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Apiary: business plan and business profitability
Apiary: business plan and business profitability

Beekeeping can be the basis for creating a profitable business, because honey is a sought-after product. Even the wastes of such production are of a certain value, they can be sold or put into further processing. Honey has a long shelf life and relatively high cost.


Beekeeping is a profitable business if you approach it wisely. But only an experienced beekeeper can competently organize production. It is better for beginners to start with one or more hives for their own needs, and as they gain practical experience, try to enter the market. Be sure to need a business plan in beekeeping.

beekeeping business plan calculation

For beginners, it is important to think through all possible risks, calculate capital investments and analyze the market. You should evaluate the level of competition in the sales area and carefully examine all the features of the business. You need to find out how many apiaries are in the region, what volume of products they produce, what quality of honey, and so on.next.

Market selection

The honey market is oversaturated with fakes, so most buyers tend to purchase bee products from private businesses, acquaintances or recommended on the advice of friends, regular sellers in local markets. It is almost impossible to buy natural honey in a supermarket, so there is a demand for products from private beekeeping farms.

A completed beekeeping business plan should include a detailed analysis of product distribution channels. It is important to know that large retail chains will cooperate with private traders only if quality products are delivered on time in the required volume. The required minimum is usually at least ten cans of 20-30 liters of honey each. But beginner beekeepers rarely achieve such volumes.

beekeeping business profitability

Another option for selling honey and bee products is wholesale buyers. The problem is that such intermediaries often artificially lower the price in order to get more profit on resale. The only way out is the independent sale of goods in local markets, seasonal fairs or through friends.

Starting investments

The beekeeping business idea may seem very profitable, but before buying hives and bees, you must definitely calculate all the necessary expenses and possible income, determine the profitability of the business. The apiary is considered a production that requires a small initial investment. According to the most conservative estimates, you can meet 200 thousand rubles.

To organize the work of a small apiary, you will need inventory (30-40 thousand rubles), ten hives (40-50 thousand rubles), ten bee colonies (40-50 thousand rubles), feeding and medicine for bees (5-10 thousand rubles). The business plan of the apiary should include additional costs for the arrangement and organization of the winter hut (80-100 thousand rubles).

apiary business plan for families

An experienced beekeeper can recoup all costs and make a profit in just one season, but a beginner can hardly count on such a dizzying success. Most likely, the apiary will pay off only for the next season. And even then you can count on this when providing the bees with all the conditions for work and the proper organization of the work of the apiary. A good solution is to get the first experience by working in someone else's apiary. This will help you learn how to take care of the bees and stop being afraid of them.

Financial planning

Any apiary business plan must take into account the seasonality. Beekeeping brings profit only for half a year, and the rest of the time requires financial costs. It is worth calculating everything so that the profit received during the season is enough for the whole year and the organization of further work. To do this, first of all, you should decide on the size of the farm.

A small apiary with 40-60 hives can easily be maintained by one average beekeeper. Experienced beekeepers cope with farms for 150 bee colonies without outside help. A family apiary business plan for 10 hives (this is a very small farm) is required only for beginners, and experienced beekeepers keep such a number of hivesfor yourself without the need for careful planning.

beekeeping as a business where to start

The larger the farm, the more effort will have to be made to make a profit. Large apiaries are often combined, distributing roles, that is, someone is engaged only in caring for bees, and someone is in the marketing of products. Instead of teaming up with partners, you can simply hire support staff to keep things running smoothly.

When developing the financial part of the apiary's business plan, it must be taken into account that the basis of profit is the sale of honey and beekeeping products: zabrus, propolis, subpestilence, bee bread, royal jelly, wax and poison. By-products don't sell as well as honey, so you can only connect with one (to start) pharmaceutical or cosmetics company.

Documents for business

An entrepreneur who decides to organize an apiary to start selling honey and bee products needs to get a special passport from the veterinary service and coordinate their activities. The apiary must be registered with the local administration.

You can register as an individual entrepreneur or LLC, but you should take care of collecting a complete package of documents. Otherwise, you can spend quite a lot of time and nerves on registration. You will need: an application for opening an activity, a copy and original (for verification) of an identity card, a receipt for payment of the state fee at the bank, a copy of documents from the tax office.

beekeeping business plan for beginners

To register suchtype of business, you can choose a simplified taxation scheme. If you register an apiary as a peasant farm, you can enjoy special tax privileges for gardeners, livestock breeders, beekeepers and agronomists. These benefits vary by region, so check with your local government for details.

Choosing a place for an apiary

The profitability of a beekeeping business even depends on the place where the apiary will be installed. In a good place there will be a lot of high-quality honey, in another - only vain work and empty investments. You need to choose a warm and, if possible, protected, quiet place. In summer, it is better to place the apiary in a damp lowland, and in spring - always in a dry place.

An important condition is a good honey collection as close as possible to the apiary. Other amenities without this factor are irrelevant. Bees can fly for honey collection (in orchards, on lawns with flowers, on a field) quite far, but in this case there will definitely be less honey. Many bees can die on the road, especially on cloudy or cold days. So, distant honey collection greatly weakens the apiary. It is very good if there are honey plants nearby (alfalfa, mint, sunflower, buckwheat, linden) with different flowering times.

You can not install a hive near the road or close to other apiaries, near sugar or honey factories, villages. It is highly undesirable that there are large ponds or wide floods of the river nearby, especially if the bees go to the opposite side for honey collection (they fly over the water). A kilometer from the apiary, large waters no longer representdanger.

beekeeping business plan

Apiary needs at least 140-150 square kilometers. It is best to enclose this area with a fence. In advance, you need to provide a place for the wintering of bee colonies. Such a place should be safe, warm and calm. All this must be reflected in the business plan of the apiary. Beekeeping is a profitable business, but it requires a competent approach at all stages.

Do I need permission

Special permission for organizing an apiary is not required, but you need to coordinate the installation of hives with the owners of the fields where the bees will collect pollen. Other documents will be required when selling honey. For example, you should take care in advance of obtaining a certificate of product compliance with generally accepted quality standards.

Procurement of equipment

One bee family lives in each hive. So, for ten bee colonies, ten hives and a few more spare ones are required. Spare ones are needed in case of a family transplant, to populate a separated swarm, or while cleaning the old hive. You can purchase both new and used hives for the apiary, but they need to be well cleaned and disinfected. You will also need frames and other related equipment.

beekeeping business idea

Hives are different: alpine, beehive-lounger, multi-hull. The most convenient and functional option is the Dadan-Blatt hives (multi-case). Judging by the reviews of beekeepers, such houses increase the yield by 40% (compared to alpine or classic ones). Beehive-lounger is convenient forstationary apiary, but has limited functionality. Alpine (Delon's hive) is easy to maintain. Such houses have a large capacity, but may be inconvenient due to non-standard frame sizes.

Popular bee breeds

The apiary's business plan should even justify the choice of bee breed, because the profitability of the business depends on it: crop volume, taste, love for certain honey plants. The most popular in the CIS countries are: Ukrainian steppe bee, gray mountain Caucasian, Central Russian.

Ukrainian steppe bee brings a good harvest from sunflower and buckwheat fields. Central Russian beekeepers rarely keep, because such bees are aggressive and vicious. The gray mountain Caucasian bee gives a good amount of honey even with a relatively weak honey flow, is active in the search for new sources of nectar and is peaceful. But (especially in comparison with Ukrainian and Central Russian breeds) Caucasian bees are less cold-resistant.

Exotic breeds for Russia

You can order bees from abroad (karnika, buckfast). With proper care, such breeds give a huge harvest, but can be demanding and do not always survive in Russian climatic conditions. Buckfast or Karnica bees are very expensive, but the main risk factor is that they may not take root in local conditions.

beekeeping profitable business

Karniks are more resistant to cold than Caucasian bees, they are peaceful and effectively use the spring honey flow. Such bees pollinate clover very well. Italian bees are veryfertile. It is the most popular breed in the world and is very productive when there is a steady honey flow nearby.

Risk Analysis

Beekeeping as a business (how to start a business is described above) is associated with certain risks. No one can guarantee profit and 100% profitability. Traditions also play an important role in the success of a business: it is impossible to buy the experience of beekeepers in several generations. Therefore, in order to really make good money, you need to practice beekeeping from experienced people.

All positive calculations in the beekeeping business plan are called into question due to the deteriorating environmental and climatic conditions. Over time, it becomes more and more difficult to choose the optimal place for an apiary and provide a good source of honey collection. Any beekeeper is not immune from the fact that the entire farm may die from the chemicals used to treat agricultural plants, or get sick with something and degenerate.

How much can you earn

In one season, from an apiary located in the middle lane, you can get up to 50 kg of honey from one bee colony. From a hundred hives, with proper care, you can get up to 5 tons of honey. With the cost of wholesale sales of the product at an average of 150 rubles per kilogram, you can get 750 thousand rubles per season.

apiary business plan

From this amount you need to subtract fixed costs, namely: frames, foundation, fuel and the like. About 50 thousand rubles are spent on this. Net get 700 thousand rubles in one season. This amount does not includeadditional income through the sale of propolis, royal jelly, wax, and so on. Starting costs can be recouped already in the first season and earn extra money.

Main difficulties

When compiling a business plan for an apiary, one must take into account the main difficulties faced by novice beekeepers: finding channels for selling products and observing strict technology for keeping bees. It is necessary to regularly inspect the condition of the hives, know the diseases of bees, choose the right frames, resolve issues of overwintering, and so on. As for the sale of honey, from 10-15 hives, products can still be sold to acquaintances and friends, but with large production volumes, you will have to look for other ways to sell.

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