This will be a short post.
Just the other day, I read an article posted by a farmer who sells fresh eggs for five dollars a dozen from his truly free range chickens. He went through an entire cost analysis for everything involved throughout the laying lifetime of one hen, and what it costs to produce the eggs.
He also explained that when you buy from a nearby neighbor who has a half-dozen hens in the back yard for fun, and they are only charging three dollars a dozen, they are not trying to make a profit or a living off of those eggs. They are just trying to sell what they can’t use themselves and recoup part of their costs. As I was reading this, I thought, “This is so true with honey as well.”
Well wouldn’t you know it, but I got home today after adding supers to a few hives, and doing some sheet rocking with my son, and there is a message on my answering machine. It went like this: “Hi Tony this is *** and I want to buy some honey from you for $5 a pound, the price I was getting it for from ****** who is moving out-of-town. He gave me your name. Call me or stop in my barbershop.
This is all fine and good except I sell my honey for $7.50 a pound. They other guy had a full-time government job which payed well with benefits and a retirement plan. He kept a few hives for fun. The honey was secondary, in fact he hated the whole process of extracting honey and would prefer to just work on the hives.
Like the person with the $3/dozen eggs, the honey he sold helped cover some of his costs and that’s all he cared about.
I love keeping and watching honey bees, but I can’t afford to lose money keeping them. If I were losing money I’d have to quit because my pockets aren’t deep enough to pay for such an expensive hobby. That being said, I do make some profit selling the honey, but a good portion of my beekeeping income comes from candle making.
I’m not trying to put anyone down, but a better message on my machine would have been: Hey Tony, this is ***. The guy I buy honey is moving away and he recommended you as a possible source. I was wondering what size jars you sell and how much you get for them. Give me a call, or stop by my barbershop and let me know.”