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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is my 2nd year in beekeeping and was wondering about other small time beekeepers. Ive got some questions about small time beekeeping. Im in my fifties and only want maybe 50 to 75 hives. I enjoy it but would like to know what kind of profit I'll make. Where do you sell your bulk honey? Im not sure which other direction I want to go in pollination, queens or packages though I would get some opinions. I own enough land to carry 50 to 75 hives. Farm land close to a creek in ga. If you dont mind, lets here what some of you with 100 hives or less made last year. I made nothing last year trying to build up what I have.
 

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Hey Old Blue...tough question to answer as it differs depending on where you are and what you do. With only 75 hives you would be much better off selling your honey retail as you probably wouldn't make back your expenses selling bulk. Not sure about your area, but here our yield is about 55 lbs per hive on a normal year. You can get between 5 and 10 a lb retail, but lets figure the low end at 5. So that's a little over 4000 lbs of honey at 5 bucks a pop so on honey you can gross 20,625. That same amount bulk will only yield about 6.7 k. From that you have to subtract all your expenses which would depend on your operation. As a sideliner you could make money after a few years as your equipment gets paid for and you learn to reduce your on going expenses, but this kinda gives you an idea of what you are looking at...if everything goes well, which it won't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks for the reply alpha6. I live in a small town so im trying to be real about it. I dont think I could retail that much honey in my area. They are some other beekeepers in my area also selling honey so to be realistic I think I would have to sale some bulk. Just dont no where.
 

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I met a beek in western Kentucky a couple years ago who ran 30 hives, retailed his honey from his garage and around the area, and made about 8k clear. You might want to start off small and build your business, developing your market, and see how much you can retail. Then figure if you want to keep it at that size, or grow larger and wholesale some... keep your options open.
Regards,
Steven
 

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Hey oldblue...I'm working along the same lines. Right now trying to build up hives, a market, gather and build equipment. When I do the math I figure to be at 50 hives producing in 2 years (I want to be at 100 total in 2 years but I think by then only 1/2 will be strong enough to have surpluss) an average of 40 lbs per hive, and able to retail that honey at 5 per lb after bottleing expense (8 per lb retail price). So figureing on 10K profit per year....Then I put down the crack pipe and think about coming up with the money to buy bottles and an extractor, wood, bees, queens, set up a honey room, get inspected by the state, learning to make splits and not have massive winter losses while going treatment free, and building a market of folks for a ton (2000 lbs!) of honey that will pass by a pound of sue bee for 4$ at Kroger and buy mine at $8 instead. Get's a little more real then. I'm still going to work my plan, but I won't be too upset if I find it was all a big daydream and the reality is much different. Honestly, I'd do it for free (and that maybe what happens..LOL) I like the bees!
On the bulk side of things, couple months back in Bee Culture there was an article about a honey producer/packer in N. Ga...Blue Ridge I think, who buys in from Georgia Beeks..Could be an option if you want to go bulk.
 
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