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What is the process of starting bee farming

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Bycan 

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Hello everyone,

I have intention to start bee farming and organic honey production. This not gonna be as a hobby. I want to make business on honey production. Thats why i like to learn which official documents i need and where can i find lands for this purpose. I tried google but all i find complicated informations. Can someone please explain me with simple words about this subject.

Many Thanks.
 

Erichalfbee 

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Land. You look for. Try local Facebook, advertising in shops. Approaching farmers is often a good way. Keep your eyes open and ask at every opportunity.
Be aware that you cannot produce organic honey in this country. It’s too crowded with non organic forage.
 

jeff33 

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And unless you have a huge amount of money to spend upfront £50 000-£100 000 it will take you years to have enough bees and equipment to turn a profit!
 

roche 

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A business plan. Back of the envelope numbers suggest you need at least 200 colonies to make a basic income.
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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......and even when you get up to a few hundred hives don't expect it's all plane sailing from there on, there will be years when you make no profit - they will be the good ones, there will be loss making years before you get well established.
 

WoodenBeam 

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How’d da make a small fortune in Beekeeping............

Start with a large one :welcome:
 

Stiffy 

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Hello everyone,

I have intention to start bee farming and organic honey production. This not gonna be as a hobby. I want to make business on honey production. Thats why i like to learn which official documents i need and where can i find lands for this purpose. I tried google but all i find complicated informations. Can someone please explain me with simple words about this subject.

Many Thanks.
This is not meant to put you off but just a reality check if you need one.
If I looked at it rationally , I can make more working as I am in a few hours than 3-4 days at bee farming, but I take a great deal of enjoyment from producing such brilliant products.
I have continued to work full time and am still doing so to fund the large amount of money required to build up our honey business. Over the last 10 years, this has allowed us to find apiary sites, equipment, bee strain that suits and most importantly markets for what we produce. Its a huge amount of effort for very little reward in the early years , and even after all this time we are only just starting to make a tiny profit. I would suggest you locate an established bee farmer and have a chat, tag along if possible and see if it really is what you want to do. Have a look at the Bee Farmers Association, who have great advice and also run a very good apprenticeship scheme.
S
 
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Hello everyone,

I have intention to start bee farming and organic honey production. This not gonna be as a hobby. I want to make business on honey production. Thats why i like to learn which official documents i need and where can i find lands for this purpose. I tried google but all i find complicated informations. Can someone please explain me with simple words about this subject.

Many Thanks.
In simple words ... forget it ...Beefarming from a standing start in the UK is going to result in failure. If you want to start keeping bees - start with a couple of hives - there is so much to learn and so many pitfalls that even two hives will test you in the first year ..In the second year you will realise how little you know. If you manage to keep your bees alive, get a small crop of honey that is worth selling and have got enough experience under your belt to expand your beekeeping, by year three you willl have spent more money than you could ever imagine on hives, equipment, bees and consumables and the reality of becoming a bee farmer will either be your worst nightmare or you will be on your road to a profitable hobby. You will need another income or a lot of money to invest (and if you have a lot of money to invest - there are less stressful, less effort ways of increasing your fortune than keeping bees).

You need to take a long hard look at your dream.
 

Murox 

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Finding organic forage on the scale you would require is not going to be at all straightforward around Brighton, and probably not even in the UK.
 
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Finding organic forage on the scale you would require is not going to be at all straightforward around Brighton, and probably not even in the UK.
Yes ... the word ORGANIC in the UK has a very well defined meaning and in terms of applying the word Organic to Honey is very clear.

There's a pretty clear definition of what restrains Organic honey production in the EU here:

https://www.mybeeline.co/en/p/organic-honey-label-eu

There can only be a relatively few places in the UK where you could find a location that is centred on a 4 mile radius where the requirements could possibly be met .. the chances of that in Brighton - or even Sussex in general - remote. The Soil Association are the people in the UK that qualify land as Organically farmed ..
 

Swarm 

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What is your experience of beekeeping?
Thanks Eric, I'm glad someone asked the question as I see quite a few people getting way ahead of themselves.
 

Tim.S 

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Beefarmer = technical skills, good money management skills, marketing skills, a healthy dose of luck especially from the weather gods and a large dose of insanity. And its bloody hard work too. Like most on here I do it because I love it, and I class it as a paying hobby, certainly not a job!

And another thing - I can't think of one full time bee farmer who makes a living from honey alone, diversification is essential.
 
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And unless you have a huge amount of money to spend upfront £50 000-£100 000 it will take you years to have enough bees and equipment to turn a profit!
:winner1st::iagree::iagree::iagree::iagree::iagree::winner1st:


You would be better off starting a catch and release carp fishery!

Find land with a muddy hole, throw some carp fish in, charge fishermen/ anglers £150 a day to catch them and put them back!!

Sit back and count the cash

Chons da
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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Finding organic forage on the scale you would require is not going to be at all straightforward around Brighton, and probably not even in the UK.
:iagree:

Yes ... the word ORGANIC in the UK has a very well defined meaning and in terms of applying the word Organic to Honey is very clear.

There's a pretty clear definition of what restrains Organic honey production in the EU here:
...............................
There can only be a relatively few places in the UK where you could find a location that is centred on a 4 mile radius where the requirements could possibly be met
I think you may find the odd corner deep deep in the Scottish Highlands, but that would mean feeding the bees for most of the year for the 50/50 chance of a decent heather crop as moving them to another site would probably negate the 'organic' status.
 

Stiffy 

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Beefarmer = technical skills, good money management skills, marketing skills, a healthy dose of luck especially from the weather gods and a large dose of insanity. And its bloody hard work too. Like most on here I do it because I love it, and I class it as a paying hobby, certainly not a job!

And another thing - I can't think of one full time bee farmer who makes a living from honey alone, diversification is essential.
I agree, pension top up in the future for me as I would exhaust myself pretty damn quickly trying to make money just from honey. We use it as just a loss leader, its the 'other' items that make the money.
S
 

Swarm 

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I know a full time beekeeper, no extra job. He's doing very nicely, thank you ;)
 

Bycan 

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First of all thank you for all the replies. I am aware of the costs. I just making a little research about that. Beside the economic challenges, what about the paperworks. Is it easy to open an bee farm in short time or is there long legal process?
 
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First of all thank you for all the replies. I am aware of the costs. I just making a little research about that. Beside the economic challenges, what about the paperworks. Is it easy to open an bee farm in short time or is there long legal process?
Sadly, I think you need to do a lot more research ... you can't just have a 'Bee farm' .. you will need many separate apiaries - there comes a point where there is not sufficient forage in any particular area to support a large number of hives that are concentrated in a single place.

I don't think you are worth spending much more time on to be honest - you are not listening to what people are telling you and you have so little knowledge of what is involved in keeping bees you are heading for a disaster.

Lots of good advice offered to you so far and you appear to have ignored it all.

Forget paperwork and rules - anyone in the UK can keep bees no licence required. There are regulations about treatments for parasites and diseases and there a regulations covering the sale of honey, there are notifiable bee diseases but if you don't know what you are looking for that won't be a problem - you can start keeping bees tomorrow, go out and buy a couple of hundred colonies, stick them in a field and let them get on with it. Whether you will succeed ? Well - only time will tell.
 

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