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Discussion Starter #1
OK, OK, the thread title is sort of a joke.

The real thread title is 'question; how many townies do you need in an area to support a honey business?' (Or support other beekeeping activities as a side business etc?) (Or how big a town can support 1 beekeeper?)

I wanted to study this question out to figure this. I think its pretty relevant for most of us.

I guess this also depends on adjusting the figure for how easy it is to market or sell also.
 

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You might just change the title as it might get flagged as being in the correct section.... which is the only reason I opened it.
Or just make a poll
 

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When you go to the hardware store, is there local honey for sale by the register? If there is, you might want to ask the cashier how much of that stuff he sales. If their isn't you might want to ask the manager if he's interested. If there is no hardware store, there probably aren't enough townies.

Does your town have farmers markets? If so then you're probably good. If not well see the above.

And if your town is too small, drive 10 miles in any direction, there is another spot somewhere near by.
 

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I think the best thing to do is figure our how much honey you would need to sell to support you and your business and work backwards from there. It depends on so many factors. People will pay good money in relatively affluent areas for local honey, but you can run into issues with market saturation.

The reality of going into the bee business is that beekeepers tend to make the greatest portion of their living off of selling actual bees like packages and nucs (which you would be selling out of town), less so with honey and or pollination contracts (unless you have thousands of hives and you can fill semi trucks).
 

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Beekeeping is a business, and a business needs customers to survive. A business owner that speaks of/to the customer base in derogatory ways tends to not survive.

As a beekeeper, I think you need to forget about selling direct to customers, and look at just selling honey wholesale to the packers, because it's quite obvious from your title, you dont have any respect for your potential customer base, and likely dont have the people skills to deal with direct sales.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
When you go to the hardware store, is there local honey for sale by the register? If there is, you might want to ask the cashier how much of that stuff he sales. If their isn't you might want to ask the manager if he's interested. If there is no hardware store, there probably aren't enough townies.

Does your town have farmers markets? If so then you're probably good. If not well see the above.

And if your town is too small, drive 10 miles in any direction, there is another spot somewhere near by.
Is 1 or 2 farmer's markets generally enough to really make much a dent in honey sales?

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Beekeeping is a business, and a business needs customers to survive. A business owner that speaks of/to the customer base in derogatory ways tends to not survive.

As a beekeeper, I think you need to forget about selling direct to customers, and look at just selling honey wholesale to the packers, because it's quite obvious from your title, you dont have any respect for your potential customer base, and likely dont have the people skills to deal with direct sales.
Well if I see anyone talking about customers in derogatory manner I'll let you know.

I don't think its necessary for you to feel offended at the word Townie. Its not a derogatory term.

In zombie games and shooters, the 'townies' are one group and the zombies are the other. It would have been offensive if I'd said how many zombies does it take to change a light bulb then, and NOT how many townies; because then I'd be calling people zombies. It could even be complementary to be a townie because they are the survivor group, usually.

And in light of the current economic meltdown occurring we all hope to be in the surviving townies group.
 

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There are really an infinite number of variables. If you have a lot of honey, selling at the farmer's maret and local stores isn't going to cut it.
In my area, the stores and farmer's markets are saturated with honey at what I consider ridiculou prices, and I don't mean cheap. A seller at the market, for their 8 hours time, may make $100, but not where I live.
Time is money, as they say, and the choices are yours to make..
 
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