Can you make a living with Bees - Page 4
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  1. #61
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    Apr 2012
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    Rogersville, Missouri, USA
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    66

    Default Re: Can you make a living with Bees

    Geez, $10 pp. For that I could almost drive my honey to DC and sell it and still make a profit! Maybe, I should ship it to Matt and he can sell it for me for a nominal fee and then we would both make out.

    We get about $5-6 around here. Guess people in Missouri are too cheap to pay more. LOL. But... Since it appears that I will be sold out this year before I have even extracted 1 drop, and, I haven't given anyone a price yet... Maybe I need to shoot a bit higher this year.

    Hey, speaking of DC have you seen the video on the bees at the White House? I thought that was pretty cool!
    Jeff - like me on facebook
    See my bees @ www.ozarkshoney.com

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  3. #62
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sullivan, MO
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    Default Re: Can you make a living with Bees

    I am also in Missouri and I get 5$ a lb if I sell it and 4.25 wholesale to some who sells it in my jars. I could probably bump both of those prices, but I'm too lazy to make change and a move from 5 to 6 seems to be a bit much. I'll probably bite the bullet and jump everything .25 to .50 next year. I have relatives (wife's side of course) who think my 5$ price is highway robbery, don't you know you can get it for 3 something at walmart?

  4. #63
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
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    6,658

    Default Re: Can you make a living with Bees

    Vance: Remember the scene from "The Jerk" when he was working in a carnival and one day the light came on for him and he said
    "I get it now it's a profit deal"

  5. #64
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    Dec 2008
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    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
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    Default Re: Can you make a living with Bees

    don't you know you can get it for 3 something at walmart?

    But the "it" ain't honey, is it?

    It is time to culture customers with good tastes.

    Crazy Roland

  6. #65
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    Apr 2012
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    Rogersville, Missouri, USA
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    66

    Default Re: Can you make a living with Bees

    I have relatives (wife's side of course) who think my 5$ price is highway robbery, don't you know you can get it for 3 something at walmart?
    I would tell your relatives to go buy that Chinese import crap then... Because you have more than enough customers that are willing to pay full price for local honey. They obviously dont understand the value of true local raw honey.

    My 2 cents...
    Jeff - like me on facebook
    See my bees @ www.ozarkshoney.com

  7. #66
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
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    7,866

    Default Re: Can you make a living with Bees

    Yes I do. That is a novel concept to many these days. I have to admit my beekeeping these days really isn't. I am just an old fat retiree who can afford to play around. Right now I am gambling that I can winter a lot of colonies for sale in the spring. I think business will be good.
    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    Vance: Remember the scene from "The Jerk" when he was working in a carnival and one day the light came on for him and he said
    "I get it now it's a profit deal"

  8. #67
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    benton ky
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    41

    Default Re: Can you make a living with Bees

    You cant argue with people that think apples and oranges are the same thing. I had a friend in the service industry had a sign- speed quality or price. Chose any 2. No matter how hard you try its impossible to deliver all 3 of those items on a repeatable consistant level.
    Years ago people were more thannwilling to pay more for a product with a higher percieved value. What has happened is producers of those premium products over priced and underdelivered in the name of profit margins and corporate greed along with a mentality in business that people are stupid. Unfortunately now public perception is opposite. Sorry to blot but this hire a hot button with me

  9. #68
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Auger Hole, MN
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    433

    Default Re: Can you make a living with Bees

    couple of key points to get $9 a pound or better for your honey.

    honey bears and plastic packaging does not say pay more for my honey. glass is the way to go for higher sales price points

    custom designed packaging is an investment initially but then costs that same to print per label as some cut and paste crappy label.

    forget competing with grocery honey. in fact grocery stores are a waste of time as its all about price.

    find gourmet and specialty food outlets.

    have a web site and use facebook or twitter and social media.

    sell at farmers markets

    this will not work if you are not near an urban area.

  10. #69
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    Aug 2003
    Location
    Lancaster, Ky. / Frostproof Fl.
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    1,039

    Default Re: Can you make a living with Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by Bud Dingler View Post
    couple of key points to get $9 a pound or better for your honey.

    honey bears and plastic packaging does not say pay more for my honey. glass is the way to go for higher sales price points

    custom designed packaging is an investment initially but then costs that same to print per label as some cut and paste crappy label.

    forget competing with grocery honey. in fact grocery stores are a waste of time as its all about price.

    find gourmet and specialty food outlets.

    have a web site and use facebook or twitter and social media.

    sell at farmers markets

    this will not work if you are not near an urban area.
    for

    Bud...glad to see you. I was getting worried about you. All these new reports comming out a out nictinoids and no bud to take up Bayer had me worried. Your above post is exactly right...isn't it great we agree for once!

  11. #70
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    Dec 2008
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    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
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    Default Re: Can you make a living with Bees

    Bud said:

    this will not work if you are not near an urban area.

    Why do you say that? Rural people do not buy honey? I would think that the proper individual, with a unique history and bee management style, could market honey in a manner that was not confined to just their local area. There is this thing called the Internet I hear.

    Crazy Roland

  12. #71
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    Oct 2017
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    Brooklyn, N.Y.
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    Default Re: Can you make a living with Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    It's a typo. He meant 2,000. And the $100,000.00 is Net, not Gross.

    "I'm from Missouri. You gotta show me."
    i always look out for your posts they are always right to the point. thanks.

  13. #72
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    Oct 2017
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    Brooklyn, N.Y.
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    Post Re: Can you make a living with Bees

    [QUOTE=Brooklyn;489532]How many bee hives do you have to have to clear $ 100,000.00 a year profit.

    Hi,

    what if we revise your projections by say half?

    and then ask. How would someone earn 50-60k (52k being the sweet spot) a year as a beekeeper? (to clarify: 50-60k being the take home after expenses.)

    I am thinking along these lines because I am not looking to be rich I am interested in earning a decent living (and therefore assume everyone else is like me.) and am wondering if the modified numbers might make it an easier annual goal to reach.

    all input is valued and appreciated.

  14. #73
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    Aug 2010
    Location
    Fertile, MN
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    156

    Default

    [QUOTE=HeshyB;1586401]
    Quote Originally Posted by Brooklyn View Post
    How many bee hives do you have to have to clear $ 100,000.00 a year profit.

    Hi,

    what if we revise your projections by say half?

    and then ask. How would someone earn 50-60k (52k being the sweet spot) a year as a beekeeper? (to clarify: 50-60k being the take home after expenses.)

    I am thinking along these lines because I am not looking to be rich I am interested in earning a decent living (and therefore assume everyone else is like me.) and am wondering if the modified numbers might make it an easier annual goal to reach.

    all input is valued and appreciated.

    If you are experienced and know how to keep bees alive.. then around 1000 hives, with some end of year upgrade money to reduce tax load.

    On paper you prolly only need 448...

    If you are unexperienced you will scrape by or lose money with any number of hives.
    Young queens - Tanner Christianson

  15. #74
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    Jun 2012
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    Suffolk Co, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Can you make a living with Bees

    In the beginning, working for yourself, put keeping the bees successfully before any thought of income or business. And not a few hives for a couple of years. Only then consider ways to earn money from them. Keep the cart behind the horse.
    If you work for another beekeeper then you have no choice but to learn the bees first as the beekeeper who employs you calls the shots on the business side. A good way to start out if you can but beware a 6 month beekeeping class or 12 month employment stint isn't going to cut it.
    When one becomes good at keeping bees for years they'll know if it's possible to make a living at it.
    Bees first, business second (if at all) or risk following others down a well worn path of failure.

    You could buy a ongoing operation too, and hire out the experienced help to run it, like some have done.
    (BTW, anyone know how Paramount is making out with the bees? haven't heard much.)

  16. #75

    Default Re: Can you make a living with Bees

    A living can be made from beekeeping or there would not be commercial beekeepers. A living is different for each of us. It's agriculture. Ups and downs. Good years and bad. When its good you have to keep back income for the years it will be bad. Some are great managers and can get by with less colony's than others.
    We know what we need to live on and we have a good handle on what we average per hive in a five year period and we double that number of hives. We don't play outside what has worked for us such as trying treatment free, etc. We build our own equipment in the winters. We watch our costs and try to increase our profits just like any other business. I can honestly say it's some of the hardest work a man can do but we love the little buggers so the rewards that are not monetary make up the difference in lean times. It's hard when you've done everything you know to do and you have losses. It's definitely not for everybody.

  17. #76
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Chesapeake, VA 23325
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    8

    Default Re: Can you make a living with Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by Skinner Apiaries View Post
    if 9 bucks wasnt outrageous, my joke about your 40 lb average would be.
    Here in SE Virginia people do not hesitate to pay $15 a pound. I am very new and have only sold about 100 jars in my second and third year at $15 each. But when I have more hives and are able to produce far more than I do now, I will easly sell off locally for $12-$13 a pound. I cannot meet the demand for the honey just from work and church. I do also get random buyers who find me at the local club website where we advertise all local honey producers.
    Last edited by viclozan; 04-25-2018 at 07:58 AM.

  18. #77
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    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    53,942

    Default Re: Can you make a living with Bees

    "I should say that beekeeping is a good business to let alone, for the same amount of brains and energy that will make you a living at beekeeping will make more than a living at almost any other business."--C.C. Miller, A Thousand answers to beekeeping questions 1917 edition Page 18
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  19. #78
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    Apr 2018
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    Powhatan, VA
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    1

    Default Re: Can you make a living with Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    "I should say that beekeeping is a good business to let alone, for the same amount of brains and energy that will make you a living at beekeeping will make more than a living at almost any other business."--C.C. Miller, A Thousand answers to beekeeping questions 1917 edition Page 18
    thats a great quote! lol. but then again, they didn't have hipsters willing to spend $14 for a lb of honey in 1917 either. This whole sustainable foods movement is starting to move the needle some on assigning value to thoughtfully and sustainable raised local products. Not sure I would want to base my livelihood solely on servicing that niche though.

  20. #79
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Weston MO
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    22

    Default Re: Can you make a living with Bees

    I'm in Weston Missouri, but sell most of my honey over the counter at another retail store I own. $10/lb, glass jars, and an older label style that my Dad used. Only 800 pounds last year, but it was gone by November.
    A big part of our family since 1958. Thank you Mr. Langley.

  21. #80
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    May 2015
    Location
    Columbus, Georgia, USA
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    126

    Default Re: Can you make a living with Bees

    There are lots of things that a person can make a living doing.

    Most restaurants fail, but some restaurateurs make a living, and a few have made a fortune. The same can be said for farming.

    Making a living from beekeeping takes more than just a love of beekeeping. In fact, loving what you do, while helpful, isn't necessary for making a living. Many people dislike, or even hate, what they do for a living.

    What making a living at beekeeping takes, is knowledge, practical experience drive, determination, organization,a relentless drive for efficiency, a good head for business, VERY hard work, creativity, marketing, sales, and some luck. As the number of hives increases, so does the overhead, and difficulty level. It's kind of like juggling.

    Most people can juggle one ball. Juggling one ball is easy. It's not even really juggling. But if they juggle one ball long enough, they might convince themself they're a D*** good juggler. That there's nothing to juggling. Then they try to juggle 3 or 4 balls, and decide there might be more to juggling than they originally thought.

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