Your Guide on How to Start a Beekeeping Business
A beekeeping business is a small venture that can be operated as a side business to supplement your income or in full time. It is relatively an inexpensive hobby that has the potential to make you able to earn a sweet income.
Beekeeping is best done on small acreages, but even people who live in the shrubs or in cities have found ways to carry on a successful beekeeping business. Check with local authorities about ordinances or permits.
Opening a beekeeping business has many advantages. An existing hobbyist can generate sweet profits. Beekeeping can be done almost anywhere. And one hive of bees can produce fifty to hundreds of pounds of honey in a year.
There are several cons associated with beekeeping as well. The initial investment for buying new equipment can be high, but surely not unaffordable. You must be very cautious and proactive in the prevention of disease and bee stings can be very dangerous, and in some cases may prove fatal.
Americans consume 400 million pounds of honey each year. You can sell you honey at local farm markets, retail or wholesale markets, or start an online business. Local health food stores often get requests for local honey as an aid in reducing allergies.
What do you need to Get started?
If you are not already a beekeeping hobbyist, you may want to find a beekeeper to spend some time with before you start. If possible, contact an experienced beekeeper and offer to work for free in order to learn the necessary skills, and to see how hives are worked.
Beekeeping expenses will include the cost of personal equipment needed to protect you from bee stings. If you are just starting out, you will want to invest in new equipment. This will prevent any possible spread of disease. A protective suit, gloves, high top boots, hat, and a veil are necessary.
You will also need a smoker. A gentle puff of smoke will prevent the bees from becoming agitated while you work. A good hive tool will allow you to manipulate the frames while preventing unnecessary disturbances as well.
Harvesting the honey will require special equipment. Household substitutes may be used for some tasks, however, you will probably want to invest in a good centrifugal extractor.
You can build the hives for your bees by following specific plans that are readily available. Ideally, a beginner will want to start with two colonies. You can add more colonies as you gain experience and confidence.
Living in the country is not necessary, but a good source of pollen, nectar, and fresh water must be available. If you live in an area that experiences cold winters, you will need to winterize your hives as well. But don’t let this discourage you; a few hives are not difficult to winterize.