Why not sell honey? You spent money to buy the equipment, supplies, and bees. They make more honey than they can use, so why not? That is the first hurdle that new beekeepers needs to cross. If they can get past that, then they can concentrate of expanding their operation or at least get equipment that will make working the bees a little easier. There is nothing in the books that says you cannot sell your honey to the general public. If you need help in understanding the sales portion of your small business, then talk to some of the beekeepers in your association, or you can get on the beekeepers forum, http://groups.yahoo.com/ and ask questions. You will be surprised at the number of people that will answer you. (You can even ask me by going to comments at the top area of this post just under the title.)
Another consideration is price. You say, “But I cannot charge that much! People will think I am trying to rip them off.” Stop and think for a minute. Besides the time you will spend with your bees, think of the gas you use, wear and tear on your equipment, medicating, feeding, and maybe moving the bees to another location because of the lack of nectar and/or pollen. Then you have to pull supers, transport to the extracting house, unload, all of which precedes, decapping, extracting, straining, buying the bottles then filling them, labels, and don’t forget, cleaning your equipment again after extracting, and bottling. All this takes about $.90 to $1.00 a pound to produce. You have to charge enough to at least get your money back. I personally start about $6.00 a pound and as I sell more pounds in a container, the less I charge all the way to. $1.67 for 60 pounds (5 gal). Besides, if you charge too small of a price, then people will wonder what is wrong with your honey and back way off and you will not make a sale anyway. A majority of the people shop by price. You know the old adage, “You get what you pay for”. If it is cheap then it may be a cheep product. If more costly, then it has to be of a better quality.
But where can I sell my honey? That is strictly up to you. I sell from my vehicles, home, some fairs, school fairs, when I give a bee talk to some of the adult classes , example; Garden Clubs and Adult Education classes. I have business cards that I have printed on my computer and have a supply of them with me at all times and when I mention that I am a beekeeper, or I have some honey bees, or I catch swarms of honey bees, then I am most likely to be asked how they can get in touch with me.
There are a number of ways that you can set up to sell honey and I hope that you try some of them. It is really rewarding to say, “I built that honey house with my honey money.” I personally have not yet, but I know several beekeepers that have. I can see why they would be proud.
If you have any questions, then contact some of your beekeeper friends or me. Have a great day!