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How Much Do Beekeepers Make?

How Much Do Beekeepers Make?

If you have an interest in beekeeping, you may be wondering about doing it as a career – and you’ve probably already asked the question ‘how much do beekeepers make?’.

Experienced beekeepers can make money and secure full-time employment, though the demand for such jobs may be limited. Many will find that independent beekeeping and self-employment is more feasible, and perhaps more profitable, too.

How Much Do Beekeepers Make?

Professional beekeepers with at least five years’ experience typically make between $40,000 and $55,000 working at an apiary. It is estimated that beekeepers earn approximately $14 to $22 per hour, though this may be higher in some regions. Beekeepers are part of the agricultural industry, along with ranchers and farmers.

Want to learn more about working as a beekeeper? Keep reading or check out the benefits of the hobby here!

Beekeeping

A person can make a living as a beekeeper, but it is not easy work. For it to be profitable, you would likely need to manage over one hundred hives. If you are a full-time beekeeper, you likely manage well over 500 hives- closer to 800.

There is a lot of physical activity involved in beekeeping. Furthermore, you must be creative in terms of marketing your products and services since you likely will not be able to sustain yourself on honey production alone. Beekeeping is a satisfying and profitable hobby for most beekeepers, rather than a full-time gig, due to how much work it really is.

Beekeeping Income

So, what can a beekeeper make in a year? The estimated salary of a full-time beekeeper is between $28,000 to $44,000, or about $14 to $22 per hour.

These full-time beekeeping jobs are not abundant, which is why many with an interest in apiaries work for themselves. By having a beekeeping hobby, you can learn more about managing hives and starting an apiary to raise bees.

If you want to see profits, you will need to invest time and money into a couple of hundred hives to start. Even so, this will likely not be enough money to support the venture and see profits. Get creative and diversify your beekeeping resources to groom several different income and revenue streams.

A frame of honey covered in bees

Beekeeping Revenue Streams

So, it would seem that if you want to make good money beekeeping, you need to diversify what you offer. That is, make the most of your hives and your bees with products, services, and offerings that appeal to a wide range of consumers.

Even if you maintain 1,000 beehives, the honey alone may not sustain you. Expand your self-employment options as a beekeeper and market yourself in a new and distinctive way.

  • Beeswax makes the most fantastic candles; they burn slow and long, which makes them a good value, too. Use your beeswax for handcrafted candles, balms, and lip products that you make at home from your own apiary. Social media is a great way to gain exposure and share your wares.  
  • Consider selling your Pollen and Propolis. Surprisingly, there is a great demand and healthy market for bee pollen. It is used in high-end cosmetic and beauty items. If this is your plan, please be careful of using pesticides and herbicides in the proximity of your hives.  
  • Once you gain some experience, you may decide to branch out and help others with your expertise in bees by offering bee removal services. Remove bees from other properties and make money- plus, you will likely get to keep the bees! This is a great way to grow your apiary for free. Just for context, a singe queen bee can cost around $70 on average.
  • Help other people manage and take care of their hives and charge for Apiary Maintenance. There is a growing demand for help and guidance in setting-up and maintaining hives widely.  
  • Share what you have learned with other new beekeepers! Teach a course online or offer paid talks at community locations. Start a YouTube or social media channel that offers informative beekeeping education and videos.
  • If you have a lot of hives and some years in the industry, you could offer pollination services to increase revenues. This is also high in-demand so it can be profitable, too. Make sure that you have the proper equipment and time to invest in this outlet, if that is something that interests you.
  • Have you considered breeding bees? Some beekeeping enthusiasts earn profits by focusing on raising and selling bees, queen bees, and even colonies. This can be a profitable venture if you have the resources and space to breed them.

Keep an open mind and look for new ways to use your hives and honey to make money. If you work for an apiary, consider maintaining hives on the side for some of these pursuits.

If you are a hobbyist, the sky is the limit! Get creative and find your niche in the beekeeping world.

Beekeeping FAQs

How many times can you harvest honey in a year? 

It is common to harvest honey from your hives two to three times per year. The typical harvest season is from June to September.

We have covered this in-depth in another guide that you can find here.

How long can you keep capped honey? 

It is recommended that you only keep capped honey for no more than two days away from the beehive.

How much does a beekeeper get paid each week?

The average US salary of a beekeeper is around $28,000 to $44,000 per year, or $14 to $22 per hour.

How much money do you need to get started beekeeping?

The estimated start-up cost for two hives is around $1,200- $2,000. This includes the costs of equipment and bees.

How much money does a beekeeper make from one hive?

It is estimated that you make around $800 from each colony or hive. You would need to manage and tend over 200 hives regularly to earn a $30,000 per year salary, under ideal conditions.

Is there good money in beekeeping?

There are several ways to make good money from beekeeping if you get creative! For instance, the proceeds from honey, beeswax, candles, and educational endeavors may be quite profitable.

Still thinking of beekeeping full-time? It can be rewarding, albeit hard work! Consider the many different ways that you can make money from your love of beekeeping beyond honey, and whether beekeeping on its own is a viable career path for you.