Beekeeping as a business


Beekeeping as a business is one of the few almost win-win occupations in agriculture. There is always a demand for products produced by bees. Of course, commercial beekeeping already requires certain skills and knowledge. You can not do beekeeping as a serious business, knowing nothing about the bees. But a similar situation exists in any field of agriculture: before you engage in animal husbandry or crop production, you need to get experience.

Breeding bees as a business: profitable or not

A person will always pay for food. But the cultivation of food - an area of ​​increased risk: crop failures, epizootics can knock down the farmer. For treatment, people will give the last money. In the field of agriculture, such a business as beekeeping is one of the most profitable industries, as it combines both food and medicines.

With the right approach, keeping an apiary as a business is no more risky than a chicken farm. But investments are needed much smaller. Moreover, even the apiary needs less space than any more or less serious farm.

Bees are beneficial to keep also because absolutely all bee products go into business. Warehouses for food in beekeeping is not required. If the owners of livestock and poultry farms need to think about where to keep the feed and where to put the waste, then the beekeeper receives income from the sale of propolis and tinctures from it.

Profitability of beekeeping

Profitability is not exactly what this implies in everyday conversations. Profitability - a coefficient that is defined as profit divided by ...

But what will divide profits, and whether this profit should be clean, depends on what kind of profitability must be calculated.

Important! Profit = revenue - expenses.

To calculate the profitability of the apiary, you need to decide what to calculate:

  • the profitability of the enterprise after the initial investments are repulsed;
  • the cost of consumables, including the possible purchase of new families;
  • seasonal profits from the sale of bee products.

The high profitability of bees as a type of business is due primarily to the fact that initial investment in beekeeping is very low. If you have the tools, materials, and skills learned from school classes, hives can be made on your own. Under the apiary amicable plot with a garden. The most risky expenses are for the purchase of bee colonies. Equipment for pumping honey even in case of failure can be sold.

Apiary income

Earnings on bees consists of many factors:

  • honey;
  • propolis;
  • royal jelly;
  • drone homogenate;
  • pga;
  • wax;
  • tinctures from a submarine.

Oddly enough, honey, which is familiar to everyone, is the cheapest product in beekeeping. He also has the largest variation in prices. Therefore, the price of honey will depend on the region where the business of beekeeping is planned, and the type of plants from which the product is collected.

Apiary as a business: where to start

If you do not have experience in beekeeping as a business, it is better to first gather it with 2-3 hives in order to understand how to properly contain bees. There are often cases when, due to inexperience, beekeepers ruin families with their own hands. You can think about making money on a bee apiary a couple of years after the appearance of the first hives. Moreover, in the summer the bees swarm, and the number of families can be increased without financial costs.

If you already have experience, it makes sense to immediately start with the purchase of several dozen colonies. But an apiary with 10 colonies is already considered sufficient for a small profit. True, she also has a high risk of extinction of all families in the event of adverse circumstances.

In addition to bee families and hives, for the organization of business in beekeeping, you also need some equipment. The latter is beneficial to buy if the apiary has at least 50 colonies.

The organization of business in beekeeping and the calculation of the number of hives begin with an inspection of the proposed site. Or in advance they reconcile themselves with the thought of serious monetary investments in the purchase of a large automobile trailer for organizing a nomadic apiary.

Apiary placement

For their own needs, citizens can place beehives at home plots subject to compliance with sanitary and veterinary requirements.

Attention! One of the conditions for placing beehives in a personal area is at least 10 m from the outer boundary of the site.

For serious business in beekeeping, there are already certain rules:

  • there cannot be more than 150 hives in one apiary;
  • a stationary apiary on the perimeter of the territory is fenced and planted with fruit trees and bushes;
  • free areas are plowed up and sown with honey herbs every year;
  • the distance between the hives should be 3-3.5 m, and between the rows - 10 m;
  • stationary apiary is placed no closer than half a kilometer from railways, power lines, power-saw benches, highways of federal significance;
  • you can not put the hives closer than 5 km of chemical enterprises. the industry and confectionery, sources of microwave radiations.

In the first place in the selection of the site pay attention to these requirements. Next, estimate the number of honey plants at the selected location.

Bees can collect maximum bribes if they do not have to fly further than 2 km. At the same time on 1 ha of the area should be at least 2000. honey plants. This amount includes:

  • garden trees;
  • meadow grass;
  • forest trees.

After evaluating the possibilities for collecting honey, a place is chosen for the apiary itself. If there is not much choice, and the apiary will be located in the garden on the plot, the hives will be placed in the shade of the trees. The territory for protection from the wind is surrounded by a 2-meter fence.

Important! Even for a small apiary try to comply with the scheme of placement of hives.

The stationary apiary is also equipped with storage rooms for equipment, spare hives and honey-drying equipment. Plumbing facilities should also be provided.

Nomadic apiary

In the absence of a suitable site for a "stationary" business, a nomad apiary can be made, but the requirements for it are stricter:

  • placing nomadic apiaries in places of honey collection at a distance of at least 1.5 km from one another;
  • not less than 3 km from stationary apiaries;
  • it is forbidden to place nomadic apiaries on the summer path of bees from another apiary to the main honey collection;
  • when placing on a foreign land, a contract is necessary between the beekeeper and the owner of the land;
  • the beekeeper must take measures to ensure the safety of people and animals. He is also charged with the task of curbing the entry of strangers to the apiary.

Due to the global disappearance of bees and the spread of diseases among them, the owner of a nomadic business must notify local authorities about his plans before moving to a new place. Further informing the veterinary service is already borne by the local authorities.

A nomadic apiary has an advantage over a stationary one: the owner can transport bees to the best places.

Important! A nomadic apiary should be well for disease.

In cold regions for both types of business in beekeeping, it is necessary to provide a ventilated winter road, in which it will be possible to maintain a temperature of 0-6 ° C and a humidity of not more than 85%.

Under both types of apiaries, they choose a flat area overgrown with trees with a slight slope. Trees are needed to hide the hives in the shade from the heat.

Beehives and necessary equipment

According to reviews when doing business with bees, the main item of expenditure is hives. Even bee colonies cost less than a quality hive. The cost of "house for the bees" about 4000 rubles. The hive must be made of quality wood.

Important! You should not use beehives made from fresh planks of coniferous trees.

The resin released in the heat "sticks" the bees to the walls. A good option is aspen, which is difficult to rot.

Do not use hives made of plywood. From the water, this material will exfoliate and warp. Foreign attempts to use foam instead of wood were also unsuccessful: this material turned out to be too light and brittle, although from the point of view of thermal insulation it is ideal.

In addition to hives, you will need a lot of things that may not be taken into account when calculating the cost of a business:

  • framework;
  • beekeeper costume;
  • smoke;
  • swarm net;
  • veterinary preparations for families;
  • mingling;
  • honey extractor;
  • equipment for the production of honeycombs;
  • chimney material;
  • special cells for queen bees;
  • various carpentry tools.

The latter can be found in any subsidiary farm. Equipment for the canvas, too, can be bought later when it becomes clear that the business is out of the unprofitable stage. But you can do without buying a piece of clothing in the store.

Purchase of bee colonies

When buying colonies, one should take into account the species composition of honey plants near the apiary and climatic conditions. Today, there are quite a few bee breeds that work better on certain plants:

  • Central Russian bees: linden and buckwheat. Aggressive and prone to swarming.
  • Gray Caucasian non-aggressive, but poorly tolerate cold. Work well on clover and meadow forbs. They do not steal honey, do not allow strangers to their hives. This breed is unproductive.
  • Ukrainian steppe preferred for lime, buckwheat, sunflowers and other melliferous. They tolerate winter well and are resistant to Nosema and European rotten.

These breeds are most common in Russian beekeeping. In addition to them, you can buy local bees or their mixture with other breeds. For beekeeping, the advantage of local breeds is their good adaptation to a particular climate, but productivity may be low.

The cost of bee colonies is about 2000 rubles. But depending on the pedigree of the colony may be higher.

Work at the apiary

At first glance, the apiary is a very calm and easy work. In fact, according to reviews of people involved in beekeeping as a business, apart from working in the apiary, there is no time left for anything. In this business, care begins in early spring, when it is necessary to transplant bees into clean hives, and last until autumn.

During the season in the apiary it is necessary to mow the grass periodically so that it does not close the tap-holes. In front of the beehives, platforms of 0.5 x 0.5 m will be equipped, on which the bees will throw out subside and other garbage. These sites must be cleaned of garbage. During the season, the drone brood is harvested for homogenate and royal jelly.

In the autumn, they audit families and decide how many colonies to leave for the winter. You also need to collect mature honey, propolis and pergou.

For the winter, beehives should be placed in a winter house. If the climate allows, and the bees tolerate cold, the colonies can be left to winter in the open air. In winter, the beekeeper also has something to do:

  • check and clean out backup hives;
  • re-paint them all;
  • make a frame;
  • make foundation

But in winter the work is less intense than in season.

Start-up capital

In the business of beekeeping initial costs are largely dependent on:

  • apiary size;
  • plot of land under it;
  • land owned or leased;
  • stationary apiary or nomadic;
  • the cost of processing all documents.

With the maximum possible amount of 150 hives, the initial costs can reach 2 million rubles. If a business starts with 5-10 hives in its own garden plot, then the costs are minimal (40-70 thousand rubles), but the income will be small.

To transport hives closer to honey plants you will need a trailer. These are the costs of beekeeping, which will not be in the case of a stationary apiary.

Is there any risk

There is no business without risk at all. Bee apiary as a business object is no exception. Bees can get sick or die from frost. The year may be cold and the colonies will not gain enough honey. But in the same situation are any farmers. Crop failures occur frequently.

The peculiarity of Russia in a cold climate that impedes beekeeping as a business. In a very cold winter, the colony may freeze. But also the bees can die if they block ventilation with insulation.

Untimely reduction in the number of mite varroa leads to a weakening of the colony due to proliferating parasites. Varroa suck the lymph from the bees and the insects die.

It is also necessary to monitor the occurrence of diseases in bees. Contrary to popular belief, bees suffer from invasive diseases. These infections are caused by the simplest organisms settling in the bee intestine.

Beekeeping Income

The income from the business of beekeeping, according to the reviews of the beekeepers themselves, is very unpredictable. Much depends on how strong the family is. You can get income in this business only from a strong colony. The weak will have to feed, and the average can only provide itself.

The maximum income to business in beekeeping is brought by nomadic apiaries, which are brought as close as possible to the honey plants. With a strong colony with this method of beekeeping, you can get 40 kg of honey per season. At the stationary yield of the product will depend on the number of honey plants in the area.

If we take the maximum yield and assume that all families are equally strong, then the amount of honey can simply be multiplied by the number of hives. In fact, it does not happen. Therefore, if the apiary consists of 10 hives, out of a total of 400 kg, you can safely take about 50 kg. With 100 hives of a nomadic apiary, not 4 tons of honey will turn out. But more than 3,500 kg will come out for sure.

To calculate the income, it is enough to multiply the average yield by the average price of a kilogram of honey. The cost of honey in different regions is different. Similarly, honey varieties also have a different price.

Sales of finished products

Sales in this type of business is entirely dependent on the turnover of the beekeeper. Honey can be sold:

  • on the ad;
  • independently in the market;
  • take it to a second-hand dealer;
  • organize with your friends own company store.

There is one more option: the beekeepers' union publishes its free newspaper, which is distributed to mailboxes. The newspaper posted ads for the centralized sale of honey and announced discounts on products.

Prices for honey and bee products

The price of honey varies considerably depending on its grade. Most appreciated:

  • buckwheat;
  • lime;
  • acacia;
  • mint.

The cost of honey ranges from 300 to 1200 rubles. Therefore, prices should be clarified in the local market. In the south, acacia honey will cost less than it does in the north.

Attention! When choosing a place for business, it is good to have a phyto map of the area on hand.

With an apiary size of 100 families and a honey output of 3,500 kg with a minimum cost per kilogram, you can get 3,500 x 300 = 1,050 thousand rubles. At the maximum cost of 1200 rubles. You can get 4200 thousand rubles.

An amateur apiary of 10 hives will give an income after selling honey at a minimum price of 105 thousand rubles, with a maximum of 420 thousand rubles.

With the hive out, respectively, 10.5 thousand rubles. and 42 thousand rubles. But the numbers are approximate, a business in beekeeping is one of the most unpredictable in terms of obtaining products.

Moreover, in fact, even with the most favorable scenario, real profits will be less. From the amount received must deduct the costs of maintaining the apiary and taxes.

Important! Honey has an unlimited shelf life.

This allows the beekeeper to hold the product until prices increase.

Is it profitable to engage in beekeeping: we consider profit

The beekeepers themselves traditionally complain about the lack of state support for beekeeping and business difficulties. Judging by the reviews of those who keep the apiary as a business, everything is very bad. But they are not ready to abandon beekeeping and go on breeding chickens, rabbits or nutria.

There are other reviews, from which it follows that the beekeeper will not become a millionaire, but it is possible to support a family adequately by doing beekeeping. Of course, you have to work, and not to sit with a cup of tea and a saucer of honey on the veranda.

Important! Income in beekeeping can be obtained not only from the sale of honey.

Business on the bees

In connection with the frequent denial of families, other uterus are in great demand. In addition, the bee colony is more expensive than one queen. If you need to breed pedigree bees, you can buy a fertilized uterus, and plant it in a “purebred” family. The pedigree queen bought in the spring will “replace” the outbred livestock of the family in one season. Due to this, if a beekeeper is a pedigree bee, he can sell both queens and new young swarms to others.

Sale of queens as a separate type of business in beekeeping is quite profitable, as working individuals wear out quickly in the summer. Their lifespan is about 30 days.

The cost of queens ranges from 600 to 950 rubles. regardless of breed. Pricing in this area depends more on the desire of the owner of the bees than on objective factors.

Normally, bees need only one queen. When the old queen grows old, the colony will feed another one, and the old one will be killed. Many queens in the hive usually does not happen. Therefore, if the business is focused on getting honey, it will not be possible to earn a lot on the uterus. From a force of up to 10 thousand rubles. in year.

The same applies to the sale of bee colonies at a price of 2 thousand rubles. They can earn even less, because the new swarms are "born" less than the queens. In order not to weaken families, it is better to prevent swarming. Usually a new swarm of beekeeper leaves for himself.

The business of selling bees is done by specialized nurseries, for which honey is already a by-product of low profitability. Bees can be made to grow a lot of queens for the season, but then they will not be up to a full collection of honey.

Important! You can also rent bees for rent in greenhouses.

How to make money from bees

Продукты пчеловодства как лекарственные средства сегодня продолжают набирать популярность. Бизнес можно строить не только на реализации меда, но и на продаже других продуктов пчеловодства:

  • перги - 4000 руб./кг;
  • прополиса - 2200-4000 руб./кг;
  • royal jelly - 200,000 rubles / kg; Important! Just collected for 2 hours is placed in the refrigerator, otherwise it spoils. Processed at room temperature is stored no more than 3 days, in the freezer - up to 2 years.
  • drone homogenate - 30,000 rubles / kg; Important! The drone milk can only be stored in the freezer, frozen immediately after receipt. It is impossible to freeze again. The shelf life of the thawed homogenate is 3 hours.
  • submarine;
  • wax - 300-450 rubles / kg.

The main product of beekeeping is honey. The rest is by-products in the business, and from the hive they are obtained in a small amount, except perga, in quantity inferior to honey:

  • wax - 1.5 kg;
  • perga - 10-20 kg;
  • Propolis - no more than 80 g per season from a family of gray Caucasian bees; Attention! Other breeds produce propolis 2 times less.
  • royal jelly - 450 g

The exact number of drone homogenate from the hive is unknown. But this product allows the beekeeper to "kill two birds with one stone": to gain additional income in the business and to reduce the number of varroa mites in the bee colony.

A lot of submarine rejoice not worth it. This is an indicator of a sick family. Podmore - dead bees. At best, "worn" working individuals, at worst - dead from the disease. Since the second option usually dies out the entire colony, you can reduce losses in business by making a tincture of a submarine on vodka or alcohol. 100 ml of tincture cost 400 rubles.


Beekeeping as a business is a profitable investment. But, like any serious business, it requires complete commitment. Also, beekeeping is a good option for a family business in the village.


Andrei Lisovich, 43 years old, pos. Far I can not say that beekeeping is an easy job that pays off in the very first year. To make the apiary a profitable business, you need to plow day and night. And you can not start a business without experience. There are too many nuances in beekeeping for a newcomer to succeed immediately. In general, this business brings a good profit if you do it yourself. But in this case they usually do not take into account that the time spent must be paid. That is, it turns out that the whole year you work for free "for workdays", and in the profit you get that salary is hidden, which you could get elsewhere. In general, to raise a business in beekeeping, you need not only initial capital, but also money for life for a couple of years. Konstantin Balykin, 34 years old, Solodkovsky farm, tried to bee keeping in the city, having placed bees in the country. I thought not touched. Stolen along with the hives. But in the city in any case there was no work. We decided to move the whole family to the village. And beekeeping is a type of business that does not require a lot of space. You can do right next to the house. They sold the cottage and the apartment, bought a house in the village. Just like in advertising. The first year my beekeeping did not give any profit. On the second day I already got the result. Little by little the business got better. People learned, began to go for honey. Now I think my business to expand. Engaged illegally, they say, "for myself." Now I want to formalize the activity and do beekeeping seriously.