The honey business has a sweet appeal for those with an interest or hobby in beekeeping. Like starting any business, you will need some money to buy materials and knowledge about your intended product. Beekeeping does not require a lot of knowledge, special skill or huge investments. Mainly you will just need to be motivated enough to produce and market your product at the same time.
Read as much as possible about beekeeping and the production of honey.
Find any other local beekeepers and get their advice on hives and equipment.
Purchase all of the basic equipment you will need to begin beekeeping, including hives, bees, smoker, a hive tool, brush, and protective apparel (gloves, veil). Get any used equipment inspected by an expert before buying it.
Place your hives on a flat, level surface. Make sure to place them in an area where people and animals will not disturb them.
Purchase your bees in one of several ways. Get a package of bulk bees with a queen to install in an empty hive; get a functioning colony, hive and all, from another beekeeper; get a nuc, consisting of a queen, workers, brood, and food already living on frames that can be easily installed into an empty hive; or attempt to catch a swarm.
Harvest, process, package and label your honey for sale.
Marketing Your Honey
Make it easy for your customers to find and remember you. Create fun, custom labels for your honey jars.
Advertise online and in local publications. Create a website. List your business on local and regional websites. Circulate the availability of your product at school meetings and clubs.
Host educational events so people can visit your hives.
Sell your honey at a local farmers' market or set up a curbside stand and sell honey to passers by.
Contact a large honey marketing firm to purchase the honey from you and market it under their own brand name.
Lynn Holmgren is a freelance writer based in York, Penn. She has published articles about writing, international exchange, travel and outdoor recreation in ShowcasePA! magazine and Bootsnall.com. Homgren also enjoys writing and reviewing short stories on her blog Long Story Short.