Turning a profit

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hedgerow pete

Queen Bee
Jan 26, 2009
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UK, Birmingham, Sandwell. Pork scratching Bandit c
Hive Type
I like many other people who dont do bee keeping for a full time job have always dreament of buying a few more hives and making millons selling bee products. ha ha ha haha.

I have been looking at the prices of nucs and starter sets the prices of honey and wax . still with me well here goes

how many hives would you need to keep to make enough PROFIT to say that the hives you have kept are free of costs and evan raise a profit , every penny counts with me having spent many months ub40, i have proved that my allotment costs are ?200 per year with costs of food brought from shops is ?1400 so it saves me ?1200 pounds a year from not having to buy supermarket food, now lets look at my apairy to be realistic no fancy or outrageous prices or claims

6 brood boxes (12 x 14)
four nucs ( 5 frame nucs)
given reasonable weather i can raise 20 queens and have raised them and also ten nucs over a year, last done in 2006 to 2007 season is this still posible and at what costs ? ten nucs are worth what say ?150 each ?1500 what would that be on an out lay of 300 pounds.

no i dont want to raise bees for a living or to become a bee farmer permantly but in these times of financial un certainty can one raise extra money for the families income from bees ?
Ball of string comes to mind.

How you calculate the costs is dependant on how much time you invest and how you cost that really as the other costs can be worked out from the catalogues. 100 frames are x, foundation is y and so on.

Yes you can make some money doing it and I intend doing the same myself to offset the costs of my setting up again as my partner rightly wants to see a return on the money we have invested.

PH is right, but lets look at the simple hobby keeper.

Using this thread as a start


We came to the conclusion it is about ?500 to get one hive and all the bits you need up and running. Therfore I would add another ?300 for a second hive (ignoring costs like suit, tools etc)

Therfore ball park ?800 for two hives.

Lets say you get them through the winter all OK

Then next year you make 8 nucs and sell them later that year for ?100 each

ergo 2 year pay back


Two hives split into 8 nucs is ambitious for a start and then if they are all sold what does the beekeeper have to work with?

So you w0uld effectively need ten. Say two frames of brood in each and that would mean 20 from 22 frames. Pushing it I suppose and a lot of luck as there is no margin there for Queen failure.

I know easier way of living.

You have one hectar field = 10 000 m2.
You raise beautifull meadow flowers.
You sell them 2 pounds per bunch.
Every square meter gives you 10 bunch.

10 X 2 X 10 000 = £ 200 000

If that is not enough, take 2 ha field.


You have 100 days time to pick money.
So you pick every day 1000 punches, transport them to market and sell them.
6 hours has 360 minutes. So you sell every minute 3 bunches. - It is possible.
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thanks for the replies as it goes at the moment i have laided out in total £249, for everything to have six brood boxes and four nucs and two colonies, by the end of this year i will have another nuc and two more queens giving me a start next year of four colonies so starting next year my total outlay is £412. i am planning to turn out from those four hives twelve nus simple by splitting each one into three, so starting the 2010 season i should have six brood boxes on the go and have sold ten nucs on five frames for £130 so turning over £1300 minus the startup costs of £412 should leave £888 is a three year pay back and £800 sensible or pie in the sky , please bring me back to ground with this one
If you have two colonies then you may be able to split them into three, and with your two nuc boxes have two one frame nucs to raise the two queens to replace the two "old codgers" you will still have on your hands.

Just a thought.

I also think you need to have more nuc boxes.

I could also lend you some mini nucs which would assist things too.

The correx boxes Mike uses are quite good for summer breeding about ?70 inc postage for 10
Do you know the supplier Jim ?
I had one last year, it was too grotty to keep but would be ideal for making up my own stocks.
The supplier is Mike,they are his design,so you need to get them from him,easybee.
Please bear in mind that they are not very warm units and are just designed for a one shot transportation task.

Taking them beyond those parameters is possibly not the best of housing for what is after all a vulnerable unit.

Sure it can be used Jim but as I said it is not that warm or ideal for longer than what it was made for. A three or four day usage.

I made up nucs in correx boxes last summer and they were fine. I would say they are ok for May to October but definitely not over winter.
making wooden nucs is not a problem there is loads of ply kicking around at work, but enough of the nucs , is the idea of selling or turning over ten nucs a year feasible with 6 main hives and a number of nucs to house them, clients to buy them excepted
It does not take much time when bees chew themselves out from styrox box.
It is too soft to bees. I bet that couple of days.

The box has quite a strong odor too.

If you bye a good hive, it is not much if you put it into a real polyhive. Otherwise the beginner is in trouble with stryrox box.

Langstroth Walki Pac store is 11,5 euros here.
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making wooden nucs is not a problem there is loads of ply kicking around at work, but enough of the nucs , is the idea of selling or turning over ten nucs a year feasible with 6 main hives and a number of nucs to house them, clients to buy them excepted

I think Jim had those sort of numbers last year.
Jim ?
Correct and the same + this as well. Not major legue I know, but I get my enjoyment from this side of the hobby...and it is a hobby to me!

But! Maybe when I am old and grey and maybe living in warmer climates (Huddersfield due to global warming LOL) it might keep me in in slippers and SAGA holidays.

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