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Should I keep Bees?


#1

I have been excited about the Flow-Hive since I heard about it. I am not a Bee keeper and about to retire. I like honey, who doesn’t, and thought it might be nice to have some Bees and make some free honey. It might also be a good hobby in retirement. After further review and realizing that the start up is going to be $600 no matter how I slice it I came up with this question.

Would I be better off just buying $600 (US) worth of honey in 5 gallon buckets? They are priced from under $30 (US) and up. At $30 I could buy 20 each of 5 gallon buckets of honey, that is 100 gallons. Since I use about 2 gallons per year that is 50 years worth of honey.

What say you Bee keepers out there?


#2

If all you want is honey, buy the buckets. If you like the idea of keeping the bees and that relationship and hobby, then the honey is just an added bonus.

You also have to factor into the equation that you will be spending $30 a year on honey for the rest of your life, vs the investment of the equipment to start up the hive which potentially is a one time deal (of course many will tell you how it becomes a place to throw money forever as well).

Long story short, I think the decision come down to one simple factor. Do you want to keep bees or not? If the answer is yes then enjoy your bees and the gift of honey they give, if not so much, then simply enjoy the honey, and perhaps start a relationship with a local beekeeper so that your investment of dollars directly helps bees in your area.


#3

If you just like pure local honey, make friends with a local beekeeper and go visit him during honey harvest. Keeping bees is a busy hobby at it’s simplest level and can become a lot of work. Not wishing to discourage you, but maybe try watching someone else a couple of times before you jump into beekeeping.


#4

You might want to check your pricing on the buckets the price seems off to me. I would also buy as many buckets as you can carry at $30 a 5 gallon bucket. From what I have seen 5 gallon buckets run closer to 175-$200/bucket. At $30/bucket you are paying $0.50/lb for honey.


#5

Setting up for retirement, you need a hobby, and it sounds like bee keeping may be the one to pursue as you obviously have an interest in the subject. It is a very addictive hobby and it will certainly help you pass those days away. Check out a meeting at your local amatuer bee association and get a real taste of the hobby, not just the honey.


#6

If you buy buckets of honey don’t buy cheap supermarket rubbish full of poisons, antibiotics, sugar syrup heaven only knows what else - Support your local bee keeper, keep industry local and it supports the bees


#7

Hi MWC,

I’m not thinking eating that much HONEY would be much of a retirement. I’m also nearing retirement now at age 70.

I raised honeybees as a teen back in the 1950’s n 60’s. Life has changed but the draw to return to my teen interest was stronger these last couple years. Winter of 2014-15 I built n equipped a new woodshop to for retirement projects. This last winter 2015-16 I used my new shop to build full hive setup.

I’d say you have an interest more than the sweet honey. Go for it. You’ll eventually spend more than $600.00 but retirement investments are worth it.

Good luck n GO for the bees,
Gerald


#8

Yeah I agree with others that your cost per 5-Gallons is way off! Buying it that way from my local guy is $180.


#9

Keep bees and you will get the most expensive jar of honey you will EVER eat, but it will also be the MOST delicious!!


#10

Yes 5 gallons, what’s that over 20 liters. $180 would be the wholesale price.


#11

Hello Forum Friends!
Thank you for your input! I appreciate the information and especially the encouragement. I have always had an interest in the outdoor, bugs to animals, so I may decide to keep bees, but I will take the advice of going to a local meeting of Bee Keepers and see if I can hang out with or assist some of them to get a feel for it first.

I plan on doing some extended traveling when I retire so I’ll have to figure that.

I took a look back at the site and saw that some of what I thought was honey for under $30 a 5 gallon bucket was Mollasses, Corn Syrup, and 1 gallon buckets of Honey (and the 1 gallon buckets of honey were $60). There was a 5 gallon bucket of honey for $110. Baker’s honey? See: https://www.dutchgoldhoney.com/store/honey-varietals/Wildflower-Honey

A better report was found here:
http://www.ahpanet.com/?page=HoneyMarketReport

I concede, lol, you are correct, but you knew that! Some are over $200 for a 60 pound 5- gallon bucket.

So my math is now $600 = 4 each 5-gallon buckets, Maybe not a life-time supply.

OK, thanking you all again for your time, encouragement, great information, and friendly tips!

Many Blessings, Mike C.


#12

Looks like a difference US$ and AUS$ at first sight.
Then, if you want to start:

  • Visit your friendly local beekeeper and keep him company for a few days.
  • Become a member of your local beekeeping club.
  • Start slowly, with one, preferably 2 simple hives and see if this is for you, don’t invest too much.

After that, the sky is the limit. YOU set the limit, Either a hobby with 2 hives or a business with hundreds of hives.
Forget about the economy of buying honey v.s. your own. Considering the effort you need to put in, your own honey is never economic in a hobby situation. But by golly, it tastes so much better and you suddenly are a much more popular member of your community (= everybody wants your honey). And if you manage to avoid all chemicals, then your own honeyproducts are also the most healthy. And as bees are getting scarce these days, beekeepers are probably critical to limit the damage to the environment, which gives a good feeling as well.
And my grandson is fascinated by the bees, I would keep bees only for him. Excellent teaching kids about nature.

Look at some Youtube movies to get a taste.


#13

Yep you buy that honey, sit back in front of the TV and enjoy, leave the bees to use.


#14

Thank you Pablo, very good advice!


#15

Why did you bother replying?


#16

Michael,
I am heading toward retirement, I have spent close to 1500 so far, had 5000 worth of fun and I do not like honey very much…One hive purchased in Oct '16, one harvest (15kgs)where I gave the honey away to friends and neighbours. Get the hive and live a little


#17

Thank you Jeff!
Having fun is where its at!