The main purpose of this study is to determine the economic performance of the beekeeping farms. For this purpose, a survey was done in Kelkit County, in northeastern Turkey. The performances of the beekeeping farms were evaluated by cost, profitability and efficiency analysis. The cost of a unit of honey was US$3.16 and the average price paid to the beekeepers was US$6.78. The absolute and relative profits were calculated as US$3.62 and US$2.14, respectively. The efficiency of the beekeeping farms was measured using Data Envelopment Analysis. The results of output- and input-oriented constant return-to-scale (CRS) analysis indicated an average efficiency value of 59.34%. The output- and input-oriented variable return-to-scale (VRS) analysis showed average efficiencies of 75.42% and 78.95%, respectively. The efficiency of the beekeeping farms and the beekeeping experience were positively correlated. Both the output- and input-oriented VRS analysis showed that a significant part of the beekeeping farms would approach full effectiveness with a potential improvement of at least 10% both in gross production value, number of hives and variable costs. Improvement suggestions for outputs and inputs are directed towards reduction of all variables except gross production value.
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