Please support Friends of the Bees to keep this forum free to use.

Natural Beekeeping International Forum
low-cost, low-impact, balanced beekeeping for everyone

 Forum FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileYour Profile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Please Read The Rules before posting.



(country selected automatically - UK/USA/CA/AU)
Doorstep honey sales

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    beekeeping forum -> Bright ideas, experiments and projects
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Beeser
House Bee


Joined: 24 Oct 2012
Posts: 11
Location: Zagreb, Croatia

PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:35 pm    Post subject: Doorstep honey sales Reply with quote

Are the doorstep sales allowed by law in your country?
Are the small beekeepers satisfied with the production and sales that way?
Possible to live with honey production?

Are there many honey buyers/distributors and what are the prices they offer?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1581
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes I'm pretty sure doorstep sales are allowed here in the UK.

Personally I prefer to give whatever small surplus my bees produce to friends and family as gifts.

Definitely not possible to live off honey production unless you have very large numbers of hives and intensively farm them and that is not what this forum is about.

I have no knowledge of honey buyers/distributors.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
ratcatcher
Guest





PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I THINK ALL THE QUESTIONS YOUR ASKING WILL GET BETTER ANSWERS ON THAT OTHER BEE FORUM YOUR POSTING IDENTICAL QUESTIONS TO THESE ON (sorry didn't see caps lock was on)
as barbara has commented, this forum is as the name suggests, friends of the bees, rather than, lets get as much as we can from them and use loads of chemicals on them.

but by all means, how about sharing some stories with us on your set up
Back to top
Beeser
House Bee


Joined: 24 Oct 2012
Posts: 11
Location: Zagreb, Croatia

PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 6:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ratcatcher,

I think forum is used for discussion, no? I have put the same questions on 20 different forums in different countries because I would like to learn experiences, culture, practices etc. I'm a young beekeeper who really got interested in beekeepeing and bees in general so I'm eating like a bird in the way of collecting informations for my personal growth and will poop like an elephant in order to share whatever I know and what my experiences are.

Like I said in the other thread, this is a learning year for me so I'm trying to get as much feedbacks from others and see whats important and useful to record in order to have better overview on whats happening and whats next.


Regarding the doorstep sales I can tell you that they were not allowed in Croatia till recently. New people in the beekeeping association helped on that subject.

We have like 85% of small and medium beekeepers... to be more precise 10-30 hives, and 30-100 hives. Mostly they are small producers and hobby beekeepeers and most of the time doorstep sales are something with what they can pay most of the living expences through the year.

Here are some examples of the prices for different honey types at our country

chestnut (6-7 EUR on doorstep, 3.5 EUR wholesale)
sage (10-12 EUR on doorstep, 5 EUR wholesale)
acacia (6-7 EUR on doorstep, 3.5 EUR wholesale)
lavander (6-7 EUR on doorstep, 3.5 EUR wholesale)
interna (6-7 EUR on doorstep, 3.5 EUR wholesale)
floral (4-5 EUR on doorstep, 2.5 EUR wholesale)
ling (4-5 EUR on doorstep, 2.5 EUR wholesale)
goldenrod (4-5 EUR on doorstep, 2.5 EUR wholesale)
rapeseed (4-5 EUR on doorstep, 2.5 EUR wholesale)

I wouldn't say you can live with from that but It can help. Our beekeepers have like 20-30 kg per hive production (yearly). It's not bad if you have static apiary. So I would say they are satisfied mostly.

We have lots of distributers/resellers on the market and it's a mess. There was a monopol on the market in that part, but I think there isn't anymore. but still...few big companies have big influence on the prices in general.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Jedidiah
Guard Bee


Joined: 11 Nov 2011
Posts: 72
Location: Englewood, Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beeser,

In America our big honey distributors often process the honey using heat and micro-straining. This removes all pollen and wax and makes honey into a honey like substance. We also deal with cheap import honey from China that is sometimes mixed with corn syrup or some such sweet non-honey substance. In one way this can be helpful to a local keeper because I can advertise my honey as local and raw. I only use a window screen to filter the big chunks of wax out. It also helps there is a big push for getting back to local food sources here. People that devote themselves to eating locally sourced food are known colloquially as "localvores".

In regards to door to door honey sales, up until last year a person selling any food stuffs had to have a commercial kitchen to process or make their wares in. Last year the state of Colorado passed a law that allows people producing food with low risk of causing sickness to use their home frogs. These low risk foods include honey! Yeah!

As to making a living on honey, any money you make on honey is less money you need to make elsewhere! I do second the thought though, and it seems you agree, that by forcing bees to overproduce by the use of chemicals and unnatural management methods you are decreasing your chances of having bees for the long term. Natural beekeeping may have short term setbacks in production (And sometimes hive survival rates) the long term view is breeding bees that are naturally resistant to current environmental pressures.
_________________
Been at it since April 2011
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
catchercradle
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 1495
Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here in UK it is allowed, subject to food and hygiene regulations. Can be a domestic kitchen as long as it satisfies the requirements which I think strictly speaking mean a dedicated hand washing sink as well as one for washing utensils. Just got more expensive for the bee keeper with a ruling for jam that jars can not be re-used. I suspect someone will come along to say that applies to honey as well.

Not that I have any honey to sell this year due to the weather.

Perhaps next year will be better? - Ancient bee keepers' saying!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Bugscouter
Silver Bee


Joined: 19 Mar 2012
Posts: 808
Location: USA/California/ Sacramento

PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beeser, I'm going to expand on what Jedidiah said and say that here in the US the rules vary state by state. Here in California a lot of "Door Step" sales are at our Certified Farmers Markets and Festivals.

Also, to confirm that you can support a hobby by selling honey but you really can not make a living just selling honey. You have to rent your hives out for pollination if you want bees to be your sole source of income, which opens a whole other can of worms on this forum. The number that I've heard is that about 80% of the hives in the US (about 1.5 million hives) will be in the Central Valley in February for the Almond Bloom.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
AnthonyD
Silver Bee


Joined: 14 Aug 2011
Posts: 707
Location: County Kerry Ireland

PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bugscouter wrote:

Also, to confirm that you can support a hobby by selling honey but you really can not make a living just selling honey.


I don't agree. I personally know three beekeepers who make their living solely off honey. One does quite well and the other two get along fine.

It depends on how many hives you have and your location. As well as whether you can find a market for the honey.

Generally 200+ hives means you can make a living off honey.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Bugscouter
Silver Bee


Joined: 19 Mar 2012
Posts: 808
Location: USA/California/ Sacramento

PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AnthonyD wrote:


I don't agree. I personally know three beekeepers who make their living solely off honey. One does quite well and the other two get along fine.

It depends on how many hives you have and your location. As well as whether you can find a market for the honey.

Generally 200+ hives means you can make a living off honey.


OK, but keep in mind my experience level and we're in two different countries. Most of the beeks I've met lately have told me they can just support a hobby, and most are under 100 hives (I think). But you got me thinking.

The average price per pound in the US last month was $4.16 wholesale (source: National Honey Board). If you get 50 pounds (my number) per hive at 200 hives, that's $41,600 gross. Don't know what the over head would be. I also do not know how many times you can harvest that much.

I do not know what the current rate for pollination is, but I believe it was recently around $150 per hive. At 200 hives, that's about $30,000. You also get pollination fees several times a year. Feb it almonds, then strawberries, on through to cranberries. Than you take in the cost of picking up the hives and trucking from Florida, to California, to Washington,...

OK, my head hurts. All I know is that the discussion around the agricultural community is that beekeepers struggle. You may want to check out a video called "Colony". Its on this topic.


(Edit: I probably should include that retail prices averaged $5.57/pound last month as that would probably be closer to "doorstep" prices.)


Last edited by Bugscouter on Thu Oct 25, 2012 7:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
AnthonyD
Silver Bee


Joined: 14 Aug 2011
Posts: 707
Location: County Kerry Ireland

PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't get me wrong though, I do think it is ridiculous to just sell honey and nothing else. I mean if you are a commercial beekeeper that is. There is so many other products from the hive. Including of course the bees themselves. And beekeeping equipment.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
catchercradle
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 1495
Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I do think it is ridiculous to just sell honey and nothing else.

Agreed, I could have made £1,000 this year with the going rate for nucs. As it was I gave them away. I have started to sell hand cream/balm made with beeswax, organic olive oil and essential oils and will soon be selling this through a local organic whole food and veg shop. It will be interesting to find out what the take up is. If repeat orders are anything like I have had already, I may well have to increase production.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
andy pearce
Silver Bee


Joined: 30 Aug 2009
Posts: 663
Location: UK, East Sussex, Brighton

PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not allowed, as part of my tenancy, to sell any honey I have from my home. I do not have any this year anyway, but I am not allowed to put up a little sign and sell any at all. I live in the countryside, on a busy lane, next to a cookery school......
A
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
AnthonyD
Silver Bee


Joined: 14 Aug 2011
Posts: 707
Location: County Kerry Ireland

PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

andy pearce wrote:
I am not allowed, as part of my tenancy, to sell any honey I have from my home. I do not have any this year anyway, but I am not allowed to put up a little sign and sell any at all. I live in the countryside, on a busy lane, next to a cookery school......
A


Wow...strict landlord.

Have you tried local shops/butchers?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
andy pearce
Silver Bee


Joined: 30 Aug 2009
Posts: 663
Location: UK, East Sussex, Brighton

PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 5:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It seems an odd restriction to me but they must have their reasons. I am looking to move on from here this coming year so maybe will find a new home and a place I can keep the bees with no hassle, then I can do as I like.
A
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mark Young
Scout Bee


Joined: 27 Jan 2011
Posts: 277
Location: High Weald, Kent, England

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Word of mouth is the best way of receiving 'donations' towards the upkeep of your wildlife habitat in return for a 'gift' of honey.

I think that's how they loop hole the system in the UK anyway.

I have found that as soon as your friends and family know you have bees, the news snowballs and you have everyone including "friends of friends who know your brothers kids" asking for honey.

* I have never sold a single jar though so what do I know... Smile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
catchercradle
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 1495
Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't sold a single jar yet but next year I expect a bumper harvest from my 5 colonies. Cool
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
professor
Silver Bee


Joined: 12 Nov 2007
Posts: 764
Location: USA, W. Virginia

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would like to add a couple comments:

There is no reason to assume that selling bee products, bees, or honey needs to conflict with any beekeeper's efforts at a more natural beekeeping management approach. Ideally to be totally natural, the keeping of bees should not take place at all. That being said it is very possible to achieve a high level of benefit to the bees and still create some benefits for the beekeeper. Considering that the bees are in trouble in the wild and that their populations are rapidly depleting we need to examine all options available to us to assure their continued survival as merely leaving them to their own means does not appear to be being successful. Those who "have" bees and do not "keep" them actually perform no service to them and perpetuate the current demise that they are experiencing.

****

There is a serious market for honey produced naturally that is directly from the comb to the table without treatments, micro-filtering, heating or adulteration. In this area it can bring more than $8.00 a pound and there is never enough available for the demand. With proper management using low impact natural methods one can produce surplus honey without detriment to the bees. Unfortunately the TBH is not the best for this endeavor. The reasons are simple, not enough colony space or bee population to permit it. Production can be only accomplished with many hives producing limited surplus per unit bringing with it the problems associated with forage availability, excessive scouting by many small units, increased robbing and greater details devoted to management and manipulation.

****

In this area a colony of 60,000 bees can produce upwards or 125-150 pounds of honey in a good year using natural (no foundation or chemicals) management techniques. 20 such colonies producing 2,000 surplus pounds of honey minus bottles and labels equates to near $15,000. Forty such colonies production is a good income in this area. Granted there are lean years but also better ones as well. Cut comb honey as well as the bottled variants also command premium prices and are well received. So lets not demean those who make money with their bees as well as take good care of them.



Smile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
vernonpurcell
New Bee


Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 5
Location: uk

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you produce any food product in the UK and use your kitchen, then it should be registered by law, and the appropriate records kept. I know this as I kept 60 ducks and had the authorities around, I simple told them that there was no regulations for duck, like chickens, she agreed, but told me I must keep records on my egg production, and storage records, on the way out she asked if I produced any jam in the kitchen, as I need to have the kitchen registered, I said yes, and it was registered there and then, without any forms filled in.
Now I have a commercial kitchen
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Notyouraveragebeek
House Bee


Joined: 26 Aug 2014
Posts: 11
Location: Findlay, Ohio (USA)

PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vernonpurcell wrote:
If you produce any food product in the UK and use your frog... she asked if I produced any jam in the frog, as I need to have the frog registered, I said yes, and it was registered there and then, without any forms filled in. Now I have a commercial frog


Can you interpret this "frog" for a guy across the pond? I'm coming up with some awful funny mental pictures of what you might be talking about! Laughing
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
biobee
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1055
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ha ha! We had a spate of spammers selling k-itchens so I set the software to change that word to 'frog'... given that the k-word is relatively little-used here in its correct context.

Does it make sense now?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Notyouraveragebeek
House Bee


Joined: 26 Aug 2014
Posts: 11
Location: Findlay, Ohio (USA)

PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So you are telling me that you created an auto-correct, such that if I post the word kitchen (Edit: In my first post I typed in k.itchen, without the "."), it will change it to frog?

EDIT: Bahahaha... it worked! Hehehe... what a wonderfully silly thing to laugh about Laughing Here I was thinking you Brit's called your k.itchen a frog...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    beekeeping forum -> Bright ideas, experiments and projects All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

SPECIAL OFFER FOR UK FORUM MEMBERS - Buy your protective clothing here and get a special 15% discount! (use the code BAREFOOTBEEKEEPER at checkout and be sure to 'update basket')



Are the big energy companies bleeding you dry?


Is way too much of your hard-earned family income going up in smoke?

Are you worried about what could happen if the ageing grid system fails?

You need to watch this short video NOW to find out how YOU can cut your energy bills TO THE BONE within 30 days!

WATCH THE VIDEO NOW



(country selected automatically - UK/USA/CA/AU)

Conserving wild bees

Research suggests that bumble bee boxes have a very low success rate in actually attracting bees into them. We find that if you create an environment where first of all you can attract mice inside, such as a pile of stones, a drystone wall, paving slabs with intentionally made cavities underneath, this will increase the success rate.

Most bumble bee species need a dry space about the size a football, with a narrow entrance tunnel approximately 2cm in diameter and 20 cm long. Most species nest underground along the base of a linear feature such as a hedge or wall. Sites need to be sheltered and out of direct sunlight.

There is a spectacular display of wild bee hotels here

More about bumblebees and solitary bees here

Information about the Tree Bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum)

Barefoot Beekeeper Podcast



Now available from Lulu.com


Now available from Lulu.com


Now available from Lulu.com


4th Edition paperback now available from Lulu.com

See beekeeping books for details and links to ebook versions.
site map
php. BB © 2001, 2005 php. BB Group

View topic - Doorstep honey sales - Natural Beekeeping Network Forum