Starting a beekeeping business may sound exciting and fun, but in all reality it’s a lot of work and is time consuming. Most people who are in this are actually doing this as a hobby.
Having a hobby and a livelihood are two entirely different areas since one is something you invest time and in some cases money and one is when you’re trying to make a living at. Beekeeping is like farming you have to stay on top of the market demands and be technologically savvy because much of the business is going to depend on how fast you can produce a single product.
Yet this is where you’re going to learn that beekeeping isn’t even like that because if you expect to make a profit you would have had to have been in the business for a long time and following the trends on what the market demanded of the time. Today if you don’t even have a website consider yourself a fossil in the area of business because that’s your only link to the rest of the world by having a website or even a page.
Most of the companies today are commercialized because the small businesses today are just not equipped to handle the mass production of honey and small businesses won’t make a lot giving the fact you are paid by the pound and the average amount after weighing the whole season isn’t a whole lot. Commercial beekeepers average a couple thousand pounds, but farmers have to really push production if they want to average at least $15-30 a year. This is a competitive field to be selling honey and producing beeswax products since the beekeeping industry doesn’t function as a co-op like many organic farmers do in this day and age where they work together beekeeping is sub-contract work and many of these small businesses are sub-contracted by these major corporations to produce honey under their label and their food line.
Sub-contracting may sound good and all, but you are also competing for these contracts as well with other small businesses and the high risk is that you can lose your contracts if the companies who hire you aren’t happy with something for whatever reason it could be the quality of the product to anything. That’s why this is a risky business to get into because you never know what the outcome is and how the market will fair during the season since this is what a beekeeper bases their financial output by which is how much they anticipate to make on a seasonal basis.
Beekeepers almost have to base their financial gain through good weather and season with the market demand, but you can’t always predict good weather, which is what many worry about. They have more to worry about than crop farmers since they can make the difference when they get rain and lower climate suitable to the food they’re growing. Beekeeping is dependent on the activity of the bees and how well they produce honey since bees produce in certain climates and temperatures. If you’re expecting to thrive in this business understand that it’s a lot of work and a lot of time invested into making this work for the long run.