Too many beekeepers ship their honey as soon as it is marketable to the chief honey markets. While there is demand in the wholesale markets under normal market conditions for all the honey that is shipped in, there are many beekeepers who could dispose of their own crops and even buy considerable honey from other beekeepers to sell in the local markets.
Of course, the retail price should be considerably more than the wholesale price, and if the beekeeper does not have other work that brings him more than the retail profit he may well turn his attention to the development of his home market. He will probably find that his hometown consumes little honey until he undertakes to advertise his products, but the experience of those who have tried it is that the per capita consumption of honey is easily increased to many times what it was former. Individual cases of success could easily be enumerated.
If the beekeeper is in a small town it is probably known to many of the inhabitants that he keeps bees and in a larger town or city he can easily let this be known without much cost for advertising. The consumer will have confidence in the purity of the hone}’ if it is bought directly from the producer, and if the beekeeper will go from house to house letting the housewives sample his honey, he will not only sell hundreds of pounds at a better price than the wholesale price but will provide a good food as a substitute for the cheap jams and syrups so much used.
To stimulate trade and create public comment, no better advertisement can be obtained than an observatory hive filled with bees. When such a hive is placed in a store window, the sidewalk is often blocked with the curious. Interest can be increased by giving an exhibition of handling bees or of extracting honey; the crowd will grow and people who have not tasted honey for years will remember that i\wy are fond of it and will buy some.
A peculiarity of honey is that it is usually easier to sell the second bottle or section than it is the first. The ingenious beekeeper will think of a dozen ways to use his bees or his commonest manipulations as advertising matter and he will probably be surprised not only at the ignorance but also at the interest of the public concerning anything pertaining to bees. Another fruitful field is found in making exhibits at fairs.
Excerpted and edited from: Beekeeping; a discussion of the life of the honeybee … 1915. Phillips, Everett Franklin, 1878-1951.
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