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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
April was my 1 year anniversary of beekeeping. 2 overwintered hives that both swarmed in May. I caught the swarms and have 4 hives now. I wanted to put on Apivar so I took 6 fully capped frames. I got 32.5 pounds of honey. I filled half pound bottles. 17 bottles fit in a Tupperware my wife has and I took it to work. In 20 minutes it was gone at $5 a bottle. I really wasn't expecting to sell 10 of them. I didn't have a dime on me so I couldn't make change. People were mad I didn't come to them 1st. I've been showing them videos and pictures on my phone for a year. The rest of them sold out just as easily and I was able to break a 20 too. I could sell another 32 pounds in a heartbeat. I have to get a handle on this swarm thing.
ks
 

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Congrats. It was a really good year in our area. I have lots of honey from my 4 hives but just give it away to friends and co workers. Really should try to sell. Now feeding to get ready for winter.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Congrats. It was a really good year in our area. I have lots of honey from my 4 hives but just give it away to friends and co workers. Really should try to sell. Now feeding to get ready for winter.
I think I did ok. I grew bees and got some honey. I spent almost $400 on an extractor so the sales paid part of that back.
 

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Good job KS.
So get them thru winter, have a couple more hives ready, by spring, for splits or swarms.
do the math on how many supers you need next year, makes a good winter project getting ready.

Optional start looking for a second site.

GG
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Good job KS.
So get them thru winter, have a couple more hives ready, by spring, for splits or swarms.
do the math on how many supers you need next year, makes a good winter project getting ready.

Optional start looking for a second site.

GG
Over wintering is key. I'm hoping I can keep 10 hives on my lot. My emergency move to site is my aunt's house but it's 35 miles away. I've seen a little nook that would be perfect for bees about 2 miles from the house but I don't know who owns it. I do have one of the Dadant support hives and a 5 frame nuc ready. My wife recently asked me to teach her to install a package so that's 1. I had been thinking about going to 8 hives next year but not sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I think I am about breaking even now. I am making about as much on sales as I spend.
That's a good place to be. At some point the new equipment expenses have to drop off. In my head I think I want 25 hives. We'll see if I think that when I have 10.

I have pretty simple goals here. A fun hobby that pays for itself that might pay for some nice vacations. My wife has been retired for a year now. I've got 5 if things don't south of where they are now.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
My customer service skills are very bad.

There's some beekeepers around here who can sell 1000lbs of honey in a heartbeat.
I didn't think I could be a salesman. Years ago I worked sales in a camera store. Good photographer, bad salesman. I tried selling floor cleaning jobs for a friend's business. Sold 2 out of nearly 300 sales calls. I'm a social person. I'll talk to people anywhere and everywhere. I will talk about bees to anyone that doesn't move away. I go to the grocery store to get food safe buckets from the bakery. They don't like to give them away so I show them pictures on my phone and they give me a bucket. It's easier for something that I truly enjoy.
ks
 

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" I've seen a little nook that would be perfect for bees about 2 miles from the house but"


Most towns have their property records digitized and online. You could call your town hall to find out how to access these records.

Having another beeyard close by is very handy.
 

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Great first year! And whatever you did to overwinter the bees must have worked, repeat. As far as swarming, give them room and if need be pull the excluder if you use them. Better to have your queen in the super than have her gone.
 

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I didn't think I could be a salesman. Years ago I worked sales in a camera store. Good photographer, bad salesman. I tried selling floor cleaning jobs for a friend's business. Sold 2 out of nearly 300 sales calls. I'm a social person. I'll talk to people anywhere and everywhere. I will talk about bees to anyone that doesn't move away. I go to the grocery store to get food safe buckets from the bakery. They don't like to give them away so I show them pictures on my phone and they give me a bucket. It's easier for something that I truly enjoy.
ks
My social skills are also quite bad.

I'd basically need to find someone who I can sell the honey to who can then market it themselves or something like that.

For now, I just have enough honey for myself for about 5 years.
 

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I've got three coworkers who make mead. Each of them bought a 60 lb bucket (5 gallons) of honey from me this year. I kept only about 20 lbs for myself. I asked them to bring me the bucket. Easiest sales ever. No packaging. No hassle. And the best part is, combined with some spring nuc sales, it paid for my new electric extractor. My shoulder is no longer up for hand cranking.
 

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I've got three coworkers who make mead. Each of them bought a 60 lb bucket (5 gallons) of honey from me this year. I kept only about 20 lbs for myself. I asked them to bring me the bucket. Easiest sales ever. No packaging. No hassle. And the best part is, combined with some spring nuc sales, it paid for my new electric extractor. My shoulder is no longer up for hand cranking.
I'm just wondering - how much discount (from your "retail" jar price) you normally give clients that buy in bulk like the example above? I sell buckets at about 30-40% discount (based on weight) vs jars, not sure what others do.
 

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My social skills are also quite bad.

I'd basically need to find someone who I can sell the honey to who can then market it themselves or something like that.

For now, I just have enough honey for myself for about 5 years.
You could always start a moonshine still. I'm sure you could whittle down that 5 year honey bucket to maybe a year. And I'm sure some white lightening would sell better than mead.
 

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That's a good place to be. At some point the new equipment expenses have to drop off. In my head I think I want 25 hives. We'll see if I think that when I have 10.

I have pretty simple goals here. A fun hobby that pays for itself that might pay for some nice vacations. My wife has been retired for a year now. I've got 5 if things don't south of where they are now.
yes, after you get the equipment the cost drops off if you keep the same number of hives. I bought some equipment this year, but did not need to buy much. Some of the equipment I bought was to replace the 1 box hive that I sold. At this point going forward I think my biggest expense is going to be containers for selling honey and mite treatments.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
...it paid for my new electric extractor. My shoulder is no longer up for hand cranking.
I hand cranked an extractor at a club meeting for 10 minutes before it was somebody else's turn and that convinced me to get a motorized extractor. I'm reconsidering having all deep boxes.
ks
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Great first year! And whatever you did to overwinter the bees must have worked, repeat. As far as swarming, give them room and if need be pull the excluder if you use them. Better to have your queen in the super than have her gone.
I'm in a similar position as last year. The swarmed queens are one year older. I didn't have queen excluders in. I had added a 3rd deep and moved some frames of brood to try to get them to draw comb but they were not interest. I have a little more comb but double the bees. It's all good.
ks
 
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