How to Start an Apiary Business

Written by jessica jones
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How to Start an Apiary Business
(bee, wax image by Greg Pickens from

If you enjoy the company of bees, starting an apiary business can be fun and profitable. Since bees produce honey using nectar from trees and plants, choose a location near a farm or orchard where these plants grow. Work with an experienced beekeeper to learn more about beekeeping and running a successful beekeeping business. Before starting your business, contact other beekeepers to ask for advice or to offer your services so you can become an expert in beekeeping.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Beekeeping certificate
  • Bee hives
  • Protective headgear
  • Pants and arm coverings
  • Bee nets
  • Fume boards
  • Smoker
  • Feeders
  • Bee brushes
  • Bees

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  1. 1

    Gain experience working with another beekeeper; join a beekeeping club or cooperative. This experience helps you become more comfortable around bees and provides both basic and advanced knowledge of starting, maintaining and growing your business.

  2. 2

    Contact your state's department of agriculture to learn more about beekeeping regulations. Your state may prohibit you from keeping a colony of bees in residential neighbourhoods, and you may need to register the colony. You may need to procure an inspection by the department of agriculture and pay a processing fee for approval to run an apiary business.

  3. 3

    Purchase beekeeping equipment online or from a local beekeeper or beekeeping club, including hives, protective headgear, pants and arm covering, nets, fume boards, smoker, feeders and bee brushes. Purchase equipment needed to harvest honey and other materials, including storage containers, bee pumps, extractors and dripping pans.

  4. 4

    Purchase bees from a local beekeeper, beekeeping club or online. Start a colony with a queen and other bees, or purchase a nucleus or "nuc," which includes a queen, worker and brood bees. You can also purchase entire colonies.

  5. 5

    Collect and sell honey, wax, royal jelly or propolis---a an anti-inflammatory substance that bees collect from trees. You can also raise bees to sell to other beekeepers.

Tips and warnings

  • Purchase business insurance to cover rental equipment and land, worker's compensation insurance if hiring employees and general liability insurance to cover the expense of lawsuits and settlements.
  • Do not attempt to manage a colony of bees without the proper training and equipment, as you may injure yourself or others.

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