Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, this is my first time posting here. I am a junior in college and I’m working on a bee business to pursue after graduation. I’m specifically looking to start a bee brokerage with a few defining characteristics:

1. More revenue per hive – our goal is to increase your pollination contract revenue to over $300 per hive per year
2. Care-Free Transportation/Hauling Logistics – our business would coordinate all the transportation with minimal effort on your part
3. Contract Templates – we would provide contract templates for yourself and growers

We plan to maximize your revenue per hive by matching your beehive with almond growers, apple growers, cranberry growers, etc. By visiting multiple farms per year, your annual revenue per hive increases.

To offer good transportation logistics, we will hire transportation specialists who you can call anytime about moving your hives.

We will offer contract templates to beekeepers and growers on our website, so you can easily fill out contracts and focus on beekeeping.

All of this is made possible by having beekeepers subscribe to our service. We would likely offer our services for $30-40 per hive every year. The idea is beekeepers would pay our company for finding growers, convenience regarding hauling/trucking, and the contract templates.

Please let me know what you think of the business and feel free to give as much feedback as you like. Every piece of information helps, and I would really appreciate your perspective on any aspect of the business.

If you have any more questions you can post them below or email me at [email protected].

Thanks in advance 😊
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,540 Posts
I don't do pollination with my bees, so perhaps my concerns wouldn't be important to those that do. But I would be attracted to a third-party service that included efforts to protect my bees when they were out of my control. Protect them from mistreatment, spraying, theft, lack of food in large yards, etc. If I did pollination, I would want to know where they were and and know the growers. And I would expect a third-party service to do that in my name, in return for a piece of the fee.

OTOH, I think the long-term viability of the present contract pollination system is not sustainable - trucking bees across the country in the winter for a few weeks in the almonds depends on cheap fuel. And the biological consequences of doing so are going to result in some kind of catastrophe, as well.

Nancy
 

·
Moderator - In Memorium
Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
Joined
·
6,888 Posts
Not in the pollination end of things either, but I do have a business degree. On the surface, it does not sound like you are offering much for a 10+% take of the gross revenue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,773 Posts
You'll need to be into the bee business and build up for several years, perhaps a decade or more - before you can do a brokerage. You'll need to know a lot of farmers and develop their trust. Brokerages are built upon a reputation of always coming in over your estimates, excess transportation capacity (= big rigs, stinger rigs, and forklifts), and a reliable team of top-notch commercial beekeeping workers with class A licenses.

Send a few dozen hives each through several different brokers for a couple of years and see what you are looking for, what you like and dislike about their services. Then go improve on that service.

It would not be easy to get in - most farmers and beekeepers already have contracts. Sweet-talking farmers out of existing contracts will draw some serious ire from other beek's. They start bad-mouthing you, and you're out of business.

There is a guy in California who has been laughed out of business here on Beesource, yet he keeps trying, some guys in New Mexico who are facing theft charges, and there was a "big operation" in Florida that ran amok despite being a 5th generation beekeeper. There are also some good ones, and others whom despite their having been in the game a long time and running a successful brokerage, I would never recommend them to anyone.

Personally, I'm better off dealing with my own bees or just driving, queen rearing, and beekeeping for a reputable outfit. A sudden die-off of other people's bees could lead to a continuum of costly legal battles. Not my cup of tea, thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
233 Posts
I don't pollinate; but I did call a commercial guy last year, and he generously spent an hour on the phone with me. (He ran about 15,000 colonies, and quit going to almonds.)

This is what he told me: "There are a lot of schiesters out there. If you can't go with your own bees and develop personal relationships with the grower, I would stay home."

I haven't thought about it since.

Kilo makes some really good points, and hopefully a few of the other commercial guys with some insight to the industry will chime in, too. Their experience is invaluable!
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top