So many new beekeepers tell me that they give their honey away. Stop doing this! You can sell your honey and I’m going to show you how and tell you why you should stop giving it away.
I don’t think there’s any other product on the face of the earth that has SO much effort packed inside of one little jar. Today I’m going to give you three reasons why you need to stop giving your honey away with some tips on how you can sell it instead.
Don’t give your honey away: 3 reasons why (and how you can sell it instead)
Reason #1: It’s hard A$$ work
You and I both know that beekeeping is tough work no matter how much you may enjoy doing it. People often ask me how long it takes to make a jar of honey. My answer is one year; because you have to keep and maintain a healthy hive through the seasons for them to be productive during a flow.
It would be pointless to explain the process between spring inspections and winter preparations to you. Harvesting honey, extracting, filtering and bottling honey is a lot of work that our customers will never fully realize.
And let’s not forget the extreme amount of labor that the bees themselves put into collecting nectar during a honey/nectar flow so that we as beekeepers can benefit from a nice harvest.
Solution: Find a jar style that works for you. Make it something affordable and be consistent with it. Use two to three different sized jars of the same style and know how much each one costs individually.
Reason #2: Value should be paid for (nothing is free)
I sell premium honey and it’s priced accordingly. Often my customers will buy honey and tell me to keep the change and it’s because they know that they’re paying for something of value.
I have recently adopted a new personal financial philosophy part of which involves paying for everything that has value. I adopted this after listening to Jim Rohn, an American entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker.
Mr. Rohn says that it’s the frugal mindset that leads most of us to not reaching the goals and successes that we are capable of. In other words, we undervalue ourselves.
I would never try to talk someone down in price over goods that I know is a product of hard work, skill and labor. They say nothing in life is free but that’s not true. The free stuff is usually low quality and not worth it or it’s cheap at best.
Listen, for all of the hard work you and your bees have put into creating those beautiful bottles and jars of pristine, high quality honey, you need to, nay… you deserve to be compensated for that.
And I promise you, your usual customers will be more than happy to pay for a high quality product from a beekeeper that they know personally. In fact, they’ll most likely value it even more because they paid for it. Then they’ll tell all their friends about this beekeeper they know and where to buy local honey.
Solution: Come up with a name and logo. If that type of creativity isn’t your thing you can hire someone on Fivver.com to do it for you. Try to create meaning behind the name. Then you can take your new logo and order labels from StickerMule.com, then calculate the cost of the label with the cost of the jars.
Reason #3: Beekeeping needs to pay for itself
There are several golden nuggets that I still remember learning from my mentor and one of them applies here: If someone is going to keep bees then those bees need to pay for themselves.
It’s no surprise that beekeeping is probably one of the most expensive hobbies out there. Between the cost of the bees, hive equipment, extracting equipment, jars and labels, beekeeping ain’t cheap.
You need to stop giving away your honey and footing the bill for all that cost.
I’m going to give you a short example about a beekeeper in my area who is happens to be the president of the local beekeeping club. This man is nice and quite knowledgable when it comes to nature and biology.
However, one day I discovered that this guy loses 70% or more of his bees every winter. There’s really no reason for this other than inexperience. So every year he would order 30 new packages of bees.
At roughly $175 a piece, he’s spending over $5000 a year. He doesn’t sell enough honey to even break even. He told me this and followed it up by telling me he goes deeper in the hole every year.
This is not the way to keep bees and anyone doing this needs to stop. You work hard and you deserve to be paid for offering the community something of value.
Solution: Study what the prices are in your area for the specific honey varieties. Then don’t be afraid to come up with a price for each size you sell. Let your friends and family know that you’re going to start selling honey and that you’re taking orders. They’ll love it and support you.
Resources and afterthoughts…
There are a few things to consider that I’ll link here at the end of the article. But don’t let them overwhelm you. Take one step at a time and before you know it you’ll have a personal brand that you will be proud to stand behind.
- Fivver.com is a great resource where you can choose your own design artist to come up with a great logo just for you. That’s how I got my two feathers in my own logo. Let me know if you want to know the story about that!
- Canva.com is where I upload my logo and then add the text to my own personally-designed labels for my honey. It gives me the freedom to tweak or upgrade my labels when I think of a change that I want to make. Best of all, they have a free version
- StickerMule.com is where I go to upload my personally-designed logo to create a die-cut logo. It’s super easy to peel and stick these beauties on an amber jar of fresh honey.
Please share this article with your friends and don’t be afraid to ask questions in the comments below!
Till next time,
Jonathan Hargus/Beekeeping Marketing team