What am I ?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by PerryBee, Dec 11, 2012.

  1. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

    Messages:
    5,829
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Before you get carried away Iddee,................

    What am I ? A hobbiest, a sideliner, commercial?
    I have heard these terms for some time now and am curious as to what they mean to different people.
    Do the designations somehow relate to numbers of colonies, or is it based on the amount (or lack thereof) of income derived? Or are these designations based on something completely different that I have missed? Even Wiki doesn't seem to have a definitive answer.
    What are your opinions, and what do you consider yourselves to be?

    I would venture to say that up to this point I have been a hobbiest, keeping bees for the pure enjoyment of it.
    The last few years I have tried to make it a hobby that produced enough of an income to sustain itself, and with a bit of good fortune put a few $ away in my sons education fund.
    I have it in my head to try and turn a bit of a corner this coming year, and will try to derive an actual income from my endeavors.
    I hope to move into pollination and make a couple + K there. Honey and wax sales will bring in some more. Perhaps a few nuc sales (I really don't like doing this). Removals that I can actually make a dollar at. I also hope to perhaps try custom extracting given that I have acquired enough gear (and hopefully a dedicated honey house soon). Not sure what that might make (if anything), I have read you can charge X dollars per weight or even $1 per frame.
    I have even thought about producing and selling small amounts of wooden ware (other folks that I have helped, or have stopped in to check out beekeeping as a hobby often try to purchase the stuff I've made).

    I have no visions of getting rich, and certainly do not want to get to the size where it is no longer fun.
    I get a bit of a pension when I hit 55 in June and hope to be able to supplement that while doing something I love.
    My wife has been the primary bread winner in our family pretty much since our son was born and for that I am eternally grateful. Every day when I come home from the bees and find that the door locks haven't been changed I am reminded of just how lucky a guy I am.
     
  2. Lburou

    Lburou Member

    Messages:
    553
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    I think you can depend on the government to make an unbiased decision: When you have enough $ coming in to be taxed, you have turned the corner. ;)
     

  3. reidi_tim

    reidi_tim New Member

    Messages:
    383
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    And the corner after that is where you have enough money that your not being taxed:thumbsup:
     
  4. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

    Messages:
    5,162
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I will always be a hobby keep. I do make a few dollars off of removals, selling nucs an even selling bee vacs.

    I always thought of a side liner as somebody that made about 50% of their income off of the bees and a commercial keep as one that made a living off of their bees.

    I have heard that to be a sideliner you need 50 plus hives.

    Twenty hives is my limit, just too many other irons in the fire. The bees pay for my hobby and put a little extra cash in my pocket also, all the rest is just pure fun to me.
     
  5. lazy shooter

    lazy shooter New Member

    Messages:
    649
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    PerryBee:

    You are a selfless, well mannered person that is extremely considerate of other people, and somewhere above a half-a_ _ beekeeper. You're a professional hobbyist. When you start making a few bucks off the bees you will still be PerryBee the hobbyist.
     
  6. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

    Messages:
    8,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Commercial = Bees are primary source of income.

    Sideliner = Bees are secondary source of income.

    Hobbyist = Don't give a dang if you make money at bees or not, but do it anyway.
     
  7. indypartridge

    indypartridge New Member

    Messages:
    349
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    How about "Part-time beekeeper"?
     
  8. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

    Messages:
    2,060
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Good question Perry.
    I like your answer Iddee. I'm #3 I have honey from years ago I still have not sold. Still sitting in big buckets. I Love the bees selling honey is a pain.
    Taking it one step further When do you cross the line and are no longer a beekeeper and and become a keeper of bees. A person can maintain 250 to 350 hives by himself with a little help during the busy season, guys running 1000'S of hives have turned into corporations.
    it also depends on if you specialize in certain areas. it you are using your hives for pollination, selling nucs, Raising queens You can make an income to support your self without wearying to produce a honey crop. There are commercial guys in my area the run only 150 hives and it's their full time job.
     
  9. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

    Messages:
    1,936
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Very well put! :)
     
  10. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    no matter if you have one or a hundred let me assure your that..... YOU ARE A BEEKEEPER!

    I don't know why mankind feels compelled to make these kinds of distinctions???

    I can image that at some point numbers would turn this addiction into work but I don't really know where that line is drawn at this point in time. I still get great enjoyment going out to a yard and lighting the smoker and putting on my garb and this has not changed from when I had 3 to now when you can add a couple of zeros to that number. I do sweat a bit more during each adventure. more proof that 'this number' might be imaginary is that after I have finished with my own hive I now volunteer at least part of the year to assist my neighbors to the south during their spring time crunch.

    ps for anyone that wishes to grow into a business that does produce a profit then at least thinking about diversifying what you do (business wise and geographically) as Perry is doing makes all kinds of good business sense. as you grow this is a good opportunity to test each diversification opportunity to see if this will work for you. with larger numbers geographical diversification will become almost mandatory.