The Pennsylvania State University Cooperative Extension Agriculture Alternatives publication Beekeeping (enclosed) contains an annual beekeeping budget that summarizes the receipts, costs, and net returns for 10 mature bee colonies. The publication notes that "successful side-line operations typically maintain 50 to 500 colonies." It also states that "There will be no receipts from an operation until the second year" (Frazier et al., 1998). The sample Excel budget is available at <http://agalternatives.aers.psu.edu/other/ bees/index.htm>.
Several detailed commercial beekeeping budgets for honey and pollination operations are available in the Alberta Agriculture, Food, and Rural Development Ministry publication Commer
cial Honey Industry. It should be remembered that dollar amounts are stated in Canadian dollars (about 64 cents to the U.S. dollar at the time of this writing). The publication can be viewed at <http://www.agric.gov .ab.ca/agdex/600/ 616_830-1.html>.
These budgets were designed as aids for evaluating a beekeeping enterprise. The sample budget presents a workable combination of inputs that will produce a given output. This combination of inputs probably doesn't represent any given beekeeping operation, and the actual costs of inputs are likely different for each operation. While there may be hundreds of combinations of variable and fixed costs, as well as income potentials, each budget gives only one combination. Different production and management practices, as well as various marketing opportunities, can make the beekeeper's actual budget quite different from these budgets.
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Make money with honey How to be a Beekeeper. Beekeeping can be a fascinating hobby or you can turn it into a lucrative business. The choice is yours. You need to know some basics to help you get started. The equipment needed to be a beekeeper. Where can you find the equipment you need? The best location for the hives. You can't just put bees in any spot. What needs to be considered when picking the location for your bees?