The first NSBK guest lecture of 2020 was brilliantly delivered by Will Steynor from Devon. He outlined the principal methods he has developed over many years of beekeeping for earning cash from the activity. His advice could be of interest to anyone considering setting up in business, or simply ensuring that their back-garden hobby funds itself.
Four basic business models to generate revenue were described, with estimates of annual income per hive displayed:
1. Honey sales 2. Commercial pollination service 3. Queen rearing for sale 4. Selling colonies obtained from swarms.
We were also given many useful tips to streamline our beekeeping, such as a Miller Feeder Tray which also had slots to accept Porter Gates, making it additionally serve as an Escape Board. The simple deployment of a stainless steel sink top as a decapping station was also notable. Then there was a Hive Entrance Block with a Snelgrove-style swing-gate to allow for easy variation in entrance size. Using a milk crate to carry 24 jars of honey was so simple. But the bespoke road trailer, with many adaptations to suit the needs of a beekeeper was the envy of many!
30 members attended the event and several requested that Will be asked to return and give a second talk just about his inventions.