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Beekeeping: A Profitable Home Based Business | Backyard Visitors

Beekeeping: A Profitable Home Based Business

How Much Money Can I Make With A Beehive?

Somewhere between $270 and $540 per year for each beehive.
BeeKeeping is a great home based business to add income to your finances and it really helps the environment.
A home-based business is a must for everyone wanting to pay fewer taxes and make their money go further.

Some Basic Information:

  • First I must say the consensus among beekeepers is the minimum number of beehives to beginning beekeeping is two. This lessens the risk of being put out of business if for some reason one hive fails to thrive.
  • In California, the commercial beekeeping operators pay their beekeepers a salary ranging from $54,630 to $143,980 annually.
  • They don’t pay this kind of money unless they have figured out a way to make a healthy profit from their beekeeping endeavors; anyone can figure out how to become profitable but it takes effort and persistence as does any start-up business.
  • On average, it takes a start-up business 5 years before turning a profit; beekeeping should become profitable within two years, and with good luck maybe even in the first year.
There are several ways to profit from beekeeping:

Selling Honey:
On average one beehive should yield 27 pounds of honey each year, although you might not get any honey the first year as the bees need to store enough to get them through the winter. So the first year in business the bees may be only able to produce enough honey for themselves.
Nationally, honey sells for between $5 and $15 dollars per pound, depending on the local economy; however $20 per pound is not unreasonable for non-commercial honey in California.
So at somewhere between $10 a pound and $20 a pound, the answer to the question “How Much Money Can I Make With A Bee Hive” is somewhere between $270 and $540 per year per hive.
And there is no problem selling everything your bees can produce; demand will always be higher than the supply for local honey.
About 80% of all beehives are owned by large commercial operators which frequently feed their bees sugar water.
Try this:
Buy a brand name honey from the grocery store and some locally produced honey and taste the difference for yourself.
Plus eating locally produced honey may help reduce pollen allergies.
Honey is very heavy; a pint of honey weighs 1.5 pounds.
There may be some regulations on selling honey to the public in your area; please check the rules.

Make Honey Related Products For Additional Revenue:
There are many other ways to sell beekeeping products other than selling honey.

  • Make lip balm from beeswax, a fantastic by-product.
  • Make hand cream from beeswax.
  • Make candles from beeswax.
  • Sell the small bars of pure beeswax; good for lubricant like the bottom rails of bureau drawers.
  • Some beekeepers collect pollen from the bees and sell in jars as a health food.

Other Avenues Of Revenue:

  • Swarm removal from homes: an excellent way to increase your hive count without the cost of bees. The national average cost to remove a swarm of bees is $450 ranging from a low of $150 to a high of $1,170.
  • Sell bee packages: A bee package of one queen and 3 lbs of bees goes for about $175.
  • Sell Nucleus Colony: a 5 frame nuc with a Queen sells for $250.
  • Sell established bee hives. They sell for about $350; might be a good way to get started.
How Does BeeKeeping Help The Environment?

Bee pollination accounts for one-third of all the crops we eat each year.
Bees pollinate about 400 different agriculture types of plants.
In nature there are other pollinators, however, without honey bees, broccoli, asparagus, cantaloupe, cucumbers, pumpkins, blueberries, watermelon, almonds, apples, cranberries, and cherries would not exist.

How Much Does It Cost To Get Started In BeeKeeping?

A typical starter kit, including one package of bees, can be found for between $275 and $450 depending on what is included in the package.

Why Is A BeeKeeping Home Based Business Going To
Save Me Taxes And Make My Money Go Further?
Save Me Taxes Answer:

Because you get to purchase business related things with Pre-Tax Dollars, such as your initial start-up cost of things like beehives, smokers, bee suits, and everything you need to get started.
Most jobs in America are provided by small business owners so the IRA looks very favorably on any small business, including home-based businesses.

Make My Money Go Further Answer:

Because the IRS allows you to write off any home expenses attributable to your home based business such as internet, electricity and even a portion of your mortgage, just because you have office space in your home for your beekeeping business.

Save Me Taxes Example:
Purchases With Pre-Tax Dollars:

Let me give you an example of the value of spending pre-taxed dollars.
Let’s use an iPad as an example (but it could just as easily be any beekeeping equipment).

As a wage earner without a business:
  • Assume an iPad cost $1,000 and you do not own a home-based business.
  • You would need to earn $1,000 PLUS the amount of money you will need to earn to pay taxes on that $1,000.
  • So let’s say between IRS and State taxes you are only at a 40% tax rate.
  • You would need to earn $1,400 to purchase that $1,000 iPad.
As a Home Based Business Owner:
  • As a home-based business owner, you can write off your expenses (including your start-up equipment costs) against your wages from your job or income of any type. Did you catch that? IRS actually allows you to write off your home based business expenses from the wages you earn at your job!
  • You can do this with a simple one-page form to your tax return called a Schedule C Form 1040.
So let’s look at that $1,000 iPad again:
  • You still had to pay $1,000 for the iPad but you paid it with Pre Tax Dollars because you can include the $1,000 as a business expense on your Schedule C when you file taxes.
  • Instead of paying $400 taxes on that $1,000 you earned to pay for the iPad, you pay no taxes on the $1,000 you earned because you are able to deduct it as a business expense.
  • That is a $400 savings:
    • $1,000 x 40% tax rate = $400 (that adds up to the $1,400 you would have to earn in wages to buy the $1,000 iPad)
  • That is the value of the IRS allowing you to spend Pre-Taxed dollars.
Let’s Summarize The Power Of Spending Pre-Tax Dollars:
  • As a nonbusiness owner, I had to earn $1,400 in wages to purchase the iPad.
  • As a home-based business owner, I still had to earn $1,000 to purchase the iPad BUT the IRS allowed me to save a total of $400 in taxes on that $1,000 iPad purchase!
Make My Money Go Further Example:

Let’s assume you maintain an office space in your home to run your home-based beekeeping business, a place where you can search the internet for answers, write checks for business-related expenses and maybe even keep track of your business with Quick Books or some other accounting program (also deductible as a business expense).
Let’s assume that office space takes up 15% of your home’s total square footage.
The IRS will allow you to write off 15% of your mortgage, electric bill, water bill, internet, etc (please check with your accountant and get their advice).
That can add up to a lot of IRS write-offs!
And don’t forget your car; whatever miles that are business related (going to get supplies, going to meetings, etc) the IRS allows you to take a deduction on your income at $.55 per mile.
Sometimes I really love the IRS!

For you capitalists:

Beekeeping can be a profitable business model that can produce income much faster than most start-up businesses.

For you environmentalists:

Beekeeping is a fun, inexpensive endeavor with a great return to the environment compared to other environmental activities such as solar panels and electric cars; and in my estimation is much more environmentally friendly than most other alternative options.
Plus it has an impact on your own personal environment, your own backyard!

For you hobbyist:

Beekeeping as a hobby compared to other hobbies is inexpensive at worst and can be quite profitable.
Most hobbies offer no return of money from your participation, for instance, golf.
An initial investment in equipment will set you back several hundred dollars and every time you engage in golfing activities it will cost you another $75 to $150, and the only way to recoup some of that cost is by betting, and only then can you recoup some of that cost is if you are good enough to beat your opponent.
Even practice is expensive and time-consuming.

Final Thoughts:
  • 80% of all beehives are owned and operated by large commercial beekeeping enterprises and mostly rent their beehives to farmers that need their crops pollinated.
  • Generally, it is the 20% of bees in the wild that help you with your own plant pollination, so why not make it easier to get your flowers and vegetables pollinated by keeping your own bees?
  • Estimates from home gardeners say your flower and vegetable production will increase by about 35% if you have a beehive on your property.

So come on, let’s help the environment by becoming a beekeeper, and make some money at the same time.

Besides, it is fun to learn how a beehive works and watch the bees do their magic.

Happy Beekeeping
Paying It Forward

Robert Donaldson

I am Elizabeth's father, a physical therapist, and someone who has completely landscaped our family home's nearly 1/2 acre lot after losing our home and landscape to the Thomas wildfire in 2017. All landscaping was done to accommodate our wildlife friends, especially the birds and bees.

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