Money from Honey – This Week

Making Money from Honey
– a beekeeping course taught by Neil Bertram and Ron Miksha

Beekeeping can be fun and profitable.”

This post is just a quick reminder that the April 22, 2017 Making Money from Honey program is this week.

Participants may like to know:

The program starts at 9 am. You may want to arrive a few minutes early (we’ll try to open the doors at 8:30) but you don’t need to.  We’ll end at about 4 but the instructors stay until at least 4:30 to answer questions.

Our lunch is pizza and salad. Coffee and some snacks will be provided.  You may pack a lunch if you have other interests or needs.

You are welcome to make an audio recording (smart phone, etc).

You don’t need to bring your receipt.

We’ll have a course notes manual which you can use for note taking.

The course is tiring. Not so much for the instructors, but we’ve seen participants drag themselves out on all fours. On the other hand, you will learn a heck of a lot about beekeeping as a business. It may be tiring. But it’s not boring. 

When? Saturday, April 22, 2017: 9 am to 4:30 pm

Where? Palliser-Braeside-Pumphill Community Centre at 2323 Palliser Drive SW Calgary

March: It’s Spring!

Making Money from Honey
– a beekeeping course taught by Neil Bertram and Ron Miksha

Beekeeping can be fun and profitable.”

This photo was taken at the Calgary Bee Club’s annual banquet. If you look closely, you’ll see me near the screen. I had the honour of delivering this year’s after-dinner talk.

My subject was about honey – what’s in it and why it’s a great food.  If you missed the banquet (Shame!) and my talk, here’s a video made from the presentation:

That honey talk was in January. Now it’s, March already! In fact, Spring has started. If you are a beekeeper, you are about to become very, very busy. But if you are a beekeeper, you’ve been eagerly waiting for the weather to improve so you can shake the long winter and get busy!

If you are thinking of improving your bee economics skills this spring, attending Making Money from Honey, April 22, 2017, may be exactly what you need. This will be our third offering of the workshop and we will again focus on what you need to do to improve your chances of making a beekeeping profit.

To participate next month, keep watching this page, or better yet, send Ron an e-mail (miksha@shaw.ca) and get on the spring 2017 session list. If you can make it, just bring a pen and notepad and a keen mind. You’ll really need that keen brain because the amount of material we cover in about seven hours is almost overwhelming!

Here are some of our topics:
– growing from backyard hobby to side-liner to commercial;
– equipment choices and shop/honey house considerations;
– finances, projections, expectations, difficulties, setbacks, and success;
– how much money to expect from bees in a typical year;
– handling and marketing your products;
– case histories of good and bad beekeeping businesses;
– the beekeeper personality and lifestyle.

How do people make money keeping bees?
You’ll find out with Making Money from Honey

When? Saturday, April 22, 2017: 9 am to 4:30 pm

Where? Palliser-Braeside-Pumphill Community Centre at 2323 Palliser Drive SW Calgary

The fee of $139 includes pizza, handouts, and a full day of lectures!

For details and to reserve your spot, e-mail Ron Miksha: miksha@shaw.ca

Winter 2017

Making Money from Honey
– a beekeeping course taught by Neil Bertram and Ron Miksha

Beekeeping can be fun and profitable.”

neil-teaching-nov-2016-b

Making Money from Honey, November 2016, was a great experience for everyone involved. It was fun to teach, participate, and learn. But, I’ll admit that it was exhausting – it’s a long day.

We were filled to capacity at the November 2016 course. The couple of people who were too late to register are at the top of our list for our March/April session. (We’ll confirm the date for the spring 2017 course in a couple of weeks.)

Here are some of our topics:
– growing from backyard hobby to sideliner to commercial;
– equipment choices and shop/honey house considerations;
– finances, projections, expectations, difficulties, setbacks, and success;
– how much money to expect from bees in a typical year;
– handling and marketing your products;
– case histories of good and bad beekeeping businesses;
– the beekeeper personality and lifestyle.

How do people make money keeping bees?
You’ll find out with Making Money from Honey

When? Saturday, April 22, 2017: 9 am to 4:30 pm

Where? Palliser-Braeside-Pumphill Community Centre at 2323 Palliser Drive SW Calgary

The fee of $139 includes pizza, handouts, and a full day of lectures!

For details and to reserve your spot, e-mail Ron Miksha: miksha@shaw.ca

Registration Time!

Making Money from Honey
– a beekeeping course taught by Neil Bertram and Ron Miksha

Beekeeping can be fun and profitable.”

Making Money from Honey, Fall 2016,  is scheduled for Saturday, November 19. Aspiring participants may contact either of the instructors to reserve a spot in workshop.  It’s a one-day program that will help you earn a little extra cash, design plans for your beekeeping future, and avoid costly mistakes – while enjoying the hobby/business of beekeeping.

Our April offering sold out quickly and had great positive feedback from participants. We have refined the course (just a little) for the November program. If you can make it, just bring a pen and notepad and a keen mind. You’ll really need that keen brain because the amount of material we cover in about seven hours is almost overwhelming!

Here are some of our topics:
– growing from backyard hobby to sideliner to commercial;
– equipment choices and shop/honey house considerations;
– finances, projections, expectations, difficulties, setbacks, and success;
– how much money to expect from bees in a typical year;
– handling and marketing your products;
– case histories of good and bad beekeeping businesses;
– the beekeeper personality and lifestyle.

How do people make money keeping bees?
You’ll find out with Making Money from Honey

When? Saturday, November 19, 2016: 9 am to 4:30 pm

Where? Palliser-Braeside-Pumphill Community Centre at 2323 Palliser Drive SW Calgary

The fee of $139 includes pizza, handouts, and a full day of lectures!

For details and to reserve your spot,  e-mail Ron Miksha: miksha@shaw.ca

The August Flow & the Money Flow

Making Money from Honey
– a beekeeping course taught by Neil Bertram and Ron Miksha

Beekeeping can be fun and profitable.”

tall-hivesMost beekeepers out here in the west have had a good season. Although the year started off really, really dry (there was less than one inch of rain and snow from January 1 though May 20), July and August were wet and mild and saved farmers and beekeepers from disaster.

So, honey crops were at least normal. But wholesale honey prices are low, putting pressure on commercial honey farms. Commercial prices have fallen from over CA$2/pound in 2014 to about CA$1.25 in 2016. Some of our western Canadian producers make over a million pounds of honey a year, so they are losing a fortune with the low prices. Operating expenses don’t fall with the honey market, of course. In a foul-weather year, expenses are slightly less if there is less honey to extract, store, and market. But with a normal-size crop and a low product price, expenses may actually increase because of interest on money that must be borrowed and honey that must be stored until a buyer can be found.

honey-tanker
The white tank holds honey. The truck carries bulk honey. There is a reason that bulk wholesale prices are different from the prices that a sideliner should charge.

Even with lower prices, hobby and sideline beekeepers should not sell their crops at bargain rates. First, try to think of your product as drippy-honeysomewhat different from the bulk-in-a-barrel honey. People seek out local honey produced by beekeepers whom they can meet and greet. For this, you deserve more money and you should hold last year’s price. Second, it’s always hard to raise prices once you lower them.

We will have a lot more to say about this at our November session of  Making Money from Honey.  Send a note to Ron (miksha@shaw.ca) to book a seat at the course. Participant numbers are capped and spots have to go to the first people who book.

The Fall 2016 session of Making Money from Honey is scheduled for Saturday, November 19.

 

Summer Doldrums

Making Money from Honey  
– a beekeeping course taught by Neil Bertram and Ron Miksha

Beekeeping can be fun and profitable.”

It’s July. Beekeeping time in the north.  During the past few weeks, I’ve been reviewing our course notes, re-writing the Making Money from Honey guide, and making some tweaks to our program.

Not much needs changed. Our feedback forms from the April class were very positive.  However, one person suggested that we spent too much time reviewing bee equipment. I think that’s a fair comment. I spoke for almost an hour on the types of equipment on the market, their various pros and cons, and the economic impact of selecting the wrong style of hive for your area. In the equipment lecture, I also talked about something that usually goes unspoken – even good beekeepers eventually die. Or get tired of bees. Or become allergic to stings. Or become too weak to lift honey supers.  When you buy your first boxes or expand your outfit, you have to consider the type of equipment that will sell best when it’s time for it to move on to new hands.  As you can see, between expansion and death, there is a lot to cover in the bee equipment section – but I’ll condense it into half an hour at our autumn offering.

Visitors at one of Neil's bee yards
                                                       Visitors at one of Neil’s bee yards

While I’ve been working on course revisions, my teaching partner (Neil Bertram) has been busy with his bees. It has turned into a honey of a year here in Alberta, Canada, with a bumper crop filling most beekeepers’ shops. Neil took a short break (if you can call it a break) and opened his honey house and apiaries to a tour that was made possible by the Calgary and District Beekeepers‘ summer program called Saturday at the Hive. You can see something about that event here.

 

Neil demonstrates exstracting
                                                         Neil demonstrates extracting

Keep following this site for our announcements for our fall courses, coming up in a few months!

The Fall 2016 session of Making Money from Honey is scheduled for Saturday, November 19.

 

Looking towards Autumn

Making Money from Honey  
– a beekeeping course taught by Neil Bertram and Ron Miksha

Beekeeping can be fun and profitable.”

The Making Money from Honey course is planning an autumn offering. The presenters are already looking at dates and places and we are planning to run our program outside the Calgary area – possibly in Red Deer, Edmonton, Kelowna, and Saskatoon. (For our international readers, those are cities in western Canada.)  Taking the program on the road will be both fun and challenging.

If you have a chance to read through some of the earlier posts at this blog, you’ll see some of the material we covered in our Spring Calgary session. It sold-out, which has prompted a follow-up autumn course here in Calgary.

The Fall 2016 session is scheduled for Saturday, the 19th of November.

If you – as a reader of this blog – would like to help bring this course to your community, send a note to Ron, using the e-mail address miksha@shaw.ca and we’ll try to make it happen!

Enjoy the summer!
Enjoy the summer!