Honey bee farming involves raising and caring for bees so that honey can be harvested for profit generation. This involves maintaining honey bee colonies or hives. In the last few decades the agricultural industry has experienced an increase in the number of honey bee farmers. The underlying reason being the increasing consumer demand for natural and healthy alternatives to artificial sweeteners, rising awareness over the benefits of honey over granulated cane sugar and its anti-inflammatory properties. This article will outline how to start the honey beekeeping business, and the honey bee farming business plan – PDF, Word and Excel.
Honey beekeeping is a lucrative business, providing income for multitudes of people, but there are some essential things you need to do before you venture into the honey beekeeping business. You have to decide on the size of your honey bee farming project i.e. the number of your bee hives/colonies; location of honey beekeeping business, and your target market. These choices will be affected by the amount of capital you have, and the size of your target market.
If you do not have a lot of capital, you can always start small and grow your honey bee farming business overtime. You also need to carry out market research (Who are you going to sell the honey to? At what price?) and write a honey beekeeping business plan before you start the project.
What you need
Land for Honey Bee Farming
The land where bees are kept is referred to as an apiary or bee yard. The location of the apiary is of the essence in honey beekeeping business as it determines the success of the honey bee farming venture. Nectar and pollen sources must be close to the bee hives. This is because pollen plays a crucial role in brood rearing, honey production and nectar comprises a basic energy source for bees. Bees can be kept at varied locations; none the less, large concentrations of floral sources as well as populous colonies are needed to produce good honey output. The natural source of nectar and pollen are flowering trees and plants.
Similar to all animal species, bees require water, thus water should be available at the bee apiary. It is thus advisable to select a location with a fresh water source. Another important point to note when selecting land for a honey bee farming business is that bees generally prefer an open space with plenty of sunshine. Shaded locations hinder flight of workers as well as finding the queen and sighting eggs within the cells. Bees generally tend to become irritable and difficult to handle in poorly located areas. As such, an ideal spot with maximum sunshine through the day should be selected. In addition, in order for the honey beekeeping business to be successful, it is necessary for land to be dry with superior air drainage. Windy areas should be avoided; the same applies to exposed hill tops or river banks with a potential of flooding. Take care that selected land for the honey bee farming business is free from pesticides that may cause harm to insects, particularly when they are kept in farming land used for grain among other plants. Your honey bee farming business plan should take into account the cost of purchasing or renting the land.
Bee Hives and Equipment
You will require bee hives, which is where the bees will live. There are many different hives developed for various bee farming operations. Example of beehives include fixed comb hives, top-bar hives, frame hives, Kenyan top bar hive and the Langstroth hive. Beehives are often made out of wood which offers durability, flexibility and convenience. Wood housing also improves the colony’s efficiency to regulate hive interior temperature and humidity. It is advisable to externally paint the hive bodies and supers white or any other colour that has an action of radiating direct heat from the sun. In addition, painted housing tends to last longer hence the suggestion. The other equipment required for a honey bee farming business include smokers, hive tool set (bee brush, hive opener and stainless-steel knife). Protective clothing required for honey beekeeping includes bee suit/overalls, head veil, bee gloves and gumboots. Processing equipment required depend on the size of the honey beekeeping business. Honey processing equipment include storage containers, refractometer, centrifuge honey extractor and honey press. The costs of the beehives and equipment should be included in the honey beekeeping business plan.
Honey Bee Colony
The entire honey bee farming business is centred on the honey bee colony. Honey bees live in colonies. Each colony will be having about 10,000 to 60,000 bees. The honey bee colony is made up of three types of bees. A bee colony is comprised of a queen (fertile female), a few hundred drones (males) and thousands of workers (sterile females). A honey bee colony is comprised of a single queen. The role of the queen is to lay eggs. Queen bees are raised from the same eggs as worker bees, but are provided with more food for increased productivity. She lays the most eggs during the first year, about 2500 to 3000 per day. Bees referred to as workers carry out different operations within the colony. They collect nectar and pollen, make honey and wax, feed the queen, tend to eggs, build and repair the comb. They are also responsible for cleaning and controlling temperature within the colony. The male bees are called drones and their sole purpose is to mate with the queen. So each hive will be comprised of one bee colony. Thus the size of your honey beekeeping business will be determined by the number of bee hives/bee colonies that you have. The honey bee farming business plan should include the costs of acquiring the bee colonies.
Feed and Nutrition
Feed and nutrition is an important aspect for the success of the bee farming business. Similar to all animal species, honey bees require essential nutrients for survival and reproduction. These include carbohydrates (sugars in nectar or honey), amino acids (protein from pollen), lipids (fatty acids, sterols), vitamins, minerals (salts) and water. Bees mainly obtain nutrients from pollen and honey. Bees do not need to be fed regularly, as long as flowers are available, bees will feed themselves. Supplementary feed is however sometimes necessary and can be in form of cane or beet sugar and isomerized corn syrup. Bees collect a number of substances to ensure survival and productivity:
- nectar – converted into honey and stored in beeswax cells
- pollen – provides most of the protein, amino acids, fats, vitamins and mineral requirements of diet
- water – for maintaining the temperature and humidity of the hive and diluting stored honey
- propolis –naturally occurring glue like substance used in sealing cracks and crevices in the hive
The number of employees required depends on the size of the bee farming business. You will need beekeepers who will be responsible for the bee hive management, feeding the bees, monitoring the apiary, harvesting and packaging the honey. The honey beekeeping farming business plan should cater for the costs of paying all your employees.
Capital for Honey Beekeeping Business
The amount depends on the scale of the honey beekeeping operations. You can get a loan from the bank, or funding from investors, to use as capital to start your honey bee farming business. If you plan to raise capital from investors and a loan from the bank, you need a good beekeeping business plan. If you don’t have access to investors and bank loan, you can use your personal savings and start small, and grow your business overtime. Honey bee farming is profitable, so if you reinvest the profits you get, you can quickly grow. Even if you are not planning to get a loan, you should still get a honey bee farm business plan to guide you in starting and operating the business. It is essential for you to have a honey beekeeping farming business plan before you venture into the beekeeping business, so that you know all the costs involved and you make an informed decision.
The end product of the beekeeping business is honey. Bees form honey from the nectar which they collect from flowers. So at harvest time, beekeepers will harvest the honey from the beehives. Honey is an excellent, stable sweetener and energy source for humans. For this reason, it is often sold in its natural form. It is also an essential ingredient in the confectionary and cosmetology industry. Another valuable byproduct from beekeeping is beeswax. The wax from bees is used to make products such as bath soap, shoes polish and candles. The market for honey is huge, potential customers include individuals, supermarkets, wholesalers, restaurants and organisations. The honey beekeeping business plan should obviously include a proper marketing strategy for the business.
Pre-Written Honey Bee Farming Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel): Comprehensive Version, Short Funding/Bank Loan Version and Automated Financial Statements
For an in-depth analysis of the honey beekeeping farming business, we encourage you to purchase our well-researched and comprehensive honey beekeeping business plan. We introduced the business plans after discovering that many were venturing into the honey production business without enough knowledge and understanding of how to run the honey bee farming business, how to keep the bees, lack of understanding of the financial side of the business, lack of understanding of : the industry, the risks involved , costs and profitability of the business; which often leads to disastrous losses.
The StartupBiz Global honey beekeeping business plan will make it easier for you to launch and run your honey bee farming business successfully, fully knowing what you are going into, and what’s needed to succeed in the business. It will be easier to plan and budget as you will be aware of all the costs involved in setting up and running the beekeeping business.
Uses of the Honey Beekeeping Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel)
The honey bee farm business plan can be used for many purposes including:
- Raising capital from investors/friends/relatives
- Applying for a bank loan
- Start-up guide to launch your honey beekeeping business
- As a honey bee farming business proposal
- Assessing profitability of the honey beekeeping business
- Finding a business partner
- Assessing the initial start-up costs so that you know how much to save
- Manual for current business owners to help in business and strategy formulation
Contents of the Honey Bee Farming Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel)
The honey beekeeping farming business plan include, but not limited to:
- Marketing Strategy
- Financial Statements (monthly cash flow projections, income statements, cash flow statements, balance sheets, break even analysis, payback period analysis, start-up costs, financial graphs, revenue and expenses, Bank Loan Amortization)
- Risk Analysis
- Industry Analysis
- Market Analysis
- SWOT & PEST Analysis
- Operational Requirements (Including technical aspects of how to keep the bees, equipment requirements etc)
- Operational Strategy
- Why some people in the honey beekeeping business fail, so that you can avoid their mistakes
- Ways to raise capital to start your honey bee farming business
The Pre-written honey bee farming business plan package consist of 4 files
- Honey Beekeeping Business Plan – PDF file (Comprehensive Version – 100 Pages)
- Honey Bee Farming Business Plan – Editable Word File (Comprehensive Version – 100 Pages)
- Honey Bee Farming Business Plan Funding/Bank Loan Version- Editable Word File (Short version for applying for a loan/funding – 44 pages)
- Honey Beekeeping Business Plan Automated Financial Statements – (Editable Excel File)
The business plan can be used in any country and can be easily edited. The financial statements are automated. This implies that you can change eg the number of bee hives, selling price of the honey etc, and all the other financial statements will automatically adjust to reflect the change.
Click below to download the Contents Page of the Honey Bee Farming Business Plan (PDF)
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