Date of Graduation

5-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness

Advisor

Popp, Michael

Reader

Popp, Jennie

Second Reader

Steinkraus, Donald

Abstract

The objective of this thesis was to use a survey targeted at different niche markets to gain insights about different honey bee products and thereby to provide information for their economic feasibility when produced on a small, local scale for retailers that support such producers and cater to such consumer demand. Since cost of production information about operating an apiary is widely available, the focus of this work was on gaining marketing knowledge. One of the aspects of the survey was to develop a better sense of what potential resellers of honey bee products considered locally-produced. Another objective was to determine packaging preferences for honey and honey bee products as well as bee pollination services. Using that feedback, a marketing plan for different niche markets can be developed for part time, small-scale bee keeping operations. The survey results pertaining to local retailers and end users in Northwest Arkansas, as queried in the fall of 2016, suggested a supply radius near 100 miles and a preference for small packaging in general. Interestingly, simple and small packaging in glass jars was preferred over plastic and larger container sizes. More intricate packaging designs, least cost supply, and at least regional brand recognition were not deemed as important as ensuring locally sourced, fresh product that can be sold at a premium. Different niche markets revealed both similar and different priorities related to these marketing aspects. In a small way, this research may also assist honey bees to recover from colony collapse disorder (CCD).

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