How to Sell Surplus Honey

| 11/17/2015 9:17:00 AM

Tags: honey, honeybees, farm stands, farmers markets, beekeeping, beeswax, Jennifer Ford, New York,

Honey Jars 

At some point in your beekeeping career, you may find yourself in the position of having more honey than you can possibly use or give to friends, but not enough to begin selling at a weekly farmers market.  There are many ways to sell your extra honey, beeswax candles, or other products of the hive that do not require you to commit to a weekly schedule.

Fairs and Festivals

In a previous blog, I discussed selling products at a fair or festival in detail. The nice thing about this is that you get to decide how many fairs you want to attend.  You could do just one festival a year or do several, depending on how much surplus honey you have.  One word of caution – if you attend a festival one year, but cannot make it the next year, you may find yourself replaced by another honey vendor. So, if you find festival you really like attending, it is a good idea to try to participate in that event every year.

Local Stores

Local stores, especially those interested in carrying locally produced products, may be interested in carrying your products.  It is a good idea to set up a meeting ahead of time with the owner or manager to discuss the possibility of them carrying your products.  Be sure to bring a price list, and remember, they may be looking for wholesale prices.  Bringing samples of your products is also a good idea.  If larger stores need to carry more product than you can provide, try smaller or seasonal stores.  We do not produce enough honey for our local supermarkets, but we found a small local store that is open from May to November.  It works out perfectly for us!

Roadside Stands

You could also consider creating a roadside stand.  The stand itself could be as simple or elaborate as you like.  Many stands utilize the honor system of payment.  Whether you feel comfortable doing this will depend on the area you live in, how well you know your neighbors, and if your house is close enough to the road to keep an eye on the stand. You could also operate a stand that is only open during certain times of the year, or certain hours.

Selling from your Home

A more secure alternative to the roadside stand is to sell directly from your home.  Before we began beekeeping we bought honey from a beekeeper who did this. When they were home and available, they would put out a “Honey for Sale” sign in front of the driveway.  They had set up shelves in the front porch/entryway to the house that displayed all of the items for sale.  You could then pick out what you wanted, and pay them directly. 

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