Income $60,000 – $300,000
The ranges of income for the first year will depend upon how many hives you decide to begin with. Honey can be harvested year round, so you will be able to create a stable income the first year. It is possible to care for as many as 100 hives without assistance. The average earnings you could expect will be around $100,000 each year.
There are several types of honey, which can be produced, but for each type the process is typically the same. The location of the hives will determine the type of honey you produce. Many specialty producers have elevated the honey business dramatically over the past ten years. There is now a new niche for boutique style honey. The good news for those who produce honey is that the more unique, as in herb directed, the better the financial return on the honey.
You should be able to arrange to leave your hives at farms, flower growers, fruit farms and vineyards. Since bees are natural inhabitants in those environments, most farmers welcome the hives. There are processing services that you can contract with so that you can do as little of the production as you choose.
Your clients will be produce stores, local grocery stores, farmers markets, produce stands and once you’ve developed a following, major chain stores and the Internet.
You might even find a marketable venue through allergists. Honey is known to be a natural deterrent for allergies sufferers. Allergists are ideal clients.
Your marketing plan should be fairly direct. It is a good idea to will talk with the produce stores personally in order to set up a delivery route which will include produce stands that don’t already have local resources for honey. You should also approach local retail locations at first and gradually work your way up to the larger retail chain stores, as your production reaches a stable yield.
Your Power Partners will consist of other business owners who have the same target clients as you for example, fruit, nut, bread, pastries and other local growers and food producers. You might even be able to collaborate on the delivery routes.
The conversations with these Power Partners should include your willingness to include them in your referrals as you become aware of clients that need their services. It is important you meet with these Power Partners in person the first time, and keep in touch with them weekly by email or by a phone.
One of the major requirements for this type of business is to make sure you’re not one of those people who respond to a bee sting by going into anaphylactic shock. With this as a given, once you’ve secured a location for placing the hives acquiring the bees and hives are your main considerations.
October is typically the projected time for harvesting the honey. Each hive produces between 40 and 50 pounds of honey. If you find after processing and bottling your return on the honey is one dollar, you would need about 2,500 hives to support a $100,000 a year income.
Here are a number of resources, which I have come across:
Personality Type: Expressive, Amiable
Total Start Up Costs: Less than $1,500 and about $100-150 per hive including the bees
(includes business cards, tools, a phone, bees, hives and advertising)