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How Much Do Beekeepers Make (A Comprehensive Estimation)




How Much Do Beekeepers Make

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If you thinking of starting beekeeping to make money, your first question would be ‘How much do beekeepers make’ on average? So that you can get an idea of how much you can expect to earn from beekeeping.

Listen there is no exact beekeeping profit prediction because it depends on various factors. But you can expect on average you can make 500$ to 700$ per year from a single hive. So, as large number of hives you have, that much you can expect to make money as a beekeeper.

In this article, I will try to share with you the following key facts.

  • How much do beekeepers make?
  • My beekeeping earrings.
  • Factors that influence beekeeping earnings.
  • How you can estimate your beekeeping earnings.
  • Ways to increase your beekeeping earnings.

If you get a clear concept of all these facts, I hope this will help you to predict your gross income as a beekeeper. If you are thinking of hiring some people for your commercial beekeeping. This will also help you to determine your beekeeper’s salary. So, let’s dive deep into beekeepers earning predictions.




Do Beekeepers Make Good Money?

Beekeepers who work with a proper business plan are making really good money. Most beekeeper starts beekeeping as a hobby. So, they are not focused on making a living through beekeeping. In their case, they may not be making a very decent amount of money. But commercial beekeepers with proper plans make a huge amount of money every year.

So, if you want to start beekeeping to make a living, you have to start with a proper business plan. If you are keeping bees as a hobby, you should not think much about making money.

Yes, obviously you can generate some money if you are doing beekeeping as a hobby, but you may not know how to properly manage all the things. So, your income will not be similar to what an expert commercial beekeeper is making.




How Much Do Beekeepers Make Money

A beekeeper having 100+ hives, make on average 6k$ per year. The amount of money that beekeepers make varies depending on the region he is living in.

How Much Do Beekeepers Earn
Credit: Ciaranne Jeffcoat Saavedra


On average beekeepers can make 500$-700$ per year from one hive. So, beekeepers who have more than 100 hives can expect to make more than 5k$ per year. Definitely, this is not going to be true for every beekeeper.

Beekeepers who have a small number of hives, make a small amount of money. Moreover, beekeepers who do not intend to make money from bees, don’t make much money. Because his intention is to keep bees as a hobby, he doesn’t want to maximize his earnings from those bees.

On the other hand, a commercial beekeeper’s intention is to make as much money as possible. So, he always tries to maximize the number of hives per apiary. He also tries to manage things with proper plans so that his beekeeping cost is minimal, and his beekeeping profit is maximum.

So, the person who is keeping bees as a hobby obviously gets started with a small no. of hives. A commercial beekeeper will try to increase the no. of hives to get started in beekeeping. So, you can easily understand that commercial beekeepers definitely make more money compared to part-time beekeepers.




Factors On Which Beekeeper’s Earning Depends

Beekeeper’s earning depends mostly on the geographical regions. Because different geographical reasons have different market situations and weather conditions. There are a few major factors on which beekeeper’s earning depends.

  1. Geographic Locations: Different region has different environmental factors that influence the productivity of bees. So, beekeepers of different locations earn different amounts of money.
  2. Beekeepers Goal: Beekeepers who keep bees as a hobby usually don’t intend to make plenty of money. So, they are not aware of increasing the potentiality of income through beekeeping. But commercial beekeepers always try to manage things perfectly to increase their earnings. So, you can understand beekeeper’s earnings mostly depend on an individual’s vision and goals.
  3. Demand For Bee Products: A region that has a high demand for bee products, you can expect more sales of your bee products. As a result, your earnings from beekeeping will also be higher.
  4. Market Situation: It is a vital factor that influences beekeeper’s profit. Considering you are in a region where honey price is 2$/lbs you will make only 200$ from 100 lbs of honey. If you can sell the honey on a market where the price is 5$/lbs you will be able to make 500$ from the same amount of honey.
  5. Mite Count: If you are in a region where varroa mites and other diseases are very common, then you can’t expect plenty of money from beekeeping. You have to take the necessary steps first against mites, then you can expect good earnings from beekeeping.
  6. Competition: If you are in a region where already a large group of beekeepers exists, there might be high competition. But the product demand is as usual. So, you have to find a new marketing strategy to generate more income than your competitors.
  7. Cost Of Beekeeping: Beekeeping requires a good amount of costs to get started. To start a nuc, for winterizing a beehive, mite controls, etc in every case you may need to invest money. But different regions obviously require different costs. So, the profit will also vary depending on the cost of hive management.
  8. Ways Using To Make Money: There are plenty of ways to make money from beekeeping. You can earn money by selling honey, bee products, bee pollen, providing pollination services, etc. Your income depends on how many ways you are utilizing to make money.

Factors That Influences Beekeeper's Earning


These are the major factors that vary the earnings for different beekeepers. There are definitely other factors. But the main thing is you will be able to maximize your earning as a beekeeper, by smartly managing things.




How Much Money Can 1 Beehive Make?

If you can properly manage everything you can make 500$ to 700$ per year from 1 hive. With the increase of no. of hives your beekeeping earning will also increase.

In the first year of your beekeeping, you have to invest a lot of money. Also, you are not an expert in your first year.

So, your earnings with 1 hive in the first year will not be much. You can expect around 200$ to 500$ from 1 hive in your first year. This earning will vary depending on your methods of beekeeping, and the type of honey bees you are having.

From the second year, your number of colonies will be increased. Also, you will gain experience in how to handle things properly. So, your overall beekeeping earnings per hive will be increased.




Beekeeping Earnings Estimation Per Year

So, you get an idea of how much beekeepers earn per year. While you are a beginner you don’t know how much you can earn from beekeeping. So, I am going to give a quick estimation of your beekeeping earnings for the first year.

First of all, I want to share my first-year earnings as a beekeeper. I have started my beekeeping journey with an Asian honey bee colony. Due to my mismanagement, I lost my first colony in the 5th month.

This is not usual. So, I would like to skip this part. Then I learned from expert beekeeper a lot of things. Then started another colony. This time I was successful in properly managing the hive.

In the first year, I got 50 lbs of excess honey from that hive for sale. In my region, there was not much beekeeper. So, the price of honey was a bit higher. I have provided 100% solid honey.

I sold those honey 6$/lbs. In total, I made 300$ in my first year by just selling honey. In the next year, I started selling bee pollen, wax, and other bee products. Also, every year my colony number is increasing.

Currently, at the end of 2023, I have 400+ honey bee colonies with different species. I also have 60 members for managing my apiaries. After deducting all the managerial costs and salaries of my employers, I am making somewhat around 2k$/month.

Because in my region, the price of bee products and honey is high. Also, the competition is lower. So, this may not going to be the same for you.

Here is a basic idea of how you can estimate your beekeeping earnings. Considering you are getting started with a single hive.

  • A honey bee colony can produce 50 to 100 lbs of honey. Considering you are getting 60 lbs of excess honey for sale.
  • Considering the price of honey is 4$/lbs. So, you will make 4×60=240$ by selling honey.
  • You can also sell beeswax from that hive at a cost of around 100$.
  • If possible collect bee pollen using pollen traps and sell them. You can get on average 2$ for 200 gm of bee pollen.
  • You can also sell royal jelly, bee nuc, extra queen bee, etc.

So, if you can manage well, you will be able to make around 500$ in your first year of beekeeping. You can also earn some extra money by providing pollination services, selling nuc, and from plenty of other sources. The picture below gives a basic estimation of good earnings as a beekeeper.

A Beekeepers Earning Estimation




Tips To Increase Beekeeping Profit

To increase your beekeeping profit, not just focus on maximizing earnings. You have to ensure the safety of your honey bee colony. Try to follow the rules below.

  • Don’t extract honey when there are broods in your hive.
  • While extracting extra honey keep enough on the hive. So that, bees can survive the winter.
  • Add sugar syrup when there is a lack of honey.
  • Ensure proper mite treatment when necessary.
  • Winterize your hives properly before winter.

So, you have to do whatever your bees need from you. After ensuring the safety of your bees, you can do the following to increase your beekeeping earnings.

  • Explore More Ways Of Earnings: Don’t just depend on selling honey. You can try different other ways to make money like, selling bee products, wax, beeswax wraps, nectar, royal jelly, etc.
  • Provide Pollination Service: In the USA, beekeepers are making plenty of money by providing pollination services to the farmers. You can also do this. Your bees will get a lot of food, the farmer will get a lot of crops, and you will get extra money for the service.
  • Provide Bee Removal Service: You should first learn how to successfully remove a beehive. You can use a bee vacuum for this task. Then you can start a bee removal service. You will earn money by providing a bee removal service and will get new bees to start a new colony.
  • Sell Bee Nuc And Queen: You can build nuc of bees and sell them. Besides, you can raise multiple queen bees in the same hive. Then put the queen in a cage that you can sell to earn money.



With your experience, you will be able to discover more and more ways to make money through beekeeping. My suggestion is don’t think about how much beekeepers make. Just kick off your beekeeping journey with your first nucleus hive. You will automatically explore new ways to maximize your beekeeping profit.




Frequently Asked Questions


Can you make a living being a beekeeper?

In the first year of your beekeeping, you may not be able to make enough money to make a living. But with time within 2 to 3 years, if you are serious enough, you will be able to make enough money for living.

Do beekeepers make a lot of money?

Not all beekeepers make a lot of money. Beekeepers with proper plans and goals are making a few thousand dollars every year. This requires a lot of time and passion. Expert beekeepers with 100+ hives making over 50k$ every single year.

Is beekeeping a good side hustle?

Obviously, beekeeping is a great side hustle. There are plenty of examples, people starting beekeeping as a side hustle, then converting it into a full-time job to make a living.




Helpful Researches & Articles

  • How to transfer bees from nuc to beehive.
  • L. Pilati and M. Prestamburgo, “Sequential relationship between profitability and sustainability: The case of migratory beekeeping,” Sustainability, 2016: The research aims to explore how the profitability of migratory beekeeping forage sites influences sustainability, specifically examining the interplay with biodiversity and non-marketed ecosystem pollination services. It seeks to understand the sequential relationship between profitability and the long-term ecological health of pollinated plants. Click here to read the paper.
  • S. Blanc, F. Brun, G. Di Vita, and A. Mosso, “Traditional beekeeping in rural areas: Profitability analysis and feasibility of pollination service”, Calitatea: Acces la Success, vol. 19, no. S1, pp. 72-79, Mar. 2018: The main aim of this research is to assess the economic viability of beekeeping in Italy, considering the impact of production costs, labor, and the potential for income diversification through pollination services, particularly in rural and marginal areas. Click to read the paper.
  • Cooper Nat Schouten, “Factors influencing beekeepers’ income, productivity, and welfare in developing countries: A scoping review”, Published online: 25 Nov 2020:The author aims to assess the state of beekeeping interventions in developing countries, identifying factors affecting success, income generation, and beekeepers’ well-being, to provide insights for improving future apicultural development programs and research. Click to read the paper.
  • Click To Know How Do Beekeepers Not Get Stung?



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