FREQUENLTY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: Where can we find your raw honey?
A: For the local consumer close to Port Elizabeth come to our farm shop details at or contact us that we can direct you to the closest store that sell our Badgers Gold products.
A: For the national consumer contact us to locate the store closest to you.
Q: How do we go about selling your honey?
A: Please visit our wholesale section under services.
Q: We want to startup and need equipment or hives do you sell any?
A: Yes. Please visit under Equipment Shop.
Q: How many times have you being stung?
A: Thousands ++
Q: Are you making money from beekeeping?
A: No. we produce mostly honey and our supply is directly related to what nature gives us.
Q: OK then do you make a living from your beekeeping?
A: Yes. We are very fortunate that we can and thankful to God first.
Q: Is it difficult to start?
A: Yes, if it is commercially / but No, if you want to start as a hobbyist.
Q: Does it cost much to start?
A: No, if you start as a hobbyist.
Q: Doesn't the bees do all the work? I mean all you really need to do is take the honey, sounds like not much to do?
A: Yes they do "all" the work, and so do cattle graze by themselves and potatoes grow by themselves.
If you do anything commercially, as a primary income then there is a little more to do than just picking the fruit.
Q: Should I quit my job and start beekeeping commercially?
A: NO, please please no! Grow into it from a hobbyist until you feel you know and have enough. If you ever get there, please also be aware that the transition phase from a professional to commercial is most the times very challenging.
Q: Do you have competition? Is there many others?
A: Our perspective on competition is slightly different, we don't see others as competition but as people in the same boat.
Yes there is many others, that sometimes copy and paste us and even cut us knowingly and suppose we have to add
unknowingly also ... but we really just focus on our ideas and do our best with what we have or receive and trust for the outcome. "Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?" Mat 6:27
Q: How much honey does a hive produce?
A: Under normal South African conditions anything from 0 - 20kg (please make sure you see the zero number also)
Q: How many bee hives do you have?
A: Please answer this first, Why is it important to you?
and why do you think we humans have this fascination about the size of things/operations/gatherings etc?
I can tell you this: that you wont get to much done/paid with less than 800 hives if you employ people and have overheads/family etc. We would rather say 1000 is a more sustainable number, also take into account the theft factor.
Q: How many hives do you need to make a living?(did you just say "living" in stead of money?...good you getting there)
A: Well depend on what you live for...
The white picked fence life, overseas holidays, fancy cars, buying extra properties for the kids, the latest and best things, paying insurance on everything to feel somehow more secure/securing the future etc ....you need thousands of hives!
A normal life, content with some rust and dust and have more time for other people than yourself. You don't need thousands. What is a "normal life" ?... think it's best we leave this topic :)
Q: How does theft and disease affect the industry?
A: Expect losses between 5 and 15% due to theft/vandalism. Disease is not such a major concern like overseas but we can say about 5-10%. These figures do differ depending the area.
Q: According to your definition the difference between, hobbyist, professional and commercial beekeepers?
A: I will explain size and situation:
Hobbyist : Person that keep bees for himself / family and friends, not necessarily selling the honey but end up giving it away, enjoying the outdoors, love watching the bees interact, take honey not always at the best times, mess up the kitchen for a day with stickiness all over, involving kids and friends to help, getting some unnecessary stings etc. Keeping 1-10 hives
Professional: Someone that normally progressed from a hobbyist to naturally keeping more and more bees or someone that bought his way into it, with a goal in mind to use it as a additional income and to have a more serious part time job for most weekends of the year. They normally sell their honey more directly to anyone for a good price and the odd small businesses. They talk a lot, especially about how much honey they make from the bees (like to talk about their best hives yield, not the average + dead hives) and sometimes have lots to say about other beekeepers and their operations. Very business minded and have a 1+1 must equal 2 approach. Keeping anything up to say 200+ hives. (active hives)
Commercial: Someone that most the times just carry on with their work without looking to much into how prospective they will be (this may differ), but rather just try to focus on be productive and making a living. They don't always talk about their bees although it is constantly on their mind. Get a lot of how much money you make questions and in trying to avoid these conversations (because they really don't care that much) get sometimes misunderstood because: the smaller scale beekeepers talk so much about the amount of honey they get from one hive or their best hives (with no or little overheads) then multiply this amount with the amount of colonies a commercial have and you get this amazing figure!(yes, right) Some might be more involved with people others could very much be more shy and separate from society. They produce mostly honey or supply pollination services and get a lot less than store prices. Vandalism and honey imports also count against them, because many of the Chinese suppliers are so cheap in selling glorified syrup. Keeping anything from 500+ hives. Although 500 is just crossing the bridge and difficult to make it work commercially.
PLEASE NOTE THIS IS MY PERSONAL OPINION / DEFINITION as someone that can relate to some of the above and personally working his way through the beekeeping ladder the hard way with many humble mistakes.
Q: Why then do you do it commercially?
A: It is somehow still enjoyable, suppose a mix of the following helps: Farming heart, hands that don't mind doing the things others shy away from, active lifestyle, work to eat principle, stubbornness in not just giving up easily, seeing nature in full bloom every day with our Creator intricate designs that blows your mind, being your own boss but still reliant on what nature gives, every season is different nothing is ever the same. Their is a few more...
Q: As a commercial beekeeper is there something you can give me relating to how viable this is?
A: Let me be very brief and you do the thinking. For every 10 ton, you need 7.5 ton input costs.(we never had a season with a higher than 25% profit margin, total expenses vs total income). Commercial operations are more pressurized from different angles, because everyone wants a cut from the pie (with clean hands and zero risks).
I can say this from looking at other types of commercial farming also, as soon as you cross the bridge into the commercial zone you become bait to various other industries. If you cross the bridge into Mega farming you become the industry itself.
Q: What does the industry need in South Africa?
A: Less theft and vandalism, more recognition / support as bees pollinate 1/3 of what the world eat. Less chancers that is mostly after financial gain when they start out and soon see that this is not what they get. Give people that is doing it for a living a bit more understanding into their risks, low reward, no support from outside.
Q: Why is it that beekeepers sometimes seems very self sufficient and innovative?
A: The industry that we find ourselves in are not that well designed/oiled like overseas (1st world countries). We are more forced to make our own plans etc and the cost of importing machines etc for the larger beekeeper is very high.