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hedgerow pete 

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as ever there is talk about earning alittle more cash that we normaly do from the ladies so how do you go about it, here is a few notes and please feel free to ad to it .
hive type, dadant or langstroff, poly is easier to deal with, why because to save costs we want to buy our parts in europe not england and these hives are easily avalible there also because of the cell size of the brood boxs. transport , house car with a trailer will get you going but its going to be a open top van very soon after wards, or consider having a total trailer based bee hive set up , think about it no lifting or carrying but security might be a struggle,
quantity of hives i would start with either 25 or 50 to get going the first year doubling the amount each year on top so every year you will have to work twices as hard !!
areas of land , well here is a few trade secrects for you,
1, bees have to bee near flowers to make the collection quicker so wher do we get this information from, easy we ask the local farming contractors , most farms dont do any of the plowing and seeding stuff so we ask the man that does where he has just planted 200 hectres of oil seed rape and for whom and we then knock on the door with a bottle in hand, lovely,

extraction now that we have all these full supers what to do with them, i used to know several people how used to run a mobile extractor set up from a lorry he would turn up and extract all the supers for you filter it and either bottle it for you or put it into barrels and you can sell it to him or sell it trade else where, if not the wife ant going to let use the kitchen for 200 supers thats 2000 frames to work, so you will want a commercial set up either rent a kitchen for the day and use you own equipment in it and then walk away so costs are only once a year or build one , but where and how much

last one on the list is paper work , as a producer or food you will need to abide by 3,000,000 rules so where do you go for help try the local council or the local buisness direct they were very help full to me and found this kitchen we could use, some school kitchen are run by private firms and they dont work weekends, we hired a cataring kitchen in a college for two day s and three students and the instructor, he made sure we were very clean and the students were cheap labour , cost in 2005 was £600 for two days all in all we had to do was turn up with a 1000 jars three extractors and some tanks and a filter pump which we also hired for the weekend at £200, so we did not have to wait for the honey to settle we used all the jars up sold them at £3 each made £3000 gross profit , minus exspenses we walked away with £1000 each for 12 months work
 

hedgerow pete 

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we would have made more money if we had looked into other routes of income as well a nuc is £150 ish to buy so if we had made say 50 one for every hive we ran we can add to the profit another £7500 so there is more money in nucs than honey ?
wax is another one we went from england to poland that year and next to buy a 1000 kg of wax blocks , strang you ask but when it is selling on ebay at £14 a kilo today right now and we are in a ressession, i can buy it for £6 a kilo from kbs now sell it on ebay and make £8 kilo to night , so any way we went to poland brought a 1000 kilos for £1800 pounds brought it back that weekend sold it to a shop in london the wekkend for £12000 and went home very tired after 46 hours os solid driving and with another £4500 profit after costs in the back pocket,

so is honey the only way to make money with bees?????????
 

hedgerow pete 

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it happens every year without fail , some one starts to think that there might just be gold at the end of the rainbow hive, but as many find out its a lot of work for little returns, but can i just add that over the last couple of years myself and several friends have got up to the magical 50 hives and to tell the truth compared to what i do for a living which i absolutly detset as work compared to bees which is a passion,( daft as it sounds i am great at my job but it hold no interest any more )
any way i digress yes you can make money with bees, but unless you are running over 200 hives , we have found that to maximise profits honey it not the bee all and end all.

we had to look to raise cash from wax,

pollination( 90% of all americans only make money with bees from pollination not honey yeilds)

propolis,

selling nucs ( we brought in queens and stocked the nucs with our own bee types to give you a four frame nuc to sell

iwill dig out the accounts but roughly it was 30%honey30%wax 40% nucs the figures are cash in pocket after tax
2004 £3571
2005 £8190
2006 £7256
2007 £1699 all be hives stolen and equipment, profit solely from wax and swarms and wasp collection
2008 £1500 swarm collections, wasp nests,wax and earnt wages from a commercial bee keeper i worked with over several months
2009 £ 689 so far just on wax and swarmsa and selling 3 nucs
as a self employed person i keep accounts for every thing i do evan the allotment has a financal eye looking over it, i cant afford to waste money after spending three months on the rock and roll, yes i do squeak when i walk because the wallet is so tight
 

Nellie 

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As a fellow Self Employed spod I know exactly where you're coming from. Resisted putting the beekeeping through the books just yet.
 

DulwichGnome 

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over the last couple of years myself and several friends have got up to the magical 50 hives and to tell the truth compared to what i do for a living which i absolutly detset as work compared to bees which is a passion,( daft as it sounds i am great at my job but it hold no interest any more )
Could this be a good business model?
http://www.chicagohoneycoop.com/gpage.html

Mike
 

hedgerow pete 

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thats a very simple idea and arnt they the best ones

i personaly have seriously looked into the way to go if any one wants tips or advice, there is the chance that there will be another idiot jioning me and paul next season which will give us a collective hive number of 68 between three, as for the money split and who does what we have yet to get total drunk and then disscuss them, but we are only waiting for the wife to finish the next barrel of home brew beer
 

Nellie 

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If I had the bees and a bit more experience I'd be interested.
 

hedgerow pete 

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i know it sound daft but when we have run 50 hives or less you have the oppertunity to make the most from your investment, and to also make the sales to the general public which brings the larger returns when you go over a certain size you start to concentrate on just one specialised area and as such only maximise that areas returns loosing the profits from other areas a bit of give and take i suppose but under 50 hives i can make a very reasonable profit and this affords me the time off work when i need it to help recover from chemo or just general tiredness of just to be with the wife, so to me running 30 plus hives is good, but what i realy want to do is breed with bees that can be some serious money as well
 

hedgerow pete 

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well its started last night the drinking started and the deal was done we start in earnest next season three men and 68 bee hives, we have avalible three fixed apiaries
mine will hold five full hives and breeding station one holding the four breeder conlonys
station two holds four full hives and up to twenty carfully places nucs
station three holds up to twenty full hives if realy needed
i have made contact to today with three contractors ( its the name given to people who contract to farmers for ploughing and seeding works and harvesting) i have now over a 1,000 hectres of oil seed rape fields for next year, i just have to approuch the farmers and ask for permission to site hives there, we have also ten over flower crops as well including lavender and flax and a few others to boot, we have no pollination work and i dought that we will get any but we have found permission to site some hives in a field next door to some rather large orchards, the hives are to set on to caravan trailers for ease of movment no lifting and carrying rubbish we will have three trailers each holding up to 18 hives each,
as for the extracting we have provisionaly booked a commercial kitchen that will allow us weekend usage and labour if needed costs for that are around £300 for kitchen and head chef labour if an extra £75 per 8 hour day also more avalible if needed.
so thats site and hives sorted and extraction all we have to do know is get our act together
 

jezd 

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three men and 68 bee hives
not sure how good your maths is Pete :)

3 men = 3 sets of expectations = 3 lots of profit/margin

cant see why you need others for such low hive numbers?
 

Finman 

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in real business life, if you have a good business idea, protect it and dont tell it to others. I suppose that hivemaker is allready executing that idea with his sons, clock around.
 

hedgerow pete 

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there is only two reasons why there is three of us realy ,
ONE , we can spread our time, if we all did our inspections , because of the spread of area this would make it uneconominal to run so we each have an area to work no matter whos bees are in it, three men also spreads the inspections, if you wanted to you could do one inspection every three weeks rather than weekly so allowing for family commitments and pleasing the female ones with going out and shopping trips, yuk!!

Two we are all in differant areas , pete is urban so i have the breeders and the flowers which is mid to very late harvests
chap no. two is in south warks so he is OSR and then flax and also maybe lime tree, i can do better for other trees in brum than he can ,

and number three is north worcester so thats very eary fruit and strawbs later on, plus the ability of many other farm crops so we have the best of each areas crops and living there we know just when to pull out of one area and move to another, also the trailers allow a very quick movment of stocks so we area able to take advantage of crops by over night movements to maximize production of honey we are wanting to run four trailers each one planned for a certain crop on a rotation schedule
 

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