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Author Topic: Available market  (Read 4870 times)
luvin honey
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Location: Central WI


« Reply #20 on: June 08, 2010, 03:44:08 PM »

Keeping the bees and getting the honey is the easy part (and fun!) grin.  The hard part is the marketing.  If you can find a niche and sell tiny corked miracle bottles of magic organic wound-healing enzyme-packed liquid gold harvested from tiny angels with stings, you'll do great!

Ok, that is a bit thick, but IMHO the most important part really is marketing. Developing niches and the types of customers who are loyal.  I'm not a marketing guy at all, and I can't do that, so I'm not going to be a full time beekeeper.  I think that big operations can produce mass quantities to make it worthwhile at lower prices, but I think the smaller honey producers need a niche to thrive.  To be both a successful physical laborer and a marketing guru is tricky and I think a rare trait.

There's also queens, nucs, pollination, honey/wax products, etc.

As to your overall question...I think that the nation as a whole is moving away from an agrarian society as we have for a long time.  Economies of scale eliminate farmers and ranchers, and I don't think that honeybees scale as well which would explain why the #beeks and the # hives are both decreasing.  There is so much uncertainty to farming so it is simpler to just have a 8-5 job (or was before last year!!).



I completely agree with all of this.

What I see around here is a real movement to local food. You need to know why your produce is better than imported or mass produced. Is it raw? Does it contain a bit of local pollen? Are your hives treatment free? Are your containers fancier? Smiley You have to be able to explain to people why they should buy your product. It seems to me that the best salesperson is the one who absolutely loves what he/she is selling. And, be able to tell people many, many ways they can use it (make wound salves, for baking, sweeten tea, etc.)

Also, some will care about you supporting bees in their area. A lot of people have heard about the bee crisis, even nonfarmers, and will care that you are helping increase their numbers.

I think honey should be an easy sell! I have the tougher challenge of selling people on Brussels sprouts, kale and beets  grin At a nice resort recently that my mom treated me to, they served honey in tiny 2-tablespoon glass jars. Could you get a bunch and hand out samples? The honey would hook them. I agree with telling coworkers, using it in front of people constantly, talking about it, showing people your hives and then handing out samples. Anything that gets people talking about and/or tasting honey.

Good luck! As my kids would demonstrate, not ALL the younger generation is clueless about honey!!
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The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
---Emily Dickinson
bigbearomaha
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« Reply #21 on: June 09, 2010, 08:02:13 PM »

when  I have honey to sell,  I can't keep it long enough to put it in a market.  There are enough people to know about my hives that my entire stock is usually gone in about a week.   I sell it lately in plain 8 oz. mason jelly jars with my own label.

I only sell Raw honey and that's what people are demanding from me.

 I have 3 neighborhood stores wanting to buy a few cases each when i get a chance, so they can sell it in their stores. 

I also have a Saturday "Bee Market" where I set up a tent and tables to sell various items, like honey when  I have it, honey straws, wax based soaps and candles, hives, etc...The honey items are the first to go. I run it from 8 am to noon and if you come after 11, usually the honey items are already gone.(just got a new location to be more permanent, so we'll see how that performs)

Big Bear

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harvey
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« Reply #22 on: June 09, 2010, 08:17:04 PM »

I haven't sold any yet as this is only me second year.  People have been finding out that I have bees and have been constantly hounding me if I have any honey to sell yet.  I even had a local deputy sheriff stop by and ask If I was keeping bees?  He told me that him and a couple other deputies used to by raw honey from a guy that went out of business and he would sure like to buy some from me when it is ready!  I don't even know if I will get any honey this year as all my hives are first year hives starting out from either packages or swarms?  I sure don't think being a salesman or marketing will be an issue!   Course I have no plans on going big time either,  lets see six hives now, just finished making five more?  Frames on order?   
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