How much money can a beekeeper make in a year owning 100 hives? - Page 2
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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
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    New York City
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    3,398

    Default

    > Larry Connor once said (he was quoting someone) "every one that
    > makes $1000 in beekeeping, can make $2000 doing almost anything else".

    Hey, now that's funny - Dr. Larry was quoting me with that.

    Money isn't the reason for being a beekeeper. If you want to get "rich",
    get out of all agriculture as quickly as possible.

    But one is richer when one has friends, and I have many friends as a
    result of keeping bees. Over and over these friends have proven just
    what good friends they are, sometimes in very over-the-top ways.

    If you look around and talk to sideliners, the minimum number of hives
    that one can expect to "pay bills" with would be somewhere in the
    400-500 hive range, assuming a vertically integrated operation where
    one sold the bulk of one's honey bottled and labeled, perhaps in private label deals, perhaps under one's own brand. One would do one or two
    pollination placements with roughly half the hives every spring, and
    one would perhaps get into some value-added work, such as comb
    honey, fresh pollen, or wax products.

    I did OK, but I set up a line of retail outlets that sold to tourists, and
    could thereby command a much higher price per pound. I also had
    a low-cost pollination scheme, where transportation was provided
    by the growers, and my payment was in the form of a percentage of
    the crop. Hard to compare to the typical situation on multiple levels.

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  3. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    San Diego, CA, USA
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    126

    Default How to make a small fortune beekeeping!

    Start off with a large fortune!
    http://bees-on-the-net.com/bs
    Bees give me a buzz!

  4. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Randolph County, Indiana
    Posts
    693

    Default

    Mikey, 300-400 hives would probably make you about 20,000 a year after expenses, and before tax. You could take care of them working about 25-30 hours a week average through the spring and summer, if you are well orginized, plan ahead, and work efficiently. One man can realisticly take care of 500 hives, if he is good shape. If moving hives, he will occasionally need to hire someone to help, although I have moved full hives without help before.

    Keep in mind, you will not get rich from this. The best you can hope for is to make a confortable living. The rich guys are Dadant, Mann Lake, Subee, etc. When you can pay other beekeepers a dollar per pound, then bottle and package 200,000lbs a day, and sell it to the large chain stores, you can get rich. But most of those businesses have been around almost a hundred years.

    I also plan to grow into a commercial operation, but I don't plan to make a living until I pass 1000 hives, and have a good market carved out. I'm hoping that most of my income will be from nucs.

  5. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
    Posts
    3,591

    Big Grin

    Quote Originally Posted by geoffkb View Post
    Start off with a large fortune!
    LOL... hee,hee

  6. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Dane County, WI.
    Posts
    3,711

    Smile

    IndianaHoney has "anayize [d] this" pretty completly/succinctly; a well thought out response. But for me, Jim Fischer said it best with, "Money isn't the reason for being a beekeeper".

    It has been said a few, or even many times [What Color is Your Parachute] but FIND what you love to do and riches will be bestowed upon you beyond your wildest dreams, lol. I know I am exaggerating a bit but it is true.

    "But one is richer when one has friends, and I have many friends a result of keeping bees". - J. Fischer.

  7. #26
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Hays, Kansas, USA
    Posts
    1,077

    Default

    I recall an old Steve Martin routine "Here's how to become a multi-millionaire. First, get your hands on a few million bucks..."

    Ours a sideline/hobby at this moment in time and we're in a growing stage so any cash gets reinvested into equipment and livestock. But I have to agree on one thing- avoid packer sales if you can. We sell honey retail at farmer markets, a few spots on retailer's shelves, country produce markets, word of mouth, etc. Not one drop goes to packers (so far). Diversification is the only way to see any reasonable money. Honey in various forms- gift packs, straws, etc. Then those products of the hive other than honey such as wax, lip balm and so on.

  8. #27
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Geneva,Florida, Seminole USA
    Posts
    290

    Default

    My uncle raised 5 girls and put them through college with 2000 hives. Beekeepers are the worst poor mouthers in the world. Its probably true you can make more money , doing something else.....al thinks being equal. I think anyone whos in the buiness, isn't in the bee buiness to get rich. There are several better reasons to spend a life time with the ladies.

  9. #28

    Default

    Thanks for all of the advice. It looks like I'm not gonna quit my day job (if I ever figure out what it is). Maybe I'll become a politician so I can wipe my rear with your taxed money. Well it's time for me to go start another hobby. Ciao!

  10. #29
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Davis,South Dakota,USA
    Posts
    554

    Default

    Smart choice,enjoy your lifestyle.

  11. #30
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    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
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    6,073

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeyReej View Post
    Thanks for all of the advice. It looks like I'm not gonna quit my day job (if I ever figure out what it is). Maybe I'll become a politician so I can wipe my rear with your taxed money. Well it's time for me to go start another hobby. Ciao!
    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.

  12. #31

    Default

    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
    You're not going to get a clear answer around here. Most will tell you how tough it is and try to make you think it is a fruitless endeavor. Look into the German beekeeping model, they consistently make money at it.

    Jack

  13. #32
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Savona, Italy, Europe
    Posts
    6

    Default

    It's depending on how many hours you spend on beekeeping. And it's depends on at which level you practice it. I do that as hobby but I don't despise obviously money. I tried to get back and gain money, but up to now I can't reach it ! I think I need some years from starting activity (3 years ago) for getting back. Seasons by season, money spended are getting decrease.

  14. #33
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    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Weston View Post
    You're not going to get a clear answer around here. Most will tell you how tough it is and try to make you think it is a fruitless endeavor. Look into the German beekeeping model, they consistently make money at it.

    Jack
    So Jack, how much can you make in a year w/ 100 colonies? Or won't you tell.
    Mark Berninghausen

  15. #34
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    Apr 2008
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    Starkville,Ms,USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Weston View Post
    Look into the German beekeeping model..
    Jack
    Link please.

  16. #35
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    Jul 2004
    Location
    Beverly, Mass
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    304

    Default Money

    There is more easy money with less work selling Bees and Equipment.

  17. #36
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    Jul 2004
    Location
    Inver Grove, MN
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    Default

    I only have a few hives, but I can estimate a per hive number. I sold last year's honey at my greenhouse this spring. I grossed just about $218 per hive.

    Then I need to subtract the cost of production to find what I actually made. That's the tricky part.

    I had about 50% losses, so I had to replace those at $70 per package. So figure $35 per hive.
    I bought a few bits of equipment. About $12 per hive.
    Some of my existing equipment should be amortized against last year's production. ??
    I bought bottles, caps, and labels. Cost varies with size. I'd have to look it up.
    There were minimal expenses for electric.
    I'm sure there were other costs.

    Your mileage may vary.

    Next year's crop looks like it might be a bit smaller since the weather has been so bad.
    Linux - World domination through world cooperation

  18. #37
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Tampa, FL, USA
    Posts
    4

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

    Wow. I have to admit, some of these posts feel kind of like a bucket of cold water. Is anyone out there running profitable beekeeping outfits? I keep hearing about how the world bee population is in decline, tons of products require good quality honey and beeswax, is everyone doing it just for the fun? Someone must be making actual money, somewhere. Anyone? Anyone?

  19. #38
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Casey, Il, USA
    Posts
    4,130

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

    My guess is those who actually make good money with bees don't have the time to talk about it on the internet lol
    Last edited by Barry; 10-07-2013 at 06:26 AM. Reason: quoting

  20. #39
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    Apr 2009
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    Issaquah,WA,USA
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    2,758

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

    <-15,000 to -25,000>

  21. #40
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    Apr 2009
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    Issaquah,WA,USA
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    Default Re: How much money can a beekeeper make in a year owning 100 hives?

    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?
    Not very realistic.

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