How much money can a beekeeper make in a year owning 100 hives? - Page 5
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  1. #81
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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 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
    Does anyone know what has happened w/ Mikey since starting this Thread? Fallen off the Earth? Changed his mind? Went somewhere else for advice?
    Mark Berninghausen

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  3. #82
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    Default Re: How much money can a beekeeper make in a year owning 100 hives?

    Quote Originally Posted by IndianaHoney View Post
    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.
    Mann Lake's founding: 1983

    Not all big guys have been around for a hundred years. You just need a good business plan, a lot of determination, and some time to get it all into motion. As with any business, though, if you want to make money, you need to be able to plan ahead of time, to be able to predict revenues and costs to properly evaluate what's worth your time, and what equipment is worth its costs. People need to know about your product, like your product, and be willing to pay the price you want for your product.

  4. #83
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    Default Re: Making money as a beekeeper

    Quote Originally Posted by EastSideBuzz View Post
    ...I run 200 hives and spend 3 hours a day every day (365) and then at least 10 on a weekend...
    That sums up to 8 hours/hive and year and that is about the same as my figures. The main problem for me is that most of these hours need to be done during April-September.

  5. #84
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    Salem, IL, USA
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    Default Re: Making money as a beekeeper

    8 hours per hive per year works out to about .15 hours per hive per week. So with those numbers I could manage 100 hives, all theoretical though. I understand that it is merely a guess as too many factors come into play but that does answer my question. As a new person I didnt know if it was going to be 10, 25, 300, ect. I just wanted a very rough ball park figure.

    As for the fact that bee keeping is Ag related and very up and down is ok with me. I would not be using any profits to count as my income. Any profits would go back into the business or just be spent on "wants" in life not needs. My main business pays for all our needs, I am just looking for a hobby that I would enjoy to consume some extra hours during the week.

  6. #85
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    Default Re: Making money as a beekeeper

    Then get two and enjoy them. Then, when you get the urge, play around w/ the different aspects of bees and beekeeping. Enjoy you hobby.
    Mark Berninghausen

  7. #86
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    Default Re: How much money can a beekeeper make in a year owning 100 hives?

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Does anyone know what has happened w/ Mikey since starting this Thread? Fallen off the Earth? Changed his mind? Went somewhere else for advice?
    probably went somewhere else for advice

  8. #87
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    Default Re: How much money can a beekeeper make in a year owning 100 hives?

    Quote Originally Posted by allan View Post
    probably went somewhere else for advice
    Yeah, probably didn't like hearing "You're more likely to lose money".

    I mean, you'll notice that even small places that commercially sell honey also sell wax, nucs, packages, hive gear, and various equipment as well, because they sure as heck can't stay in the black off of just the honey.
    Beekeeper since 2013. Read my bee blog at:
    http://harrisonbayhoney.blogspot.com

  9. #88
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    Default Re: How much money can a beekeeper make in a year owning 100 hives?

    Quote Originally Posted by Edymnion View Post
    Yeah, probably didn't like hearing "You're more likely to lose money".

    I mean, you'll notice that even small places that commercially sell honey also sell wax, nucs, packages, hive gear, and various equipment as well, because they sure as heck can't stay in the black off of just the honey.
    I don't mean this in a derogatory way but that is, quite simply, incorrect. You "notice" the commercial operations that sell these other products (with the exception of beeswax which is just a factor of honey production) because they are advertising. What is difficult to gauge is the much larger percentage of commercials who may only be known to a few of the large honey packers that they deal directly with. Honey is currently selling at historically high prices, and yes it's not only possible to "stay in the black" with honey and wax sales alone, it's possible to make a good living at it. The distinction, as I pointed out much earlier in this thread is to reach the point of viability which is probably somewhere in the 500 hive range.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  10. #89
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    Default Re: How much money can a beekeeper make in a year owning 100 hives?

    Yes, but he wasn't talking about the 500 hive range, and I personally would not consider 500 hives to be a small operation.

    Its entirely possible to stay in the black with just the honey when you are capable of producing it by the 55 gallon drum, but again I wouldn't call any place capable of that a small time operation. When you're measuring in tens of hives and not hundreds of hives, I don't think you're going to be able to get by on just selling the honey.
    Beekeeper since 2013. Read my bee blog at:
    http://harrisonbayhoney.blogspot.com

  11. #90
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    Default Re: How much money can a beekeeper make in a year owning 100 hives?

    Quote Originally Posted by Edymnion View Post
    Yes, but he wasn't talking about the 500 hive range, and I personally would not consider 500 hives to be a small operation.

    Its entirely possible to stay in the black with just the honey when you are capable of producing it by the 55 gallon drum, but again I wouldn't call any place capable of that a small time operation. When you're measuring in tens of hives and not hundreds of hives, I don't think you're going to be able to get by on just selling the honey.
    Agreed. I'm not trying to split hairs here but I think that is somewhat at variance with your statement that "even small places that commercially sell honey also sell........because they sure as heck can't stay in the black off of just the honey".
    A little historical perspective is in order here I believe. In 2005 I was bid .85 a lb. for white honey. Last year I sold a large part of our crop for 2.25 and that is far less than what a creative producer can get marketing his honey as an exclusive locally produced product. I just don't want to leave folks just learning this stuff with the impression that honey production is a losing proposition.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  12. #91
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    Default Re: How much money can a beekeeper make in a year owning 100 hives?

    An old beekeeper had just won the $1 million lottery. The local newspaper man asked him what he was going to do now that he won all that money. His response "I'll just keep raising bees till the money is gone".

  13. #92

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

    How far your willing to go and your location cuts into profitability. Pollinating late honey and bees are main sources of income. In my area apple pollinating is only agriculture and place is heavy. clear cut so I'm gonna spread my hives to make a little honey.three suppers capped is great and one of sourwood is as good as I see. I wish there was more nectar crops growinglike canola but from July til Sept. Feeding is involved. Local honey is as16 a quart so the potential is there on a good year to make 250 a hive. But if you truck the where they need pollinating way more profit and feed all the time to get more splits.

  14. #93
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    Default Re: How much money can a beekeeper make in a year owning 100 hives?

    Thanks for the question and responses! This has been a most sobering/useful thread!
    To Bee or not to Bee...That's the question!

  15. #94
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    Default Re: How much money can a beekeeper make in a year owning 100 hives?

    no offense to all you fine gentlemen but I have to raise the objection that I think most people who answer this are mixing their personal expenses and personal spending with their beekeeping income. Every job I've investigated everyone will always say they are poor, or the work is too hard, that the competition is almost putting them under, or that only an expert can do their field. I have to really question if people are really being honest and I can't really blame them. We live in a culture that gives you a medal if you lay people off to give the survivors a higher income...

    So what do you say to that?

  16. #95
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    Default Re: How much money can a beekeeper make in a year owning 100 hives?

    I can only say then the ones who got laid off go into beekeeping. Should I say go into beekeeping before
    the lay off. Beekeeping will keep their minds sharp until the next job come again. I think sideliner is the proper term here.
    Then they are forever be employed. Making this transition is not easy when trying to
    balance everything out in life.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  17. #96
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    Default Re: How much money can a beekeeper make in a year owning 100 hives?

    Quote Originally Posted by hagane View Post
    So what do you say to that?
    I say, I don't know who you have been talking to. If one works at beekeeping it is hard work. It's physical labor. What most White Americans aren't used to doing. And it's Farming at its most basic. So, of course one is not likely to be well of from doing it. But there is more to life than being well off. Were you to really look at my "books", such as they are, you would find it hard to distinguish between personal and business.

    Many a year our business plans, when we did them, looked as though we didn't make any real income and had no living expenses. But obviously we ate and paid all of the other non-business expenses. Somehow. The fact that they didn't appear wasn't by design or to avoid anyone or anything. Just how it was.

    So it's not simply a matter of being honest or not. The standard of living of beekeepers, from what I have seen, and I mean full time beekeepers, is not a high standard of living. Better than many, but not wealthy by most people's standards.

    And I have never heard that anyone ever got a medal for laying people off so the remaining employees could get paid better. That's an interesting/strange idea. Do people do that? I don't have any employees. So I wouldn't know.
    Mark Berninghausen

  18. #97
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    Default Re: How much money can a beekeeper make in a year owning 100 hives?

    I know one way to make a small fortune in beekeeping. Start with a large one.
    I want bees that make up for my mistakes.

  19. #98
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    Default Re: How much money can a beekeeper make in a year owning 100 hives?

    Yeah, start bigger without learning the basics of beekeeping. Go ahead to take out
    your 60k to buy a local bee operation and see what will happen next. Cannot imagine
    when a bee disease hit or when they're robbing each other during a dearth.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  20. #99
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    Default Re: How much money can a beekeeper make in a year owning 100 hives?

    I just read through this entire thread. It was interesting, to say the least. If I had stopped reading after the first couple of pages, I would be out trying to sell my 7 beehives tomorrow, lest I go bankrupt. The work schedule at my full-time job (firefighter) is 24hrs on 48hrs off, so I have time to run a small business on my off days. Right now I am the sole owner/operator of a lawn service. I make enough to pay for my family's recreational activities (vacations, amusement parks, going out to movies etc) I plan to slow down on the grass cutting, and try to take up some of the slack with keeping bees. I should be able to retail most of the honey, and in the future maybe raise queens or nucs. My youngest daughter is helping me with the bees, and with cutting grass. She would much rather work with a smoker and hive tool than run a weedeater... Anyway, if that doesn't work out, at least I'll have "free" honey for my family to eat, and to give my friends and relatives for Christmas. One thing I have learned: I'm glad I didn't try to jump into beekeeping with both feet. The learning curve is steep, and getting steeper.

  21. #100
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    Default Re: How much money can a beekeeper make in a year owning 100 hives?

    MicketReej bee keeping is hard work. It's hot and sweaty and sticky. It'll give you a bad back over the years. It takes a fair amount of muscle to move supers around. It's heartbreaking when you lose colonies that you have worked so hard to keep healthy. And you will lose colonies. And as you can see from this thread, it's far from a get rich quick business and there are no guarantees.

    But for me it gets me outside and in touch with nature and interacting with it. I feel a part of something much much bigger than me. I've always been attracted to farming and the honest hard work that it requires. But I am a city boy and this is my way to experience a slice of it. Selling honey to appreciative regular customers is more rewarding then the $8 a 1 lb jar I easily get. When someone finds out I keep bees and their eyes get big with curiosity, I know I am in for an enjoyable conversation.

    There are guys here who can make a living at it. But the vast majority of us do it because we love it. Except for the days it sucks.

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