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Hello, does anyone know about how much you can make from one hive from honey alone? And how many beehives can you put in one 2 mile radius (no worries of too many bees flying around for neighbors and such). How many hours a week would you have to put in on them? What are the costs per hive? Thanks.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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There are too many variables to answer most of your questions, other than "it depends". Hives in different parts of the country produce vastly different amounts of honey. The price per pound you get is dependent on local market conditions, but around $10 per pound is a good base number. I have heard that a properly managed hive can produce about $500 per year gross, which includes selling bees as part of the equation, but a single hive in your backyard will not come even close. In my agricultural/residential neighborhood, I can easily support 20 full sized colonies and about the same number of nucs, but I have to feed from July to October. Time spent also varies depending on your beekeeping style and experience. Right now I am spending about fifteen hours per week building equipment, grafting, splitting, cleaning up stuff, and general apiary maintenance. That will slow down in the summer and just about stop in the winter. Beekeepers live for the Spring. My hobby barely pays for itself now and was costing me about 5K per year for the first two years as I built the apiary.
 

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The avatar shows a spotless new bee suit pouring a package into a box of brand new frames. Assuming that is you, then you are asking the wrong question. The question you should be asking is 'how much will I have to spend to have a good chance of these bees surviving till next year at this time?'
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I am simply wondering how much someone who does this as a full time job, or a side line business makes. I love my new hobby and am looking into running say 60 acres of farm land. So, I am wondering about how much money someone could get from running the maximum number of hives possible there. Of course as a sort of side line along with a crop or two.
 

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6a 4th yr 9 colonies inc. 2 resource hives
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Had to laugh out loud at grozzie2's comment but it is spot on. Honey is a second year ambition but love the enthusiasm. The bees need to build a city first before they have somewhere to put the honey. Recommend all video's from University of Guelph on YouTube. "Comb Building" is outstanding. This is an expensive hobby to start. Time and cost improves over time. My stacks are about $700 a piece for all parts. If you are in your first year keeping bees alive is a great ambition. Most lose their first colonies. Highest losses come from mites and starvation. There is a lot of discussion about that here. Wishing you well.
 

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I am simply wondering how much someone who does this as a full time job, or a side line business makes. I love my new hobby and am looking into running say 60 acres of farm land. So, I am wondering about how much money someone could get from running the maximum number of hives possible there. Of course as a sort of side line along with a crop or two.
It all depends on the scale...and everything going right. The commercial guy I learn from told me "If you think you're going to get rich from bees, forget it." You can make a living if everything goes right...but it's a lot of work and a lot of headaches.

On a smaller scale, you can still make some money if you don't spend foolishly on things you don't really need and don't go into debt...and if you manage your hives properly. You also need to have someone who is good with taxes, so that you can take every possible deduction (without doing anything illegal).

Let's say that you can get 100lbs per hive per year, at $10/lb(retail) that's $1,000. Then, in your first years you can depreciate the costs of bees and equipment. But not everything left is profit- you still have to purchase containers and labels, and you have merchandising costs/vehicle expenses, etc.

There are a whole lot of other things to figure in too, medications, labor, yada yada yada. If you run the numbers and calculate an hourly wage, there are a whole lot of other ways to make more money with less risk. But, in this case, you are working for yourself and not for a 'boss'- that can be important for some people.
 

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This site has one the more rational articles on beekeeping income:

The standout part for me was:
"Honey Production
According to the 2016 Honey Industry Report by Bee Culture, U.S. honeybees produce 161.9 million pounds of honey in one year. This means an average yield of 31.9 pounds of honey per year per colony.
While every hive’s production is different and depends on the overall health and strength of the colony, some classifications of honeybees make more honey than others. For example, Italian honeybees produce the most honey while Caucasian honeybees produce the least.
Honey Profits
Beekeeping profit per hive depends on how much money you spend on the hive’s maintenance versus how much honey output it has. For many beekeepers, the “work” is actually a hobby, so the extra money that it generates does not need to be a full-time income.

However, for beekeepers who hope to make income from their hives, consider the figures above. If each hive yields 31.9 pounds of honey per year, the retail price of 462 cents per pound means one hive earns $147.39 each year. At those rates, a beekeeper would need over 200 hives to equal a $30,000 per year salary."


The price of honey has gone up,
If you get into pollination services or selling bees, it becomes more lucrative but also more time and expenses are involved.

Some of the costs are for
1. Woodshop
2. Honey extracting equipment
3. Honey jars, labels, agricultural food license (to sell through stores and directly via a stand)
4. Sugar to feed bees
5. Cost of any workers to help with hive maintenance and honey extraction.
 

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Small Cell Nucs
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What kind of flora do you have? And trees? If you search for nectar producing trees and plants. You can find alot of lists that will help you figure out if your in a good nectar producing area. Even wikipedia has a half way thorough list.
And there is a recent thread discussing the different clovers that would really be super good for the bees if you have open land.
 
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