Nowadays a positive dynamics of prices on honey and other products of bees vital activity is observed. Poor-quality honey at a low price is not of a great demand, so people are ready to pay more for a really high-quality product. Our market hasn't a perfect structure, thus the price for the quality honey will grow as well as for other products of bees vital activity. People are aware of useful features of honey and its positive influence on the human's health. Here is an atttractive business idea for people living in private houses with the yard near the field or forest.
Beekeeping is the area of agriculture activity that develops population of bees and their total amount to make use of the products of their vital activity. These products are:
- propolis etc.
Beekeeping doesn't occupy leading positions in agriculture but it has a great positive influence on the productivity of lands.
Today this area of activity is represented by numerous small businesses, which have little bee-gardens all over the country. Actually, the activity of these businessmen is more a hobby than a business. These people really love what they do.
It's necessary to admit that beekeeping actively developes in the USA. A country actively exports honey to the EU countries. The quality and reputation of pure honey is enjoyed worldwide, so National Honey Board and Drug Administration decided to demonstrate the purity of domestic honey to the whole world. In 2016 US honey production is expected to be over $150 000, while import indicator grows over $450 000.
How to organize a beekeeping business properly?
The first thing that really matters when developing beekeeping business plan is to choose the apiary site responsibly. It is the apiary location that directly influences the effectiveness of honey production by the bees. The site for the apiary should be located close enough to the honey plants that bloom almost all year long. Availability of early spring honey plants and richly blooming trees like willow, maple and hazel within a radius of 3 km from the apiary is very important too. It is recommended to locate an apiary on a dry area that is sufficiently warmed by the sun. The best option would be a natural height or the artificial platform on the ground. In order to protect the apiary from the pernicious influence of wind, it’s recommended to plant a dense row of acacia or rosehip on its north side.
The size your apiary doesn’t matter, but you’ll still need the help of skilled workers. Their number may vary from one to 50 workers. When it comes to the necessary equipment and the bees preparing a business plan for bee honey collecting, you can easily buy them. A beginner has no need to buy brand new hives, since the used ones will perfectly fit for the first time. Commonly, the hives are already purchased with bees’ families. Of course, you can make a hive independently, but it is a quite complicated process. The required number of bees you can always order at special veterinary pharmacies. Meanwhile, there is also the opportunity to catch them yourself, but it's a pretty dangerous job, since you'll need special traps for bees as well as some experience. Every professional beekeeper has a lot of professional equipment and beginners shouldn’t ignore it too. Over time, you’ll also be able to make some spare parts without any help.
Creating a beekeeping business plan, you have to take into account the issue of breeding bees. The basic condition to collect large quantities of honey sustainably is the presence of only strong and productive individuals in the bee colony. They easily cope with heavy winters, use available food effectively, quickly reproduce and build honeycombs. Strong bees are a necessary prerequisite to collect a good harvest.
It is quite simple to determine the strength of a bee family. Just look how tightly and densely the bees fill the hives. A clear sign of a strong family is a dense location of bees. If you have any doubts about a bee family, you can try to strengthen it. To do this, beekeepers usually perform a number of necessary measures:
- in autumn the beekeeper has to create all necessary conditions for the swarm to cope with winter time in the most effective way;
- it’s necessary to take care about quality food for bees during the winter period of occurrence and create a comfortable temperature and the moisture level inside the hive. Winter period is very stressful for bees, so it’s better not to bother them too often, only when needed;
- in spring you need to create all necessary conditions so that bees can effectively reproduce and rebuild cells;
- summer period is of great importance in the life of bees, that’s why a beekeeper should take all necessary measures to keep the swarm strong.
You shouldn’t violate the above recommendations. Sometimes, even ignoring one of them may cause a dangerous situation that very often results in the death of the whole swarm and lead to a total failure of your apiary business plan.
Weaknesses and strengths of beekeeping
Since beekeeping is a very specific business, beekeeping business planning demands a special approach to its organization. You should also consider some of its peculiarities.
- seasonal character of work;
- bees can fall ill as a result of improper care;
- small range of products;
- Bees do not like too harsh odors like alcohol or perfume.
Beekeeping is a seasonal work, so the possibility of high earnings is possible only during a peak season. But it does not mean you will work only during the summertime. Bees need a regular care for several months of the year, while the process of organizing and improving your skills requires hard work every day.
- affordable prices;
- quite extensive and developed market;
- high-quality products which don’t lose their useful features for quite a long time;
- paramount consumer characteristics.
During the high season experienced beekeepers are able to earn a lot of money provided the business was organized properly and the bee farm business plan really works. Apart from that, it’s possible to earn not only during the high season but throughout the year as well. Actually, earnings during high and low season will differ, but the fact that you’ll always have earnings is a good prospect.
- possible inflation;
- fluctuation of prices for beekeeping products;
- improving level of the people’s well-being;
- exit of competitors from the market;
- possibility of expanding the market for products sales;
- small difference in prices for beekeeping products offered by beekeepers;
- ability to increase own assortment.
According to the statistics, it’s necessary to equip 30 hives in order to launch effective and profitable beekeeping business. Let’s the review the most common expenses that are necessary to include in beekeeping business plan template.
1. 30 pcs. of hives at a price of 30$ per unit - 900$
2. 30 bee swarms at a price of 50$ for a single swarm - 1500$
3. Dadant frame, 300 pcs. at a price of 2$ per 10 pcs. - 20$
4. 30 pcs. of special wires at a price of 2$ per unit - 60$
5. 30 kg. of wax at a price of 3$ per kilogram - 90$
6. 30 packages of strips against malicious mite Varroa jacobsoni at a price of 2$ per unit - 60$
7. Necessary beekeeping equipment - 50$.