PR - HOW SWEET ARE BEEKEEPER RETURNS FROM ALMOND POLLINATION AND HONEY PRODUCTION?
Beekeeping can be an attractive option for agriculture entrepreneurs because beekeeping enterprises often require less initial land and capital than other agricultural ventures. However, while beekeeping may have lower barriers to entry, there is little information about management and marketing characteristics that may maximize beekeeper profitability. This study formally assesses the extent to which firm size and location, production and service activities, and marketing decisions affect returns to beekeepers. Empirical analysis of data from 107 beekeepers in the U.S. mountain west region indicate that smaller, semi-commercial beekeepers receive higher average variable returns per colony than larger, commercial beekeepers but that more established firms do not have a significantly higher variable returns over younger firms. The results also show that beekeepers could earn higher average variable returns from increased honey marketing and almond pollination services, suggesting that recent increases in almond pollination fees did not sufficiently offset revenues from per colony honey sales. Broadly, this study can improve beekeeper cost-benefit analysis and trade-off evaluation when making managerial decisions and responding to changes in policy related to beekeeping business development.
Keywords: Pollination, Honey, Entrepreneurial, Variable Returns, Marketing, Size