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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My name is Michael Murray. I am 21 years old and I am wanting to keep bees as a career. Would any of you be willing to offer me any advice on how to get started? Currently I only have three hives. I am raising funds, looking for grants, etc. in order to get more equipment. I guess I am wondering if you were to be starting up fresh in North Texas, what would you do?
Thanks!
 

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Start by working for another commercial beek. Be prepared for long days and nights. It is a lot of hard work. Don't look for free money. Work for it yourself. That's how you get ahead in life. Not by sucking on the Gov using everyone else's hard earned money!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Does anyone know of a commercial beekeeper in the North Texas area?

Haha... You're the second person to tell me that today. I'll take that as a sign...
 

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Let me be the third guy! I think you have to be mobile - if a guy in North Dakota offers you a job - take it (in other words don't expect to be able to commute from home) serve your 2-3 years and if you are still at it when you are 24-25, I think you will have a much better chance of making it. Stay out of debt!
 

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Spend time with a commercial person before you get big...way different ball game than a hobbiest
Have a plan on where you are going to sell your honey to

A business plan.
Projected income, then decrease by 25%
know your expenses, then increase by 25%
have a plan in place in case of drought and you need to feed early
have a plan in place incase you loose alot of hives

Set some goals

Always have on hand a sharp pencil, a good eraser, and alot of paper, cost every move out....this is vital and important if you are to succeed in Agriculture.

Bees are no longer pets when you get commercial, they are livestock and need to be treated as such...love the job, care for the bees, let the bees do the work, treat the bees right, know what is going on in the hive.

Be not afraid if the cost to revive a hive is more than it is worth. Shake out the bees, let them find a home and start again on that weak hive. Figure out what $ amount you are willing to spend to get a hive going, then stick to it. If that hive does not produce or get better by a set date, make a decision about that hive. Culling is an important aspect of livestock production...you want your best to give you the best!

Decide your goal...are you a honey producer, or a bee producer...is your market for honey or bees to sell...or queens to sell. Or a bit of each

Good luck
 

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To echo others here...get a job with a commercial beek. If you really are mobile then I would suggest going out to Hawaii and working for Kona Queen for a year. They are always looking for people. You learn mucho about how to raise queens which will pay off big time in your future and how commercial operations operate. Once that's under your belt get with a commercial guy that's in an area you like that does both honey and pollination so you learn those ends of the trade. Once you have all that down start building your own business. Grow at a rate you can afford. Try and avoid taking out a loan for the business, it is very risky with ag. The best way to increase is either slowly or by buying out smaller commercial guys and building up that way. This way you get equipment (and it's a lot, trust me) and yards plus a proven track record on the locations.


Good luck.
 
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