Honey Bee Guide For Advanced Beekeepers – How To Start A Bee Firm In Large Scale? (108)

Honey Bee Guide: You can start Honey Bee keeping as a hobby, a side business or a full-fledged business in large scale. The rural area is suitable for beekeeping business where adequate plants & trees are available. But it can be done anywhere including urban areas also depending on the types of bees. The bee colonies can be bought from beekeepers or caught the wild bees.

If you are a beginner bee keeper, we suggest you to buy packaged bees and queens that are ready to transfer. Because it will be difficult for you to manage wild bees as you have no experience of bee behavior. An expert bee keeper can catch wild bees and keep inside the hive for beekeeping. Learn more about the honey bee.

Honey bee Guide For Advanced Beekeeper

For large scale beekeepers, feasibility study and SWOT analysis is essential to ensure whether this business is for you or not. What type of business you should do depends on many parameters which are key points of feasibility study and SWOT analysis. You’ll find more about this later on.

Bee keeping can be a main source of your yearly income. You may be interested in pollinating crops, selling bee-related products (like honey, wax, queen), or both. Beekeeping is relatively easy to do, but it requires a lot of knowledge, a reasonable amount of equipment, hard working and space for operation. And some practical experience in beekeeping is essential.

How to Start a Bee farm in large scale?

Things You’ll Need

01. Bee hives with established colonies
02. Hive tools
03. Smokers and fuel
04. Protective veil, coveralls and gloves
05. Honey extracting equipment
06. Land to establish bee yards
07. A dedicated space for extracting and packaging
08. Flowering plants that produce pollen or nectar
09. A vehicle for transporting beehives
10. Packaging for bee-related products
Additional supplies, including feeding and medicines

Honey Bee Guide For Advanced Beekeepers – How To Start A Bee Firm In Large Scale?
108/1: Start A Bee Firm In Large Scale (honey bee guide)


Get your business together.

01. Determination

Determine how big you wish to be. A hobbyists can make sufficient money from selling their honey & honey product to cover the expense of their hobby. Side liners, may use beekeeping to addition of other businesses. They may have several hundred bee hives. A Commercial beekeepers may keep thousands of beehives and likely to employ people to move hives for pollination services in addition to honey production.

02. Accounting records

Keep your accounting records in sequence. Ensure to keep good quality records. If necessary, use Software such as Quicken, Tally, Vista GL, Focus 5 and other applications will help to manage your accounting & finances. Learn more about Beekeeping Software.

03. Choose location

Choose a location. Ensure that your bee yards have adequate space, forage, light, water, safety & security.

Honey Bee Guide For Advanced Beekeepers – How To Start A Bee Firm In Large Scale?
108/2: Choose the best location for beekeeping or apiary (honey bee guide)

Honey extracting and packaging facility should be suitably located to your yards, and meet all state and local laws and inspection requirements. Learn more about the Beekeeping Laws and Grants.

04. Make Business Plan

Make a business plan. Whether you aim to fund your operation entirely, or have a loan to get established, a business plan will act as road map to grow your business gradually.
In your business plan, Feasibility study and SWOT Analysis are essential.

Feasibility study

Feasibility study is the analysis prior to start of your business to determine whether you should start this business or not.

After completion of feasibility study you can determine whether you should do this business or not.

SWOT analysis

SWOT analysis is a method of strategic planning for evaluating the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats involved in the business you’re going to start.

What are the benefits of SWOT Analysis?

Find your business Opportunities, Threats, Strengths, & Weaknesses before start. Find here to learn about SWOT analysis for Beekeeping Project.

05. Lunch your business legally

Honey Bee Guide For Advanced Beekeepers – How To Start A Bee Firm In Large Scale?
108/3: Lunch your beekeeping business legally. (honey bee guide)

Launch your business legally. This may consist of registering your business with your state & local government, and the state department of agriculture. Some states require inspection of your hives on a regular basis. So a valid registration/Beekeeping license is essential.

Know your bees and their needs.

01. Study

Study as much as you can about bee behavior & environmental science. Be aware of how a colony of bees works and how to run and control a beehive. Also learn about the different species of bees and which the best suits your needs from a commercial viewpoint. Learn more about the different types of bees.

02. Learn and follow

Learn and follow the instruction based on the seasons of beekeeping. Spring, summer, fall and winter influence the specific activities for a bee colony. Being aware of all these things will let you to optimize your inspections, chart for feeding and medicating bee hives, deal with times of nectar extraction and manipulate harvesting. Learn more about Beekeeping Calendar – Beehive Management Schedule For 12 months.

03. Manage bee hives

Manage your bee hives efficiently and effectively. Remember, Managing hives in a commercial environment is extremely different than the hobbyist world.

Honey Bee Guide For Advanced Beekeepers – How To Start A Bee Firm In Large Scale?
108/4: Manage bee hives (honey bee guide)

Taking care of thousands of bee hives obviously require a quick, accurate and efficient management procedure. Learn more about Beehive property management in different seasons.

04. Be trained

Be trained on how to manage swarming. Swarming is a natural process to spread or propagate of bees. When swarming occurs, the queen bee will leave the hive and come back with many bees with her to set up a new hive. The Queen bee will leave the old hive to a new queen. Understanding this total behavior of Queen bee will enable you to create new hives, thus increasing your beehives and ultimately volume of production.

05. Be familiar Be familiar with the botany or trees

Be familiar with the botany or trees & flowers available in your area and also near to you. Because the bees will move to collect nectar within few Kilo Meters. Consider, does your area and surrounding have enough plants for bees to survive and produce an excess for you to harvest? Or will they need to be moved sometimes to another area for nectar in specific season?

Honey Bee Guide For Advanced Beekeepers – How To Start A Bee Firm In Large Scale?
108/5: Be familiar with the botany or trees (honey bee guide)

Check the trees and flowers near to you within a reasonable distance where bees can reach.

06. Acquire knowledge

Acquire knowledge on bees and get some experience on beehives maintenance. You can start as simple as a couple of hives in your back yard. This will help to make you knowledgeable with beekeeping.

07. Find an adviser

Find an adviser near to you to help you while necessary. The State Extension Office or local bee keeping club/organization can provide sufficient information of bee keeping. Find here to learn more about Master Beekeeper Program.

08. Risk and challenges

Be aware of the risks and challenges to your livestock and how to face them. Mites are new risks to honey bees in the form of other insect vermin. Bacterial and viral diseases, pesticide, and relatively new and somewhat strange syndrome known as Colony Collapse or Disorder are rigorously impacting the beekeeping industry at this time. Learn About The Prevention & Treatment For Varroa Mite, Fungal Diseases, ABPV On Honey Bees.

Prepare Tools & Equipment & learn how to use it.

01. Use proper tools and equipment

Obtain and learn to use beekeeping tools & equipment. To manage your beehives efficiently, you’ll need tools such as:

(1) Scraper – a small crowbar-like tool for opening hives, (2) Soft brush

(3) Smoker to quiet the bees down while inspecting a hive,

(4) Hand glove. It’s also essential to wear before opening hive cover.

(5) Protective clothing to help preventing bee stings.

You can buy necessary tools and equipment from Mann Lake, Thorne, Brushy Mountain Bee Farm etc. Even you can buy it online and get at home from Amazon, eBay etc.

02. Collect healthy bee hives

Collect your beehives. Know the different parts of a hive and how to use them properly. It’s vital to have sufficient boxes known as ‘supers’ with frames available for hives during nectar harvesting season. For example, if you have 1,000 bee hives, you’ll need at least 2,000 extra supers.

Honey Bee Guide For Advanced Beekeepers – How To Start A Bee Firm In Large Scale?
108/6: Collect healthy beehive (honey bee guide)

A strong beehive is defined as healthy beehive which includes a virgin queen with sufficient female bees, larvae, pupa, eggs, pollen & honey storage.

Be sure to deal with a reputable & well established seller when buying bee hives and inspect each hive thoroughly. Some dishonest beekeepers will sell sick or weak hives. Entering a sick hive into the bee yard can be terrible for entire project. So, always try to collect healthy beehives from any reliable and established company or beekeepers.

03. Get help from expert beekeepers

Get help from experience beekeepers to set up bee hives properly, especially while you bring new hives and installing new ‘package’ bees. Re-arrange your bees during swarming season & in the early spring. Always be ready to install them at a moment’s notice while necessary. Usually, Bees are shipped via U.S. Postal Service and will not alive long after being shipped. So, time is very important to keep them live.

If you are knowledgeable enough to transport them by yourself, it’s recommended to do so. But remember, there are some extra precaution and procedure necessary to transport bees. And night time with cool weather is the best for transport. Day time and hot weather can increase the mortality of bees during transportation.

04. Feed your bees

Feed well your bees during a shortage of nectar in nature. Sufficient feeders, including sugar and fresh water source are essential to take care bees properly.

05. Treat your bees as necessary

Treat the bees with proper medicines to eliminate mites, insect pests, or other diseases. Ensure to follow the directions recommended and have adequate space to storage the supplies.

How to make money with Beekeeping?

01. Sell honey

Sell the honey you produced. It’s the primary cash crop of beekeepers and can either be sold locally at roadside stand alone shop or farmer’s markets or to a honey broker. Selling your produced honey locally requires reputation, time and effort.

Honey Bee Guide For Advanced Beekeepers – How To Start A Bee Firm In Large Scale?
108/7: Sell honey (honey bee guide)

So, try to produce good quality honey to get the best return on investment. Selling to a dealer requires less effort with small benefit, but lead you sell wholesale of large quantity while necessary.

02. Sell pollen, propolis, wax and royal jelly

Sell pollen, propolis, beeswax or even excess bees. Also sell other related products made from honey, wax, royal jelly. Pollen and propolis can be used as health supplements of bees. Candles, Ointments, Creams and Lip Balms can be produced from wax and sold at high demand. Find here to learn more about pollen extractor.

03. Sell queen and package bees

Also sell queens, package bees or bees with hives. Commercial beekeepers usually produce excess bees to sell each year during swarming. These excess bees can be sold as package bees or establish new hives for selling. Some beekeepers also generate queen bees for sale.

04. Pollination service

Contact farmers to provide pollination services. They often pay beekeepers to set their hives near agro-farms to get better production. Usually, the farms are almond, peach, apple, cherry and citrus gardens including melon, blueberry, tomato and other fruit and vegetable crops.

Honey Bee Guide For Advanced Beekeepers – How To Start A Bee Firm In Large Scale?
108/8: Pollination service in fruit garden (honey bee guide)

For providing this type of services you may require more employees to move many bee hives from one location to another during the blooming season. You can directly contact with farmers, or via a broker for safe dealing with farmers to provide these services.

05. Sell product online

Consider to sell all products online. An e-commerce web site is now comparatively easy to set up and run. To do credit card transaction online a merchant account will be useful & necessary. PayPal account will help for online payment method. Ensure to provide timely delivery and every thing available for shipping process.

Tips & Warnings

01. Communication

For commercial Beekeeping, consult with Beekeepers Club/Organization or Local Agricultural Extension Office, or local beekeepers near to you. They can provide valuable information regarding this.

02. News paper & Magazine

It’s wise to subscribe to the beekeeping journals like Bee Culture or The American Bee Journal.

03. Beekeeping for whom

Those who’re afraid of getting stung, or allergic to bee stings, or can’t perform tasks requiring some heavy lifting, or can’t stay outdoors for extended periods of time, beekeeping is not fit for them.

04. Unpredictable influence

Bee keeping, like any other agricultural project, is affected by climate, environment, location and other unpredictable influences.

05. Laws

Always keep eyes on changes of Local and state laws for bee keeping to stay in compliance.

Find here to buy:

Beekeeping Books (honey bee guide):  300 Books Complete Learning with Hive System Plans

Sources of Information:

A Practical Guide by Richard E. Bonney – Beekeeping
American Beekeeping Federation
University of California Small Business Program – Starting a Small Beekeeping
National Honey Board
American Honey Producers Association
American Bee Journal
The Pollination Home Page
Photo Credit – Picasa
Photo Credit – Google images – unrestricted
Learn more about the honey bee.

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