This year Luke and I took the dive into making our bee business official, we got our license and are now looking into what we think might be the best bet for success. There are so many options when it comes to bees as a business; honey and wax production, pollination services, hive sales, swarm removals, queen breeding. Now to just determine what we are best at and go after our dream of working fully from home with what we are most passionate about.
A few years ago I mentioned to Luke my desire to try beekeeping. For some reason, it had been on my mind for a hand full of years. Luke took that desire and ran with it, within months he had found two hives for sale and brought them home. Our first year was not a success. We started late in the season and our bees died that first winter, all of them! Our second year we started with four nucs and were able to build up our hive numbers quickly by purchasing queens and splitting hives as well as creating walk away nucs. We ended last year with 12 hives and their honey production last year from two harvests paid for the original four hives.
“Spring” forward to this being the start of our third year and we are looking at a trailer load of bee equipment that Luke scored to really get our business going. We plan to purchase a few more nucs this year, offer swarm removals and hope to be moving toward the option to pollinate in the next year or so. With this used equipment we do have our work cut out for us in sanding down and preparing them for new hives with a fresh coat of paint but in the long run, this was a great inexpensive way to get our business humming. We can also sell some of the equipment after it is cleaned and refinished and turn a profit as the cost of this equipment in bulk was pennies on the dollar.
This weekend we will be doing hive inspections on all of our hives to see how we faired this winter, fingers crossed we didn’t have a ton of losses.
Do you keep bees? If so is it for hobby or your business? What have been some of your bee successes?