How Much Money Can You Make From Beekeeping

The profitability of beekeeping depends on several factors, such as the scale of operation, honey production, honey prices, and operational costs. Small-scale beekeepers who sell their honey locally can earn a modest income, typically ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars per year. Larger-scale beekeepers who sell wholesale or export their honey can potentially earn more, with some earning tens of thousands of dollars annually. However, beekeeping also requires significant upfront investment in equipment and ongoing expenses for hive maintenance, honey extraction, and transportation. Beekeepers must carefully manage their costs and production to ensure profitability.

Factors Influencing Honey Production

The amount of honey produced by a beehive depends on several factors, including:

  • Forage Availability: The availability of nectar-producing plants in the surrounding area.
  • Hive Strength: The number of worker bees in the hive, as well as their health and foraging ability.
  • Weather Conditions: Warm, sunny days with minimal rain are ideal for foraging.
  • Hive Management: Proper management practices, such as timely inspections, disease control, and proper feeding, can optimize honey production.
  • Genetics: Some bee breeds are naturally more productive honey producers than others.

    Factors Affecting Honey Sales and Earnings

    In addition to honey production, the amount of money you can make from beekeeping also depends on:

    • Honey Market Conditions: The price of honey can fluctuate depending on supply and demand.
    • Marketing and Sales: Effective marketing and sales strategies can increase demand and fetch higher prices.
    • Additional Products and Services: Beeswax, propolis, and other bee products can provide additional income sources.
    • Expenses: Beekeeping involves expenses such as equipment, feed, and veterinary care, which need to be considered.
      Estimated Honey Yields and Potential Earnings
      Hive SizeHoney Yield (lbs)Potential Earnings ($)*
      8-Frame Langstroth50-100$200-$400
      10-Frame Langstroth75-150$300-$600
      Double Langstroth150-300$600-$1200

      *Estimated earnings based on an average honey price of $4 per pound.

      Selling Honey and Hive Products

      Selling honey and other hive products is a great way to earn extra income from your beekeeping operation. Honey is a delicious and healthy natural sweetener that can be used in a variety of foods and beverages. Other hive products, such as beeswax, propolis, and royal jelly, also have a variety of culinary, medicinal, and cosmetic uses.


      Honey is the main product of beekeeping, and it can be sold in a variety of forms, including:

      • Raw honey
      • Filtered honey
      • Creamed honey
      • Honeycomb
      • Flavored honey
      • Honey sticks

      The price of honey varies depending on the type of honey, the size of the container, and the location where it is sold. In general, raw honey sells for a higher price than filtered honey. Creamed honey and honeycomb also tend to sell for a higher price than liquid honey. The size of the container also affects the price, with larger containers selling for a higher price per ounce than smaller containers. The location where the honey is sold also affects the price, with honey sold in tourist areas typically selling for a higher price than honey sold in local markets.

      Hive Products

      In addition to honey, other hive products can also be sold to earn extra income. These products include:

      • Beeswax
      • Propolis
      • Royal jelly

      Beeswax is a natural wax that is produced by bees to build their hives. It can be used to make candles, cosmetics, and other products. Propolis is a resinous substance that is collected by bees from trees and used to seal their hives. It has antibacterial and antifungal properties and can be used to make supplements and other products. Royal jelly is a food that is produced by bees to feed their queen. It is rich in nutrients and has a variety of health benefits. Royal jelly can be sold in its pure form or used as an ingredient in other products.

      The price of hive products varies depending on the product, the quantity, and the location where it is sold. In general, beeswax sells for a higher price than propolis or royal jelly. The quantity of the product also affects the price, with larger quantities selling for a higher price per ounce than smaller quantities. The location where the product is sold also affects the price, with hive products sold in health food stores typically selling for a higher price than hive products sold in other stores.


      The price of honey and hive products is determined by a variety of factors, including the type of product, the size of the container, the location where it is sold, and the demand for the product. In general, honey and hive products sell for a higher price in areas where there is a high demand for the product. The following table provides a general overview of the prices that honey and hive products can sell for:

      ProductPrice per pound
      Raw honey$10-$15
      Filtered honey$8-$12
      Creamed honey$12-$16
      Flavored honey$12-$18
      Honey sticks$1-$3
      Royal jelly$50-$100

      Beekeeping as a Side Hustle vs. Full-Time Occupation

      Beekeeping can be a lucrative hobby or a full-time career. The amount of money you can make from beekeeping depends on a variety of factors, including the size and location of your operation, the type of honey you produce, and the marketing channels you use.

      Here is a breakdown of how much money you can make from beekeeping, depending on whether you pursue it as a side hustle or a full-time occupation:

      Side Hustle Beekeeping

      • Income: $500-$5,000 per year
      • Time commitment: 10-20 hours per week
      • Pros: Low start-up costs, flexible hours, supplemental income
      • Cons: Limited earning potential, seasonal work

      Full-Time Beekeeping

      • Income: $20,000-$100,000 per year
      • Time commitment: 40-60 hours per week
      • Pros: Higher earning potential, full-time income, self-employment
      • Cons: Higher start-up costs, more time commitment, seasonal work

      It is important to note that these are just estimates. The actual amount of money you can make from beekeeping will vary depending on your individual circumstances.

      Here is a table that summarizes the key differences between side hustle beekeeping and full-time beekeeping:

      Side Hustle BeekeepingFull-Time Beekeeping
      Income$500-$5,000 per year$20,000-$100,000 per year
      Time commitment10-20 hours per week40-60 hours per week
      Start-up costsLowHigh
      Earning potentialLimitedHigher
      • Low start-up costs
      • Flexible hours
      • Supplemental income
      • Higher earning potential
      • Full-time income
      • Self-employment
      • Limited earning potential
      • Seasonal work
      • Higher start-up costs
      • More time commitment
      • Seasonal work

      Long-Term Income Potential

      Beekeeping offers a long-term income source with the potential to generate substantial profits. While initial startup costs can be significant, successful beekeepers can establish a thriving business with ongoing revenue streams.

      • Honey Production: Selling honey is a primary source of income for beekeepers. The price of honey varies depending on factors such as region, quality, and market demand. Typically, beekeepers can earn $5 to $15 per pound of honey.
      • Pollination Services: Bees play a crucial role in pollinating crops, and farmers often pay beekeepers to place hives near their fields. Pollination fees can range from $10 to $200 per hive, providing additional income.
      • Bee Products: In addition to honey, beekeepers can also sell other bee products such as beeswax, propolis, and royal jelly. These products have various uses in cosmetics, health supplements, and other applications.
      • Queen Bees: Queen bees are essential for beekeeping operations and can be sold to other beekeepers. Prices for queen bees can vary widely depending on the breed and quality, ranging from $20 to $100 or more.
      Income StreamEstimated Income
      Honey Sales$5-$15 per pound
      Pollination Services$10-$200 per hive
      Bee ProductsVaries depending on product
      Queen Bee Sales$20-$100 per queen

      The actual income earned from beekeeping depends on factors such as the number of hives, productivity of the bees, market conditions, and the beekeeper’s business acumen. However, with proper management and marketing, beekeeping can provide a substantial and sustainable income over the long term.