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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was sitting around the other day thinking about ways to sell my honey when a thought hit me,Why dont I set up a co-op where people that are small producers can come and extract their honey and either bottle it or sell it to the co-op who in turn could market the honey through a number of sources.I have several friends who own produce stands that are begging to get local honey and I can let them sell all of mine but I would run out in a couple of days so my thought is if a bunch of us small time guys went together we could bottle it up and sell it through the other guys and keep a better supply on hand.These are just random thoughts and I havnt started to organize them just yet but maybe some of you could relate your experiences and give me some advice or at least point out the error in my thinking(I get a lot of those)Thanks in advance
 

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It's a good idea, but you'd have to have a few serious sideliners to make the monetary part work out I think.

You'll need a facility and you'll need to have it certified and licensed properly.

You will probably need to have insurance too.

These things require some cash outlay and hobbyists don't have it, and the really serious guys all have their own facilities, so you will initially only be of interest to a select slice of people in the middle. If you have enough people it could work out nicely.

I have heard of church kitchens becoming certified, but I don't know how feasible this is. I know in my area - if I had an alternative to messing up the home kitchen for a week, my wife would sure appreciate my going elsewhere.

I am building a new house and am thinking of building a full second kitchen/extracting facility in the detached garage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have a building(250,000 SF.)so I can find a place to do it.I already have a couple of extractors and honey storage tanks.I will raelly just need to come up with some stainless restraunt type sinks and a few other items.I have a spot that has tile floors and a flor drain already so it shouldnt be too hard to make it into a honey house.Insurance is usually pretty cheap.
 

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So how are the profits divided up? What kind of pay does the co-op board get for marketing the honey? (or do they just volunteer?)

You have a building, extractors, storage tanks, etc. Are you donating the use of these things, or renting them to the co-op?

Let's say I have a medium super full of honey. What can I expect to receive if I sell my super through the co-op?

Do I extract it using your equipment, or do other co-op members extract it?

Who bottles it? Me, or do other coop members bottle it up?

Who sets the price the co-op would pay me for my honey?

How is it marketed? Do I have a say in how it gets marketed?

Does the co-op keep 10% of my crop for 10 years?
 

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I think that it would be a good idea, you never know how it will work until you try, but if you have a few friends that are also keeping bees try to start out small with them and see how it goes and then if all goes well then you could move on to a bigger group of beeks in your area. You just have to figure out how much you can get out of each size super and pay X amount per super and just lower it a bit to cover the cost of the co-op. If you give this a try you will have to let us know how it goes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Countryboy,All good and valid questions that will take some time and thought for me to answer.I obviously havnt thought it out that far yet.The original thought on the subject was that people ask me for local honey 12 months out of the year but I only have local honey to sell about 2 months out of the year so I'm just trying to increase the amount of honey available to sell.I am building up my bee yards and in the next couple of years I might have so much to sell so that I wont be thinking about it.I also like to meet other beekeepers and network resources to keep things cheap.I'm not looking to get rich messing with bees(persuing that goal through other means) So as I talk to my local beekeeping buddies I will ask them what their thoughts are on this subject and try to work out a direction to take this thing.Thanks to everybody for the food for thought.
 
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