A Business Plan for Bee Keeping

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Alison J Smith
Small Business Project
I’ve never really put much though into the idea of owning my own small business. Although I have tremendous respect for the entrepreneurs that take that risk. Everyday at my job I work with small business owners and my mother even owns a small professional dog grooming business. They work very hard to keep their businesses afloat in tough economic times like these. Owning your own business might be rewarding but it is by no means easy especially when you are just starting out. That is why I will hopefully run my own small business but perhaps only when I retire or if I leave the workplace to have children later in life. My business has a low profit margin, and it would be extremely difficult to survive solely off my businesses income.

The business I would like to own someday would be to own an apiary (keeping honeybees). There are three classifications of Bee keepers; hobbyists, sideliners, and commercial keepers. Hobbyists usually only own a few hives and are not usually profitable because of the large initial cost of buying the bees, and buying/building the equipment. Sideliners usually own enough hives that they are able to make a profit, and commercial keepers own several hundred or thousand hives. Only about 5% of beekeepers are commercial keepers but they product about 60% of the worlds honey. Someday, hopefully next year, I am going to start keeping bees at a small hobbyist level, but ideally I would become a sideliner someday and own over 100 colonies. I’m still thinking of a name for my business.

Compared to many small businesses, bee keeping is relatively low operating costs. Startup costs are the most expensive part of bee keeping and that is what keeps many hobbyists from becoming profitable. Generally for the bee keeping beginner you can but very basic hives, supers, smokers, and suits for under $200. Many beekeepers make or buy used hives to save money. The bees themselves will run about $100 for 3lbs of...
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