Table of Contents
Join Nicole and Drake Larson in an all new mini series- Honey Money! Drake takes the stage and serves to represent the new beekeeper- asking Nicole numerous questions about how to start beekeeping. Learn the basics of beekeeping, how to get started, and learn tips and tricks to make your beekeeping a success. We will also discuss ways to profit from your hives!
Today’s episode outlines the exciting things to come!
What You’ll Learn
- How much space you need for a hive
- The difference between a hive, nuc, package and swarm
- How much honey does a hive produce
- How honey is sold
For this episode, we are joined by Drake Larson, who you may remember from Episode 3-
Best 2nd Date Location and Legalities of Beekeeping. Drake is an Attorney serving Southern Colorado, and a fan favorite due to his intelligent and inquisitive nature, with no shortage of enthusiasm and humor.
Resources & Links Mentioned
- Contact Drake via email
- Larson Law Office online
- Larson Law Offices Facebook
- Email us! [email protected]
*Denotes affiliate link
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Drake: And welcome to Backyard Bounty, the beekeeper edition. In this season everyone I, Drake Larson have taken control and I'm going to be leading the charge on a topic that I want to talk about. Unlike the last time when I completely governed the entire podcast, this time you're going to hear Nicole talk about her expertise. So Nicole, we're going to start talking about what a person needs to know if they want to go from amateur hour knowing nothing about keeping bees to being a professional. What can you, I mean, you know everything there is to know about this. Correct?
Nicole: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Drake: Okay, great. So what I wanted to explain is, is kind of my thought process behind this. So this is going to span like five or six episodes, maybe even more, hopefully more. Because you just have a treasure trove of knowledge. So when I did the last podcast with you and you were asking me all about bee law, which admittedly I knew almost nothing about. In the midst of it, I began asking you questions about keeping bees because I know even less about that. And I found very quickly that one, you know literally everything under the sun there is to know about it. And two, it's actually really interesting. And so I wanted to record our conversations and maybe out there somewhere, someone will also find it equally interesting. And if they don't, that's okay. I just want to know for me. So what I was thinking is this is going to be an introductory episode where I kind of explained the spectrum of everything. And then we're going to just dive into it.
Drake: So this one might be a little bit shorter and then we're going to get really into it. And so what I was thinking is, I kind of wanted to go do some overview over some of the topics quickly. So what I'm thinking is I really want, again, I want someone that literally knows not one thing about bees. And so I'm going to ask you questions from their perspective. "I've got a yard, I have no bees on it. I have money." We're going to talk about how much money I need. We're going to talk about the costs. We're going to talk about the rewards. We're going to talk about exactly the step by step way that I need... All the steps that I need to take, in order to go from having nothing to having functioning productive beehives. And that's going to be the whole spectrum of all this. So Nicole, how about you interject, how do you feel about this?
Nicole: I think it sounds great.
Drake: Very enthusiastic. This is how we should get started. Nicole, I'm a guy. I've got a backyard. I've got 50 bucks in my pocket. Can I start keeping bees now? Or what do I need? What does our listener need in their pocket, in their possession before we jump into this?
Nicole: Well, with $50 you're probably not going to get too far. If you get super creative and do one of the do-it yourself top bars, then you might be able to. But if you're wanting to purchase bees and start out with a standard beehive, you're going to need a little closer to about 500.
Drake: Okay. So I got 500 bucks in my pocket now. I went to my job actually work instead of recording podcasts. Now I've got 500 bucks in my pocket. How big of a yard do I need?
Nicole: You don't really need any sizable yard. I mean they put beehives on rooftops and in little, an apartment patio. You're only need about a 10 foot square area. And that's just really for the beekeeper to have easier access to the hive itself. The bees themselves don't really need a set area. They can adapt to whatever area you put them in.
Drake: Okay. So I've got $500 in my pocket. I've got a 10 by 10 square foot of whatever. I've got joy and love in my heart and motivation. But I've only got one weekend to do it. How much time is this going to take me?
Nicole: Well, I mean you can get the bees installed in a weekend, but I would recommend taking several weeks to do some research ahead of time, so you kind of have a little bit better understanding of the bees and what you need to do and kind of what you're getting involved in.
Drake: But I don't need research. I listen to Backyard Bounty.
Nicole: Well, you need time to listen to Backyard Bounty.
Drake: Okay. So if the listener fits all of those descriptions, then this is what they need to listen to. They spend the time listening to this, And in theory, they're going to be armed with knowledge and they can go forth and become a beekeeper.
Nicole: Hopefully, yes.
Drake: Beautiful. So all you listeners, if you've checked those boxes, then listen on. And if you haven't checked those boxes, then go check those boxes and come back later. The beauty of a podcast is it's recorded and it will always be here forever. All right. With that in mind, I want to briefly touch on the benefit. I think we can spend more time on this, but generally speaking, why in the world would I want to keep bees?
Nicole: Well, there are several reasons that you might want to keep bees. It kind of boils down to everybody's individual philosophy or desired outcome I suppose.
Drake: Yeah. But I'm talking about green. How much money am I looking at making off these guys?
Nicole: Honey. You're funny. Pretty sure that beekeeping is negatively profitable. You can potentially make money, but you're probably not going to exactly be able to quit your job with just the one beehive. Most of the time you're going to need either a... something like an educational program if you have minimal number of hives. But otherwise to really start becoming profitable, you're going to need more like a hundred or more to be able to create enough honey or enough extra hives or nukes to sell or queens or something like that.
Drake: And we're going to go over all those words you just used because none of those made any sense to me. But the answer I'm hearing is if I only have enough time or space or money for one or two hives, I'm not getting rich off of this.
Drake: But is it, you can cover the costs once it gets up and running.?
Nicole: Beekeeping, that scale is not meant for profit. That's meant for hobby and personal... You profit in ways other than financially.
Drake: And so it's just the fun of doing it. And then presumably you at least get tasty honey.
Drake: Okay. And I'm kind of going off script here, but how much honey does one beehive make in a year? Am I going to be drowning in this stuff?
Nicole: Well, I mean you can drown in just a couple inches. So I suppose maybe you could.
Drake: So if I'm really, really determined, I can drown in the honey. Thank you.
Nicole: Yes. If you apply yourself. Does say how much honey a hive makes, which is a very common question. It is challenging because it depends on your geographical area, the resources available to the bees in that area. The methods in which you manage your bees. It's really not a black and white answer. In our area here in Southern Colorado, you can potentially get between 30 to a hundred pounds of honey per hive, which I know is a large range. But it really depends on a lot of variables. But that's kind of a rough guesstimate. Last year out of three hives, I harvested only 36 pounds. So it's not...
Drake: I've never measured honey in pounds. How many jars? I mean, is there a way you can measure that for people that don't measure honey in pounds?
Nicole: So honey is measured and sold by weight and not by volume.
Drake: Okay. But what about this cute little honey bear bottles that you buy from the store? You know what I'm talking about? It's like a cute little bit. Anyway, maybe that's not a Colorado thing. Are we talking like 12 ounces?
Nicole: So one, sorry. One court weighs three pounds. So the court like canning jar.
Drake: Okay. Three pounds?
Drake: And you said you had 30, so you made 10 of those?
Drake: Okay. All right. Okay. Well hopefully the listener followed that because I didn't. That's fantastic. I think maybe this is an okay time to wrap up the first episode. I don't want to get too bogged down in the details. I don't want to scare people away just yet. And so we will wrap it there. As always, we have all of our beautiful contact information attached to this thing. Besides being an interested person in bees, I'm also an attorney in Colorado. Check out my site. But that's really not what I'm here for. I'm here to learn, so I'm not going to plug it too hard. And you have all your information as well on there.
Nicole: Yeah. We'll put it all on the description.
Drake: Beautiful. All right. Maybe it's a short episode, I don't even know. But we're going to wrap it here and I'm going to start the next one. And scene.
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