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Join me in strengthening the environment by expanding the number of beehives in my apiary and increasing the honeybee population.
Join me in strengthening the environment by expanding the number of beehives in my apiary and increasing the honeybee population.
83 backers pledged $3,102 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

Homestead Honey Farm : bee yard expansion and honey stand project video thumbnail
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$3,102

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The reward perk for this goal has yet to be determined.  If you have a suggestion, please forward it to me. I intend to use any additional monies to purchase a stainless steel uncapping tank and bottling tank.  These two items cost rough $1700.

If you are a Backer who pledged $40 or more, you can add as many of the above listed items for their corresponding cost.

"Thanks!" to everyone for all of your pledges!  I am looking forward to sharing this project with everyone as it progresses through the summer.

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Welcome and Thanks for checking out my project.

With your help the Homestead Honey Farm, located in Gwinn Michigan, will expand its modest two hive apiary to six hives and construct an "Honor System" honey stand.  You may ask yourself: What is an honor system honey stand?  Basically, it's a self-serve honey stand that allows the customer to buy a jar of honey and leave the money in a locked box in the stand.  Although an honor system honey stand sounds risky, honor food stands are common in my part of the country and with the beekeeping community.

My bees currently produce enough honey for the enjoyment of my family and friends.  I am hoping to expand the number of hives and therefore offer our honey for sale to my local community.  Not only will this expansion be beneficial to the environment and community by providing pollinators and a quality food product, it will allow me the opportunity to break into this cottage food industry.

Beautiful jars of raw honey!
Beautiful jars of raw honey!

What Needs To Be Purchased:

I currently have two beehives and with your pledge of support, I will expand on my existing hives into an apiary of slightly larger capacity. The money you pledge will go towards the building and maintenance of new hives, purchase of bees and to the construction of the honey stand. My Kickstarter goal of $1,800 will go directly to covering these costs.

  • (4) Complete 10 Frame Hives :         $1,005.00
  • (4) Packages of bees:                        $385.00
  • Materials for Honey Stand:                 $410.00
  •                                            Total : $1,800.00
The honey stand will look similar to this.
The honey stand will look similar to this.

As you can see, beekeeping is expensive.  If the $1,800 goal is surpassed, I would invest the additional money into a larger, stainless steel extractor which retails for $699.  The extraction process is very labor intensive and the addition of a larger extractor would reduce my honey processing time by over 50%!

Rewards:

Please review the list of rewards on the right side of the page and note that I have tried to make the rewards as substantial as possible for all pledge amounts.  I am also working on some stretch goals that would lead to INCREASED REWARDS for all backers that pledge $5 or more.  This option will only be available if the project becomes fully funded

Your Pledge Counts In Many Ways:

First, the honeybee in the United States is in trouble. Because of environmental factors like the overuse of pesticides, attacks by predatory mites, and now even to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), honeybee numbers in the U.S. are dwindling at an alarming rate.  Only honeybees can pollinate our flowers and crops to the extent we need. Honey, with all of its nuances and health benefits, can only be produced by bees.  Your pledge will assist in establishing four additional honeybee colonies!

Second, I hope to generate a modest supplemental income from the addition of these additional hives.  All of my surplus honey from last year has been gifted to friends or sold.  There is a strong local market for my honey and an expansion of the apiary would allow me to produce more. 

My future goal is to offer hives to local farmers for pollination.  I believe that if this Kickstarter campaign is successful, I will be able to generate enough money from honey sales this year to achieve this goal by next summer.

About Homestead Honey Farm:

My beekeeping started as a hobby because I was interested in this industrious little creature and concerned with it's dwindling numbers.  I believe in practicing chemical free pest management in the hive which I feel produces a honey second to none.  I overwinter my hives on their own honey stores and NOT a sugar water substitute.  I put the bees first and honey production second which results in a slighter smaller surplus yield.

Inspecting the Queen
Inspecting the Queen
Installing a package of bees
Installing a package of bees
Here are my two original hives
Here are my two original hives
The wintering hives
The wintering hives

IMPORTANT:  If you like my project but are unable to make a pledge, I have a humble request:  Please scroll back up to the top of the page and click the "Like" button under my video.  This small but important step will allow my project to be seen by more people which will hopefully lead to more pledges.

Thank You!  Joe

Give Back!
If my project is successfully funded, I pledge to give 5% back to support the Kickstarter Community. http://kickingitforward.org  

Risks and challenges

The main challenges of this project revolve around the establishment of the package bees into their new hives. There is a chance the bees could abscond after introduction. This is rare but is a possibility. In order to prevent this the hive entrance is temporarily reduced in size and I will be feeding them to encourage them to draw out new honey comb in the hive box.

The next challenge will be the weather. If we experience a dry spring it would produce some stress in the hive due to the lack of nectar and pollen. If this is the case, I am prepared to provide a sugar solution and pollen substitute to tide them over until the local flora blooms

Because I would be establishing four hives, fulfilling the honey rewards will not be a problem unless all four hives fail. Even if this happens, I have two established hives that will produce enough honey to fulfill the rewards.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    A toast in your name and the satisfaction of knowing your pledge just helped the bees.

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    1 backer
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    "Thank You" email which will include a collection of honey recipes and tips.

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    6 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    "Thank You" email which will include a collection of honey recipes and tips. Plus, pictures from the new hives to show you the progress in the new apiary, sent by email for you to print.

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    8 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    A handwritten "Thank You!" postcard with wildflower seeds for you to plant.

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    1 backer
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    A pair of beeswax candles.

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    2 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    A bar of all natural honey soap.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    1/2lb jar of pure, raw honey from the hive.

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    Limited 27 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    1lb jar of pure, raw honey from the hive.

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    Limited 16 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    (1) bar of all natural honey soap,
    a pair of beeswax candles and a 1lb jar of pure, raw honey from the hive.

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    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 8 backers
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Become A Sponsor: I will paint your name on a hive dedicated to all our backers of $100 and above. I'll email you a photo and information about the hive. Also includes (1) bar of all natural honey soap, a pair of beeswax candles and a 1lb jar of pure, raw honey from the hive.

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    Limited 3 backers
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    A Hive In Your Honor: I will paint your name or "In Memory Of" on a hive and you will receive picture updates of your hive throughout the summer of 2013 via email. The hive will only have one name on it and because of that, it's limited to (4) backers. Also includes (2) 1lb jars of pure, raw honey, a bar of all natural honey soap and a pair of beeswax candles.

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    Limited 3 backers
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Funding period

- (30 days)