[QUOTE=squareandcompasses;1063357] It's expensive to start, you will need hives, supers, pallets, lids, equipment to make patties, a truck, a skid loader with 5th wheel or swinger, trailer, mixing tanks, totes, pumps, extracting equipment, hive locations, a shop, van trailers to store stuff in, barrels, pollination contracts, honey pallets, electric fences, guns, buckets, nets, straps[/QUOTE
I had the guns for goat farming, didn't realize I needed them for beekeeping also. Reckon he's talking about a 12 ga??? : )
The money is good some years and lousy other years. What keeps a person going year after year is passion for beekeeping. It's not just a job but a way of life. It will be a bigger adjustment for your family than for you. I would recommend slowly building up and run a side business for a while. I know several people that got all excited about becoming a full-time beekeeper that they got in way over their heads and their business collapsed in only a few years. They were left with a mountain of debt.
I have been working in our family bee business all my life. We had almost 1500 hives at our peak. I, along with my brother, took over the ownership eight years ago. I thought very seriously about becoming a commercial beekeeper a few years back, but felt it would be too stressful for my family. I am now very satisfied with running 500 hives on the side and don't get too stressed when we have a low revenue year with the bees.
Better if they know how to cook well and have sweet personalities......
If you are thinking about doing this as a business, it would be much better if they know how to read a balance sheet, understand revenue and expenses, and can have the payroll ready on time. Bonus if the accounting skills are sufficient for doing a complex tax return.
Just do the math. It's far far less expensive to keep a cook on the payroll, than an accountant. Better off to marry the accountant, and hire a cook, than the other way around.
I'm going into my 3rd year. I have 20 colonies. I purchase equipment as if I'm building towards sidelining. It takes time to build to a point of self sufficiency. Hopefully that point is 200-300 hives. Thats my retirement plan anyway. Honey sales, queens and nucs. I don't know if it's realistic but at least I'm trying.