How much money can a beekeeper make in a year owning 100 hives? - Page 8
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  1. #141
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    May 2011
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    Baden Wurtemburg Germany
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    Default Re: How much money can a beekeeper make in a year owning 100 hives?

    It's mostly only the retired commercial or failed commercial beekeepers that have time to post, the ones you need to talk to are to busy making a profit. Even if you do get to talk to them why should they sell you the farm for nothing? Some post on forums because its part of their marketing plan.
    When I bought my first hive from a commercial beekeeper he said "It's a very nice hobby but an extremely hard living".
    With a 100 hives maybe you would earn more than a manual laborer, maybe not. A manual laborer with a 100 hives has a dream but no time.
    Stephen 40+ hives. 6th year. Treat. Germany.

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  3. #142
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    Mar 2016
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    Southern Maryland
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    Default Re: How much money can a beekeeper make in a year owning 100 hives?

    Making a living in agriculture requires either specialization or scale. 100 beehives is neither.



    #ZombieThread

  4. #143
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    Jun 2012
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    Suffolk Co, NY, USA
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    Default Re: How much money can a beekeeper make in a year owning 100 hives?

    making a living at anything requires knowing your craft, your market, and business savvy .
    if any is missing it won't work.
    3 hats, equally important for success.
    most don't have what it takes, so they work for someone else and collect a pay check; and then
    just talk like they know.

  5. #144
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    May 2015
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    Titus County, Texas, USA
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    Default Re: How much money can a beekeeper make in a year owning 100 hives?

    Quote Originally Posted by Green Tractor View Post
    Making a living in agriculture requires either specialization or scale. 100 beehives is neither.
    Guess that would make it a sideline system.

  6. #145
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    May 2015
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    Champaign, Illinois
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    Default Re: How much money can a beekeeper make in a year owning 100 hives?

    If you're "savvy" you can make small amount of money at it but...
    "Having" 100 bee hives is one thing. "Keeping" them is another.
    To keep 100 hives I suspect a guy would have to have close to 100 nucs or more for the overflow, queen rearing, etc.
    Working my way up with the original plan of sidelining. 300.
    Starting to back off from such an ambitious enterprise. It's a ton of work and them bees don't wait on anyone.

    Now suppose you had this balancing act figured out and could produce 50-75 pounds per hive per year. Figure around $4-5/pound if you retail it. Start your bee math calculator and figure it out. (try)
    Internet credibility is an oxymoron

  7. #146
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    Sep 2016
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    Grande Prairie, AB, Canada
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    Default Re: How much money can a beekeeper make in a year owning 100 hives?

    My father is a commercial beekeeper and I have been helping him for past FIVE years. He started with ONE hive back in 2012 and as of this year 2016 he has around 155 HIVES! We generated ~39,000 Lb this session! Thats nearly ~$58,500 when selling it IN BULK. 58K is calculated without the expenses etc.etc. Now that I've completed High school, I am thinking to myself why attend college or university when I can do this and earn hundreds of thousands of dollars and someday even million of dollars. I can't WAIT till this 2017 UPCOMING session!

  8. #147
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    Jun 2014
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    Warren County, NJ, USA
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    Default Re: How much money can a beekeeper make in a year owning 100 hives?

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeYou View Post
    My father is a commercial beekeeper and I have been helping him for past FIVE years. He started with ONE hive back in 2012 and as of this year 2016 he has around 155 HIVES! We generated ~39,000 Lb this session! Thats nearly ~$58,500 when selling it IN BULK. 58K is calculated without the expenses etc.etc. Now that I've completed High school, I am thinking to myself why attend college or university when I can do this and earn hundreds of thousands of dollars and someday even million of dollars. I can't WAIT till this 2017 UPCOMING session!
    250# average?

  9. #148
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    May 2016
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    Dallas North Carolina
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    Default Re: How much money can a beekeeper make in a year owning 100 hives?

    Micky, unlike many on this site, I am a new beekeeper who has almost become bee-bound to my 4 hives. I work full time and the bees keep me the balance of my life. I would caution you on grand expectations for a business in beekeeping. I would have thought your stepfather would have let you get waist deep in a couple of hives to help you see how simple and easy the bee experience is from day to day. It is an extremely visual process that requires you to evaluate what you see inside and outside of the hives in a very limited amount of time and take some action when necessary. ( The heat is a factor-- June to early September, it is very hot in most place except the far north. in a bee suit is even hotter.) While it is one of the most rewarding and fascinating things I have done in my 60 years, it is not for the faint hearted. Several have given you actual numbers of costs to show you what to expect as a business. I would suggest that you take a beekeeping class and get your certification from your state to avoid mistakes from a lack of knowledge. Then, get your stepfather to let you split a couple of hives from his. By the time you add deeps and a super to either of them, you will know if you need to move forward. I do it for the bees and my connection to nature on a philosophical level and a sense of accomplishment on a personal level. I have no illusions about making 100 grand beekeeping. Anytime your have a business that is in the "real" world, completely in nature, you are on your own fighting all other critters who are simply trying to survive. It is not as simple as the Youtube video of the Flowhive. Some of the most rewarding things in life are the hardest.

  10. #149

    Exclamation Re: How much money can a beekeeper make in a year owning 100 hives?

    Hello from years and years later haha. A lot of these responses are bologna. When you run a business, yes you have lots of expenses. Net profit on a business, if kept low also keeps taxes low. lots of transactions can be done in cash (off books) etc. so take whatever someone says about their expenses with a Utah sized grain of salt. Also, you can sell 3lbs of honey for like 20 bucks, but it depends on where you live. I live in jacksonville florida and it goes for about that retail. If you're spending 80k and taking in 90k and all of your expenses are something like gas (stuff you have to spend), then your business isnt worth your time. 10k profit @ minimium 2k hours per year is 5 bucks an hour and ur prob working lots more than that! So likely if someone is doing their business, taking in 90k a year and making 10k profit...they're intermingling personal expenses with business. make sense? it's a common way for people to evade taxes and poopoo on those trying to start their own business, saying how bad they do. Work smart, keep expenses low and income high. Don't waste.

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeyReej View Post
    How much money do beekeepers make a year? How many hives would it take to make 100 grand? My stepfather is a hobbyist beekeeper and I'm thinking about starting up my own business. Any thoughts? Thanks,
    Michael

  11. #150
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    Dec 2017
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    Wharton, Texas, USA
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    Default

    Wow interesting old post learned a lot about spelling. I’ve been growing my hives and trying to buildup to maybe make a profit which has become a hobby of its own. The wife and I were discussing my hobby and what I’ve spent and about that time I looked outside at my $40k fishing boat....

  12. #151
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    Dec 2010
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    Default Re: Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeyReej View Post
    How realistic would it be for a beekeeper with about 3 years experience to handle 300-400 hives by himself full time. How many hours would this take?
    Probably not very realistic ....yet. You most likely do not have enough knowledge of local (nearest 8 to 25 states) nectar and pollen flows, who your pollination contracts are coming from, how droughts and wet years will affect your game, and a great number of other factors. Please do not take offense - notice I said Probably

    There have been exceptions - The prodigy up in Roy, Washington was a longtime animal breeder with a workshop and a farm shot up faster than most of us. Let's not forget that person possesses one of the better brains in the lot of us, too. One who is already a class A driver, has land, lots of years doing carpentry, animal care, understands genetics, know his way around the agricultural community, and gets along with people would have a much better chance than one who has been, say working as a pizza delivery guru. And, there once was a year (different years each case) when Michael Palmer, Kirk Webster, oldtimer down in New Zealand, JWChesnut, Dr. Lawrence John Connor, and Dr. Sue Cobey all had 3 years experience. You'll have to ask them about how many hives they had back then.

  13. #152
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    Default Re: How much money can a beekeeper make in a year owning 100 hives?

    I wonder in all the expenses if people are putting their house and land in the expenses?

    In a way that's fair but can be misleading.

    If its paying for your life in all areas, and you are happy isn't that good enough?

  14. #153
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    Apr 2017
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    Default Re: How much money can a beekeeper make in a year owning 100 hives?

    I was not aware one could make money with bees outside of almonds. I am still trying to figure out how to break even. 3 years in and down about 8K. But, like the guy with the boat, I have a small airplane, so I already know how to spend a lot of money on hobbies.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  15. #154
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    Feb 2019
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    Winston-Salem, NC
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    Default Re: How much money can a beekeeper make in a year owning 100 hives?

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    I was not aware one could make money with bees outside of almonds. I am still trying to figure out how to break even. 3 years in and down about 8K. But, like the guy with the boat, I have a small airplane, so I already know how to spend a lot of money on hobbies.
    I've spent $6,000 in 4 months
    NCSBA Certified Beekeeper - my Youtube Vlog
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4y..._as=subscriber

  16. #155
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    Dec 2010
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    Default Re: How much money can a beekeeper make in a year owning 100 hives?

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    I was not aware one could make money with bees outside of almonds. I am still trying to figure out how to break even. 3 years in and down about 8K. But, like the guy with the boat, I have a small airplane, so I already know how to spend a lot of money on hobbies.
    It usually takes from 700 to 2,500 bee colonies per person in the company to make a full-time living. Most of the time that applies to someone with land, trucks, and a workshop.

    So figure a team of 4 regular beekeeper / workers (Class A license, skilled in carpentry, adept at raising queens, etc.), that number usually varies from well above 2,800 colonies on up to 10,000 colonies.

    Almond fees on 10,000 colonies is probably not the nice, neat $1,500,000 we'd like to think. You will gross about 3/4 of that in the best of years because no matter how good you are, some colonies are going down, not up in population. Deadouts are very common these days. There is time for as many as 6 crops in the year around the agricultural stronghold of North America (fewer up North unless you travel), but things happen that sometimes prevent even the best beekeepers from taking maximum advantage of 6 paying crops, so figure 4 paying - suppose almond, pistachio at $115 per colony, avocado at $80 per colony, seed flowers at $40 per colony, and [blueberries, apples + you-name-it small crops that do not require all you bees] and average $40 per colony (the rest is nectar / pollen crop for your bees).

    A team of 4 extremely competent beekeepers that are healthy, have plenty of contracts, have trucks that are still running on the economic end (not yet breaking down on a regular schedule so as to prevent the work from getting done) and a ranch or other property that is paid for will often have a difficult time seeing $2 million gross even on the good years. Subtract out the fixed costs, overhead, taxes, wages, insurance (and the rest of the expenses on the chart of accounts). Add back the honey profit.

    Figure how many wet years vs how many dry years are normal for your area. Don't forget to look at the last 30 years, 20 years, and 10 years trend due to global warming (or cooling if you are in such an area). Run a model based on historic weather pattern, but weight it somewhat with the recent trends, especially if the 30-year is drier than the long-term base, the 20 year average is drier than the 30-year, and the last 10 years are drier than the last 20. That last sentence is telling you that if your area is indeed very much subject to global warming trends, either look for a wetter area or try a different business.

    Consider also that there are now many many more beekeepers than back in 2008. Although many have already come and gone, some are still here, some have moved up to sideline and commercial status, and the opportunities for contracts have gotten a lot thinner.

    This looks less and less like a successful proposition with every turn of the page. Keep your regular job and build up to sideliner level (50 to 450 colonies) with good queen rearing and increase skills. It takes time. If your kids love it, you'll be able to skirt around wages and lots of the taxation. When it is clearly time for a 53-foot big rig and a class A license, move on up into a full-time commercial operation and kiss your free time and enough sleep good bye. Meanwhile, figure out how to successfully deal with mites on a commercial scale.

  17. #156
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    May 2018
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    Oakland, California, USA
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    13

    Default Re: How much money can a beekeeper make in a year owning 100 hives?

    Quote Originally Posted by BjornBee View Post
    A long time ago, someone told me some advice... "Always surround yourself with people who will lift you up, and not with those who will drag you down. You will never lift them higher than how far they will drag you down".

    With that said, I think anyone who comes to a discussion board to ask opinions of such topics, should probably heed the advice and stay clear of spending too much money on such business ventures. Obviously, there are better ways to seek true opportunities and gain experience in such matters. Many always try to invent something new, or create a new way of doing something. And although I believe the market does in fact reward creativity, it also rewards hard work and determination. But it rewards those that are willing to seek out successful operations, and do little more than copy successful plans and management.

    We all have heard about how 95% of all small business fail. Many times it's not due to a bad product or bad concept, but just bad management. So I wonder how many of those responding has even had a successful business, let alone a bee business. And wouldn't 95% of the responses just would be assumed would be from those that failed? You may be better off seeking out that 5% on the more brighter side.

    So let me sum up what I have read. You want to start a bee business. You post a question on beesource, a day or two later based on the replies posted here, from people you probably know little about, and you have concluded that your search has ended and thats as far as your quest goes. There are people who spend months if not years, formulating a business plan, making contacts, seeking the knowledge of those who may actually be in a position to set you on the right path, acquire some capital, and about a hundred other things that many, many successful people have done to ensure a better chance of success.

    Don't take this the wrong way. But with what I have read, I agree that you should move on. Not to another business, because that may require the same fortitude and perseverance in making it work. Whether that be a restaurant, building widgets, opening a flower shop, or anything else. Just get a job. Or take some business classes and see if there is a local "SCORE" chapter in your area. But I hope your path to a truly fulfilling career and business does find you. Just expect to do a little more research than posting on the associated website, and taking the advice of a bunch of people who may be firmly gripped on the 95% side of the isle.

    Good Luck.
    I know this is an old thread, but your "advice" here is true gold. I'm an accountant and have worked with many small businesses over the years. The people who are successful are the one's that manage their business well; when they encounter problems, they find a way to make things work! I'm relatively new to beekeeping, but I already know several people who have been very successful with various business models. Pollination, comb honey, selling pollen, and, not the least...selling bees and queens! But it's true, 95% of all people don't have a business mindset, and so the best they can hope for is a hobby that at least "pays for itself." That is nothing to scoff at, either! But it's so true, most of us have toyed with the idea of making money with bees, but only a few have the perseverance and mindset to follow through.

  18. #157
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    May 2013
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    North Liberty, IN
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    396

    Default Re: Making money as a beekeeper

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    If it gets you into a position to make income from enough hives so you can be a beekeeper full time or as a sideline while working a paying job, why is that a bad idea?

    It worked for me. and I am not as good a business person or as hard a worker as others I have read of on these Forums. I bet Tim Ives could do well w/ many more hives bought w/ loans at the rate of 2%.

    Why is that a bad idea? For someone willing to do whatever it takes?
    Surely dont need more colonies, till I have a bigger building to efficiently process.
    Pretty fond of not having any debt tho too.
    "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds" Albert Einstein

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