Start a Honey Farm
Some people raise bees for a hobby, others do it for a business. As a business, it could raise enough to support a small family. If you have the interest or resources to start a honey farm, explore the possibility of getting into business with it. Our guide will help you by providing some basics of starting a honey farm.
Honey farming could be a hobby, but it could also be a full-time job that could support a small family. Small bee farmers can produce average of 100 lbs. of honey per year.
If you are into honey farming as a hobby, you can turn that interest into a business. If not, and you are outright interested in getting into business, try working as a beekeeper employee for a while, even just part time, to assess whether beekeeping is indeed for you.
Honey Farm Essentials
If you have decided to pursue the project, be sure you have the farm, vehicles and the equipment needed to start the business. For a small farm, you would need bees with queen, brood chamber, honey containers, honey boxes, attire (hat, veil, and overalls), hive tool, scratcher for unsealing the honey, manual or motorized extractor, and freezer for storing honey.
Alternatively, you can operate a large honey farm by buying honey from small farmers and distributing it to schools, restaurants, households, pharmacies and hotels under your own label. Usually, small farmers do not allot time and energy on marketing their produce. As a bigger outfit, with perhaps between 10 and 20 employees, you can do extensive marketing. Expect to spend about $100,000 for fixed assets and working capital when starting.
Tips for Bee Farm Keepers
- Research honey production standards that might be applicable to you. Feeding bees artificial pollen could be an issue in your state.
- If you are taking care of a small honey farm full-time, you can do it alone, but hire someone to help you extract honey when the time comes. You’d need to hire hand for bigger farms or else your operation could fall into pieces for lack of manpower and proper maintenance.
- Employ your family and kids especially if you are farming full-time, it will help keep expenses down and is a good way to start the children young into the business.
- The kind of honey produced depends on what they are fed. Different flowers, because of their different complex sugar ratios, produce different flavours of honey. The most commonly used plants by larger honey producers is canola. Experiment on different kinds of flowers, to see the results. You could specialize in producing a certain kind of honey for a niche market.
- Heat employed when extracting honey affects the quality of honey, some small operations avoid it as much as possible to preserve the quality of their produce.
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