankee Candle. I say Go for it!
    And think about all the people that gamble everything for their company, and lose it all.

    I see small business owners lose everything almost every day in my line of work. If your venture doesn't pan out, but you get into debt and can't get yourself out, you very well could fail.

    I'm not advocating against this venture. Just making sure that we keep in mind it isn't like we are playing with "House Money" here.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,121

    Default Re: Starting a Beekeeping Woodenware Business

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim 134 View Post
    Does NJ require sales tax on agricultural equipment ???
    You can read the Sales and Use Tax rules here:
    http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxa.../sales/su4.pdf
    There are certain exemptions listed, but agricultural/farm equipment or apiary equipment does not appear to be among those exemptions.

    However, if the OP was able to manufacture apiary equipment in NJ, but deliver ALL of it out of state there would be no NJ sales tax due. That might be impractical to arrange.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Hiltons,Virginia
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: Starting a Beekeeping Woodenware Business

    I started a beekeeping supply business about three years ago you have a lot of work ahead of you,good luck and if i can be of any help contact me.
    John www.poorvalleybeefarm.com

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    berkshire county MA
    Posts
    1,472

    Default Re: Starting a Beekeeping Woodenware Business

    Quote Originally Posted by Specialkayme View Post
    And think about all the people that gamble everything for their company, and lose it all.

    I see small business owners lose everything almost every day in my line of work. If your venture doesn't pan out, but you get into debt and can't get yourself out, you very well could fail.

    I'm not advocating against this venture. Just making sure that we keep in mind it isn't like we are playing with "House Money" here.
    I think he said it wouldn't be a full time venture. He just wants to make enough to buy more bees.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads