How much money can a beekeeper make in a year owning 100 hives? - Page 3
Page 3 of 8 FirstFirst 12345 ... LastLast
Results 41 to 60 of 159
  1. #41
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    34,541

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

    Quote Originally Posted by kdl View Post
    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?
    If you ever get around to keeping bees to make money you may find out what I did. It took many years to become profitable. I have had many years of negative income.

    I once asked a friend of mine who had been a commercial beekeeper longer than I about making a profit. "What do I need to do to make money at this? When will I see some profit?" He replied, "After the kids are out of the house." It may take years of persistence.

    Don't chase the money. Live simply off of what you do. I used to do annual Profit and Loss Statements and couldn't figure out what we lived on. Seemed like everything went into paying for "the Business". Obviously we lived off of something. We had a home and never went w/out food and clothing and other necessities. There just wasn't anything in the Personal Income slot.

    It is fun, I guess. I would say that I do what I do for reasons other than "fun". Many times iy isn't "fun". Loading bees on a semi in 95 degrees w/ 95% humidity in a bee suit for instance. But I am doing what I want to do pretty much on my own terms. No "Boss" overlooking what I do. No committee meetings. I like to work outdoors. I'm pretty low maintenance. Simple tastes simple pleasures. I work as much as I want to. Sometimes I think I should work harder, but that is my choice. I take the blame and the praise. Self evaluated.

    I hope that wasn't too much a bucket of cold water. A bucket of cold water can put you off or wake you up to the realities. Enjoy.
    Mark Berninghausen

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #42
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Pinellass County, Florida
    Posts
    1,237

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

    So SQKCRK!

    If you where starting over again

    You would be a ??

  4. #43
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    34,541

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

    I can only imagine doing again what I did this go round, except maybe I would go fulltime beekeeper earlier and maybe insist on my kids going to the bee yard w/ me. My eldest did, but not the younger two. Just the way it happened.

    Beekeeping is a means to the life I want to live. I keep bee to live the life I want to live. I don't live to keep bees. I keep bees to live. I hope that came out the way I thought it in my head.

    Here's another way of putting it. "I don't keep bees. The bees keep me."
    Last edited by sqkcrk; 07-28-2013 at 08:07 AM.
    Mark Berninghausen

  5. #44
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    34,541

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

    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
    If your focus is on the money you have lost already. You can make $100,000.00 in income from 600 to 800 hives of bees, depending on whether you only do honey production and sales or that plus some of the other things beekeepers do to make income such as pollination.

    But Income is only half of the picture. There are Expenses too. Maybe you meant $100,000.00 cleared?

    ROTFLOL Sorry. Cart before the horse, in my opinion.
    Mark Berninghausen

  6. #45
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    34,541

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

    Quote Originally Posted by riverrat View Post
    If you are looking to make money In Beekeeping. You may try the Craps table. The odds are better the work is not as hot or hard. And if you are in the right place they comp you free liquor to help you lose.
    That I would disagree with. Someone working as hard as they can at beekeeping can make a lot more profit than one would at a Casino. The House always wins. They give you the illusion of winning now and then only to get you to stay in the seat long enough to get all of your money.

    I used to work as an Apiary Inspector. A fellow Apiary Inspector told me once that "A poor year of beekeeping is better than a good year of Apiary Inspection." The seasonal job was limited to the 40 hour work week. Whereas the Beekeeping offered almost limitless hours to work towards ones' goals. There is more to the business of beekeeping than keeping bees.

    That guy always had the idea that "everything is for sale", everything. If someone wants to pay me for something I have I'll sell it to them. As long as it's at a profit. He says he sold his business three times during his career, and still had the business. Think about it.
    Mark Berninghausen

  7. #46
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    10,852

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

    > I hope that wasn't too much a bucket of cold water.

    Perhaps it was. This thread is from June of 2008, and the OP only has 3 posts, all of which are in this thread.

    I wouldn't be surprised if he quickly abandoned the idea of beekeeping and moved onto the Next Big Thing.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  8. #47
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Tampa, FL, USA
    Posts
    4

    Default Making money as a beekeeper

    I think I was really energized because at first glance (and with 0 experience as a Beekeeper), it seemed perfect. There's a huge need, you can be proud to make a difference in a field that, quite literally, is helping ensure the longevity of the species (our species, not just the bee), and honey and beeswax sell for a brazillion dollars an ounce in most markets. I like to do research, especially before I go leaping off financial cliffs. I wouldn't buy a hive or even pretend to raise bees before I had PLENTY of information, as much as I can get my hands on. And while I wouldn't mind being one of the hobby guys, it would be good to know if there's any possibility of making actual money. From what I'm reading so far, it would take a very large up-front investment, and about 10,000 hives. Yikes.




    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    If you ever get around to keeping bees to make money you may find out what I did. It took many years to become profitable. I have had many years of negative income.

    I once asked a friend of mine who had been a commercial beekeeper longer than I about making a profit. "What do I need to do to make money at this? When will I see some profit?" He replied, "After the kids are out of the house." It may take years of persistence.

    Don't chase the money. Live simply off of what you do. I used to do annual Profit and Loss Statements and couldn't figure out what we lived on. Seemed like everything went into paying for "the Business". Obviously we lived off of something. We had a home and never went w/out food and clothing and other necessities. There just wasn't anything in the Personal Income slot.

    It is fun, I guess. I would say that I do what I do for reasons other than "fun". Many times iy isn't "fun". Loading bees on a semi in 95 degrees w/ 95% humidity in a bee suit for instance. But I am doing what I want to do pretty much on my own terms. No "Boss" overlooking what I do. No committee meetings. I like to work outdoors. I'm pretty low maintenance. Simple tastes simple pleasures. I work as much as I want to. Sometimes I think I should work harder, but that is my choice. I take the blame and the praise. Self evaluated.

    I hope that wasn't too much a bucket of cold water. A bucket of cold water can put you off or wake you up to the realities. Enjoy.

  9. #48
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sullivan, MO
    Posts
    918

    Default Re: Making money as a beekeeper

    Quote Originally Posted by kdl View Post
    I think I was really energized because at first glance (and with 0 experience as a Beekeeper), it seemed perfect. There's a huge need, you can be proud to make a difference in a field that, quite literally, is helping ensure the longevity of the species (our species, not just the bee), and honey and beeswax sell for a brazillion dollars an ounce in most markets. I like to do research, especially before I go leaping off financial cliffs. I wouldn't buy a hive or even pretend to raise bees before I had PLENTY of information, as much as I can get my hands on. And while I wouldn't mind being one of the hobby guys, it would be good to know if there's any possibility of making actual money. From what I'm reading so far, it would take a very large up-front investment, and about 10,000 hives. Yikes.
    Actually my opinion is actually just the reverse. You start out small and learn how to cut corners and what you need and what you don't need. Also learning how to be a beekeeper is not something you learn over night thru a book or a website (even one as good as this one). You need real world hands on experience. Why in the world would you want to start with 100 or 1000 hives when your mistakes are going to multiplied by that number of bees and $$$. I've got a friend (wink wink) that has 4 or 5 fullsize hives and 5-10 nucs. Thru selling nucs and honey he makes between 1500 and 2000$ (most of which is profit because he makes his bees pay for things as he goes along). Now this friend couldn't take this straight to a 100 hive operation and make 30-40k immediately, but I believe he could do it over time. I get so tired of hearing that there's no $$ in beekeeping, the way to make a small fortune is to start with a large fortune. Well yeah if you are going to buy things you don't need, or start so big that you over load your britches or course you're gonna lose money.

  10. #49
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    3,021

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

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    It is fun, I guess. I would say that I do what I do for reasons other than "fun". Many times iy isn't "fun". Loading bees on a semi in 95 degrees w/ 95% humidity in a bee suit for instance. But I am doing what I want to do pretty much on my own terms. No "Boss" overlooking what I do. No committee meetings. I like to work outdoors. I'm pretty low maintenance. Simple tastes simple pleasures. I work as much as I want to. Sometimes I think I should work harder, but that is my choice. I take the blame and the praise. Self evaluated.
    I would say it the very same way Mark. Beekeeping is getting to be very hard work for me the last couple years, due mainly to my age(57) and some health problems, but you know what, I wouldn't want to do anything else even if I could start over again. The money is there to be made if you want to work hard enough at it.

  11. #50

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Gene Weitzel View Post
    I have just hit that 100 mark this year. I started about 5 years ago, and I can say that if it were not for the income I receive from removals and swarm capture, I would definately be in the red (I happen to be in a unique position, as I have two sons who are full time students, but are available during most of the busy season to do removals during the week for me while I continue to work a full time day job). As for actual income from 100 hives, I won't have any reliable history for a couple of years so unfortunatley I am of little help in answering your question.
    That reminds me of a friend that raises cattle. I asked him once how he made any money considering fencing, feed, hay, medicine, time, effort, etc. He said, "Well................you've got to have a good job." I think the same applies to bees.
    Greg Whitehead, Ten Mile, TN
    Blog - http://gregsbees.blogspot.com/

  12. #51
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Tampa, FL, USA
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Making money as a beekeeper

    We won't jump in without a well thought out approach, and I can't imagine trying to start with any sort of large operation. At this point, it would have to be very small, and controlled (to the extent possible). But I have to believe that raising bees is pretty fulfilling, even as a hobby. Bee populations are declining- no bees, no people. Seems like a cause worth supporting. And if it's profitable, all the better.

  13. #52
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    3,796

    Default Re: Making money as a beekeeper

    Quote Originally Posted by kdl View Post
    no bees, no people.
    This is the sort of idea the popular press would love for us to believe. Do some research into what crops are honey bee/insect pollinated and which rely on wind. If there were 0 honey bees and native pollinators our diet would be extremely expensive and very different, but there will still be food in the grocery stores.

    Keep in mind that the big noise regarding lack of bees for pollination is from Almonds. Almonds have become economically important to commercial beekeeping, and as long as the prices for pollination keep rising there will be bee keepers who conclude the money is worth the risks. When there is difficulty attracting enough American beekeepers, I see the borders opening, probably first with Canada, then with Mexico to allow migratory pollination.

    I don't mean to imply that nothing should be done to solve beekeeping problems and/or preserve and enhance native pollinator populations. I just don't buy into "the sky is falling" type stories.

    How much money can be made from 100 hives? The Vegas casinos were mentioned earlier - I think the big money in beekeeping equates to big risks - only we're not talking vegas rules but rather things like will your bees be turned away at the border for fire ants or will your bees be exposed to something while pollinating. Some risks the individual can control. Others not so much.
    Last edited by Andrew Dewey; 07-29-2013 at 06:58 AM.

  14. #53
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Tampa, FL, USA
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Making money as a beekeeper

    I'm all about research, for sure. And for us, the bees would likely be part of a larger organization, including an organic farm. But none of that can be done without a ton of information gathering, hands-on experience, a good and proven business model, up-front investment, and the ability to work within the 885,933,445 pages of government regulation that give you the ability (and possibly funding) to pursue that sort of endeavor. So while I imagine we wouldn't fall into the "10,000 hive" (yikes) model I often hear about, there is almost certainly a way to integrate the bee farming into a small scale organic farming site which could be somewhat profitable, at least eventually. After all, if it weren't possible- it wouldn't be happening.

  15. #54
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    34,541

    Default Re: Making money as a beekeeper

    How many nucs can you sell? If your colonies are strong enough to make nucs from in Spring you can take in $100.00 to $150.00 per hive by making and selling nucs. Do that annually by pulling 5 frames out of each hive and in 4 yrs you will have all new combs in your hives.

    Don't bother buying an extractor. Using all deep supers you will have a lot of interchangeable frames to work w/ and you shouldn't have to feed if you resist the temptation to harvest honey. Leave all the honey on the hives. Doing that, maybe you will get more than one nuc per hive.

    If you can sell an average of 200 nucs you should have $20,000.00 in Income. Expenses will be for the hives you started with and the nuc boxes. The frames and foundation needed to rerplace what you take out of the hives. The cost of queens or queen rearing equipment if you decide to raise queens yourself. There would be some other expenses perhaps unforeseen. That's what the Misc. Expense column is for.
    Mark Berninghausen

  16. #55
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    6,612

    Default Re: Making money as a beekeeper

    Quote Originally Posted by rweakley View Post
    Now this friend couldn't take this straight to a 100 hive operation and make 30-40k immediately, but I believe he could do it over time. I get so tired of hearing that there's no $$ in beekeeping, the way to make a small fortune is to start with a large fortune.
    So do I. There is lots of money being made in this business right now. Don't believe all the hype. The sky isn't falling. Prices are at record levels. Theses conversations tend to get dominated by a lot of well meaning folks trying hard to get to profitability. Its true the tough part is the investment required to reach a point of profitability which, I believe, is 500+ hives. That's the really tough initial investment. After that the operating cost per hive begins to decrease and your ability to get income increases because you are at a full semi load of bees and can readily move them to where they will make you the most income whether it be almond pollination or honey production. I know of one guy who has around 500+ hives and dosent even own extracting facilities. He just goes from one pollination gig to the next and says it can be a nuisance when they start raising too much honey. He buys some cells from me each spring in east Texas and uses his nucs to plug in the holes in his load of pollination bees. I know its hard to discern this reading stories here on Beesource but there are just so many ways to make money in this business but the folks doing it are rarely the type that choose to put their business plans out here for all to read.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  17. #56
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    3,021

    Default Re: Making money as a beekeeper

    Jim, the most accurate response so far imo. There are so many angles to make money in this business depending on how much time and energy you want to put forth. But as you say the investment up to around 500 hives is the tough part for most people unless the business just falls into your lap, which does happen.

  18. #57
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    5,183

    Default Re: Making money as a beekeeper

    It sounds like bee keeping is a lot like many owner opperated businesses. If you get up every day and do what has to be done you can make a living at it. If you have some business expertise you can make a good living at it. If your focus is not on making a profit you probably won't. If it was easy anyone could do it. If it was a get rich quick scheme everyone would do it, and then it wouldn't be anymore. Also it's freaking hard hot work.

    Some upsides that I see to beekeeping as a small business: it actually is a skill - a bee keeper can't be replaced by just anyone wanting a job. It isn't easy to automate - you won't be replaced by a machine any time soon. It's getting more difficult because of parasites, chemicals, ect. - that limits competition for those who learn to deal with the challenges. It isn't easily scalable - that keeps you from being forced out of business by a big corporation. Those are probably also some of the same things that make it difficult to get to that 500 hive profit point.

  19. #58
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Spokane, Washington USA
    Posts
    21

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

    It depends, you won't ever make money just beekeeping. But if you extract, pack, repack, deal with your propolis and your wax, market, and retail there are some opportunities out there. Probably not in the numbers you're talking about, but I've turned fairly decent profits buying unextracted honey and whole sale barrels. I've also heard there is money in queen rearing, but I can't give any personal experience as I mostly deal in honey production.

  20. #59
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN USA
    Posts
    685

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

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    If you ever get around to keeping bees to make money you may find out what I did. It took many years to become profitable. I have had many years of negative income.
    This is true of any business, and its one of the first things they tell you if you're smart enough to actually get professional advice when starting a new business.

    Expect and plan for 5 years of losses. On average, any new venture will fail miserably for 5 years before it starts breaking even and turning a profit. If you can't afford to lose the money for those 5 years, you can't afford to start your own business yet.
    Beekeeper since 2013. Read my bee blog at:
    http://harrisonbayhoney.blogspot.com

  21. #60
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    34,541

    Default Re: Making money as a beekeeper

    Quote Originally Posted by jmgi View Post
    Jim, the most accurate response so far imo. There are so many angles to make money in this business depending on how much time and energy you want to put forth. But as you say the investment up to around 500 hives is the tough part for most people unless the business just falls into your lap, which does happen.
    Is there no one lending money on Beekeeping Operations these days? There are beekeepers who want to sell. Seems like there aught to be lenders willing to lend. I bought into the 400 hive range via the FSA. Sequestration probably has that avenue closed down. But w/ the almond pollination being such a good source of income I would think that a bank or other lending institution would go along w/ a business plan in which a person bought a tractor trailer load of bees right out of the groves.

    I have a banker/loan officer who I met once about 3 years ago. He calls me, comes by, or sends me a card every now and then. I think he is interested in lending me money. I'll be seeing him when it's time to invest in a new truck. I believe there is money out there for those willing to take the leap.
    Mark Berninghausen

Page 3 of 8 FirstFirst 12345 ... 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
  •