For some, producing and selling is a profession while others take it to be a rather profitable hobby. Regardless, producing and selling honey, also known as beekeeping, is a profession that requires a lot of practical knowledge.
If you do not actually have an interest in the profession, you may end up ruining your honey production or beekeeping business.
Beekeeping can be profitable since it has various sources of income and if maintained properly, it can increase profit by manifold.
There are mainly two reasons as to why profits increase drastically.
The first reason is that when you start your profession as a beekeeper, investments into the business are required only once. You buy the hive boxes in bulks along with different honey collection tools.
The next year, you take less from your savings and more from your reinvestments and thus, the profits increase. In other words, it multiplies. The business also becomes self-sustainable.
Honey and By-products
Another reason is that eatable honey is not the only component to sell in the market. Honey offers many medicinal and decorative purposes that can be sold for monetary value.
Honey is the main source of income or commodity for sale in the beekeeping business. A quart of local honey can be sold for $4 to up to $7 in the cities, depending on whether the honey is raw or mixed. The rawer the honey is, the more expensive it is.
Beeswax is the wax that bees make their hives out of. These can be collected and used to make candles and other crafty materials such as lip balms or decoration items. Beeswax costs around $13 per kg. The price always goes up if it is sold as handmade candles and other crafty showpieces.
Propolis is the adhesive or resinous-filling agent that is used to fill up the gaps in between the parts of hives. It is very famous for its medicinal qualities. It is used to boost immunity and also works as an antioxidant.
Propolis is used in cosmetic products, chewing gums and other commercial products. The price of propolis ranges from $10-$100 per kg.
4. Bee Pollen
Bee pollen is yet another part of the beehive with multiple health benefits. These small granular particles are known to boost immunity and to reduce allergy and osteoporosis. They also work well as an antioxidant. Bee Pollen is available in pharmacies and food stores.
Many companies that thrive on agriculture contact beekeepers to avail services for their businesses. All sorts of crops or flowers need pollination to expand and survive and this is exactly what bees do.
They collect nectar from flowers and during the whole process, these furry bodies trap pollens that are transferred to other flowers and thus, pollination occurs.
This is why companies will want to hire your strong colonies: for pollinating their agricultural crops. Base prices for each hive used for pollination comes with a $100+ price tag.
Beekeeping is a very simple process when it comes to profit making and expense determination. All you need to do is buy five to ten layered hive boxes for bee colonization (the more the space, the more the honey).
If space is too less, swarming occurs and bees die. If space is too big, the honeycombs are not completely filled and thus, efficiency of honey production decreases.
A simple model would be that, if you buy a 10-layered hive, it could produce up to 10 gallons of honey per year. Each gallon of raw honey costs up to 80 dollars while processed honey can cost up to 20 dollars.
Thus, if you start with 10 units of 10-layered hive boxes, you can easily make around, 10 x 10 x 80 i.e. 8000 USD per year. If you reinvest, your profit may double or even triple the next year.
Suppose you buy 10 more boxes the next year. Now, you can produce more 80 x 10 i.e. 800 gallons of raw honey. Again, if sold, the honey from your bee farm or hives brings a revenue of 800 x 10 i.e. 8000 USD.
It is to be observed that that the revenue has now multiplied doubly. This means the revenue amount may rise up to 16000 USD by the second year.
If raw honey is sold in city regions like New York or Washington DC, the price charged per pound could be up to 7 USD. This means, 20 hives can make a revenue of up to 7 x 12 x 10 x 20 i.e. 16800 USD per year (1 gallon of honey weighs around 12 lbs).
It is to be noted that this is the revenue margin excluding the sale of beeswax, propolis or bee pollen.
When it comes to calculating the expenses, the first thing to consider is the price of ten framed or layered hive boxes. If you start your beekeeping business with 10 such boxes, you need to invest an amount of around 3000 USD to 5000 USD. This means that per hive box, the cost is around 300 USD to 500 USD.
Moreover, you need to buy beehive maintenance tools such as uncapping knife, fork, honey extractor, feeder, hive tool, smoker and beekeeper’s hat and a suit. Some additional boxes may be needed as well. These extra costs may sum up to an extra 2000 USD.
Net profit may range from a minimum of 1000 USD to a maximum of 3000 USD in the first year.
Although the profit margin is at a maximum of 300 in the first year, the profit margin in the second year usually sum up to around 15,000 to 15,800 USD. It is because the second year comes with an expense of only 1000 USD for the expansion of 10 more hives.
Beekeeping is a business that can only be successful if you love your work and your bees. Otherwise, the lack of drive to maintain and learn even more may ultimately cause your beekeeping profession and honey selling business to fail.