There’s nothing like the sweet taste of success and what is sweeter than honey?
Bee pollination is a crucial part of the US economy and is credited with more than $16 billion produce and production growth. Honey itself is a $150 million industry in the US and a successful venture for more than 135 thousand beekeepers each year.
If you want a part of this sweet action then keep reading to learn everything you need to know about selling honey and the beekeeping business.
To Bee or Not To Bee
Deciding to become a beekeeper is not a decision to take lightly. You will be caring for one or more entire colonies of bees and they’ll require your attention, time, energy and resources to thrive as a colony and become a viable business for you.
Before you start beekeeping you need to learn more about the costs involved with this endeavor. There are some preparations you need to make and initial investments required for the equipment you’ll need to run your business.
Every thriving hive can generate twenty to sixty pounds of honey a year. However, this isn’t your only option for making your busy bees work for you. If you have the know-how you can diverge into various profitable bee products.
There are other sources of income from being a beekeeper beyond honey sales. Many decide to focus solely on honey production while other beekeepers branch out into areas like:
- Starting hives or replacement bees
- Commercial pollination
- Bee pollen,
- Beeswax and propolis
You won’t just do your wallet good when you become a beekeeper you also help the world generate more food, create more useful products and help the environment in general.
Your Honey-Do List
If you’re serious about starting a beekeeping business you’ll need to prepare so that you can be successful.
The Perfect Bee Home
You’ll need to have the right spot for your bees to live and it’s probably not a good idea if it’s too close for comfort. You have to find a place where the bees will be happy and have the tools they need for success.
You should have your hives facing southeast so the bees rise with the sun and start their workday as early as possible.
You don’t want direct sunlight or full shade so the bees do not lose time and energy regulating the hive temperature.
You’ll also want to make sure there is a slight slant from back to front just so that rainwater can easily drain from the hive and it is not left damp, or worse filled with water.
Make sure there is protection from the wind so it is safe in winter or severe windy weather.
You may have hundreds of pounds of product to carry at harvest time so keep that in mind when choosing your bee’s home. You don’t want to have to lug 100 pounds of honey through the bush, up steep hills or down a fire escape ladder.
Before you have bees delivered and they’re looking to you for care, you need to know how to do it.
You can’t just tell the bees what you’re doing or ask them politely not to sting you. So it’s a good idea to have a clue about how to handle them. You want to be able to perform your job without you or them getting hurt.
There are beekeeper federations and associations in most areas and online beekeeper communities all over the world wide web. These are a great resource for everyone from those just starting out to a veteran of apiculture.
The Bee Movie may be funny but it doesn’t make you an expert in their care. Go to the experts and ask for advice. There is a ton of helpful knowledge out there if you go to the right sources.
You’ll have to make sure you have the right supplies from the very beginning and know where to get the supplies you need.
These will include:
- beehive frames for your bees to call home
- protective gear so you can do your job without getting stung
- a beekeeping smoker
- hive tools and bee brushes
- extraction tools
- packaging equipment
You, of course, will also need to order the bees and either build a colony or take over the care and ownership of an existing one someone is selling.
If you do your research and shop around for the right price you can start a beekeeping business for less than $500.
If you’re planning on making beekeeping into a viable business then you should probably do a bit of research into how to write a beekeeper business plan.
You’ll also want to create a business website that is search engine optimized, a solid product design plan, and you’ll need to develop marketing strategies that will make your beekeeping business stand out above the competition.
You’ll want to keep up on the latest online marketing trends and know the most recent developments in the science and technology of beekeeping and business in general.
Depending on how large of a business you build you may need some help from various experts to have everything run smoothly. These positions may include:
- Website designer
- Marketing expert
- Accountant or bookkeeper
- Backup or Assistant Apiculturist
If you need to clear land for your bee operation or would like to plant flowers, vegetables or other plants for your bees to pollinate close to home you may want to hire a landscaping or gardening expert as well.
Selling Honey Never Sounded So Sweet
You don’t have to pour a pile of money into starting a business selling honey. You just need dedication, motivation and the right information to make it a success.