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  1. #1
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    Mar 2011
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    Default Beekeeping is a very cheap hobby

    I find beekeeping to be a very cheap hobby. You almost always get something back even if your bees die. Most hobbies are holes in the ground where you keep pouring money into and very rarely get something of value back other than entertainment.
    It is the only hobby that I know of where you literally do not have to spend one dime to get into.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  2. #2
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    Apr 2009
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    Stilwell, KS
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    Default Re: Beekeeping is a very cheap hobby

    Not one dime? That's preposterous. How come it cost me almost $1,000 over the last fours years? I must be a really bad hobbiest.

    This is the equipment that I purchased. I am sure you can cut some of the stuff out, but it has to be farily typical of a small hobbiest:
    • 4 complete hives each with 4 medium supers
    • 160+ frames (ALL woodenware came un-assembled so I could save money)
    • 160 sheets of foundation
    • 2 nucs purchased locally
    • 1 mail-order queen
    • a bottling bucking with honey gate
    • 1 bee suit
    • 1 extra vail
    • Smoker
    • a couple of epi-pens
    • 1 box of Api-Guard Thymol Gel
    • 200 squeze-top honey bottles
    • nails
    • 1 bottle of Tight-Bound Glue
    • 1 can of paint
    • Leather gloves
    • Latex gloves
    • hive tool

    Heck, I have spent over $200 on shipping alone.

    I have been able to not buy any bees since my initial purchase (catch swarms and do splits). I also managed to sell 60 pounds of honey last fall, so I can subtract $300 from my capital outlay thus far.
    Last edited by Barry; 02-16-2012 at 10:16 AM. Reason: quoting
    Honey Badger Don't Care ಠ_ಠ ~=[,,_,,]:3

  3. #3
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    Jun 2009
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    Montgomery County, NY
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    Default Re: Beekeeping is a very cheap hobby

    well he is right. You really don't need any money at all to get into keeping honeybees. All you need is a rotted hollow log and a swarm of bees hanging in a tree. Now for the rest of us that use Langstroth hives and want to keep the majority of the stingers out of us. Well that costs money. Not a ton but I can tell you I can make a 10 gallon batch of beer cheaper than I can buy a beesuit with veil and gloves.
    Last edited by Barry; 02-16-2012 at 10:16 AM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Beekeeping is a very cheap hobby

    Dont even get me started on the money that I have spent brewing beer........


    At least with a lot of luck, skill, and time you can re-coup some of the investment of hobby beekeeping by selling honey. I may even break even some day. None of my other hobbies have the ability to pay me back.


    (Did somebody mention "Reef Tanks"? I got over 4 grand in one of those )
    Last edited by Barry; 02-16-2012 at 10:26 AM.
    Honey Badger Don't Care ಠ_ಠ ~=[,,_,,]:3

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Beekeeping is a very cheap hobby

    making beer sure can be the one that is most satisfying. Well maybe 4 weeks after brewing! HA!
    Last edited by Barry; 02-16-2012 at 10:27 AM.

  6. #6
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    Feb 2011
    Location
    Cookeville, TN
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    138

    Default Re: Beekeeping is a very cheap hobby

    I'm going into my second year of beekeeping as a hobby. As far as a hobby this is one of the few I have broken even or made money on and I've had a few. Now I did do quite a bit of work between breaking apart pallets, constructing boxes, grabbing swarms, and doing a cutout. But I enjoyed most of the work which is a sign of a good hobby. I had probably less than $100 invested last year which was a shop vac and a bunch of sugar to feed the swarms.
    Last edited by Barry; 02-16-2012 at 10:27 AM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Beekeeping is a very cheap hobby

    That is awesome, but probably not the norm.

    And still infinitely more than Aces's "not spend one dime".
    Last edited by Barry; 02-16-2012 at 10:27 AM. Reason: excessive quoting
    Honey Badger Don't Care ಠ_ಠ ~=[,,_,,]:3

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Beekeeping is a very cheap hobby

    I agree it definately isnt the norm and I did have to spend a bit of money. However I did come out about $50 ahead from the cutout I did. To be honest after about 6-7 hours in almost 100 degree weather I probably should have charged more
    Last edited by Barry; 02-16-2012 at 10:27 AM.

  9. #9
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    Utica, NY
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    Default Re: Beekeeping is a very cheap hobby

    My point is you can make all the equipment yourself with scrap wood that people throw out and you can collect swarms. A bee suit is not required. For the first two years we used a straw hat and a mosquito net with heavy cloths as protection. About all that is required is a hive tool which again you could make or use a flat bar picked up at a tag sale. If you are going to value the honey you get from the hobby it more than likely will end up as a net gain (as far as hobby is concerned). Why else would so many hobbyist get the bright idea of going into business? It is that decision that makes the numbers go the other way because then your time is money.
    Last edited by Barry; 02-16-2012 at 10:28 AM.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  10. #10
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    Denver, Colorado
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    Default Re: Beekeeping is a very cheap hobby

    You've done this?
    Last edited by Barry; 02-16-2012 at 10:28 AM.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Beekeeping is a very cheap hobby

    So Ace, tell us approximately how much you have spent on your hobby?

    Didnt you start with package bees and a hive kit?

    How'd that home made extractor work out for you?
    Last edited by Barry; 02-16-2012 at 10:28 AM.
    Honey Badger Don't Care ಠ_ಠ ~=[,,_,,]:3

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Beekeeping is a very cheap hobby

    I did not say I didn't spend any money, I said it could be done. And I know people that have done it for years. What bugs me is when you join a club or take a class and they come out with that laundry list like you just posted saying this is what you got to have.

    To answer your question, nothing. My wife pays for everything.
    Last edited by Barry; 02-16-2012 at 10:28 AM.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Beekeeping is a very cheap hobby

    So as usual you are providing information that you yourself have no experience with and is patently false (not spending a dime).
    Last edited by Barry; 02-16-2012 at 10:29 AM. Reason: quoting
    Honey Badger Don't Care ಠ_ಠ ~=[,,_,,]:3

  14. #14
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    Cookeville, TN
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    Default Re: Beekeeping is a very cheap hobby

    A hive tool isnt really necessary either Ive been using a bread knife. First time I ever worked the bees I must of used almost an entire roll of duct tape sealing my self up . Anymore I rarely use the bee veil I made. Heres a picture of my very first "Bee Suit":

    2011-04-17_17-22-10_570(small).jpg

    You can see my homemade smoker which consisted of 2 cans, a piece of wood, and a bunch of duct tape.
    Last edited by Barry; 02-16-2012 at 10:29 AM.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Beekeeping is a very cheap hobby

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    My point is you can make all the equipment yourself with scrap wood that people throw out and you can collect swarms. A bee suit is not required. For the first two years we used a straw hat and a mosquito net with heavy cloths as protection. About all that is required is a hive tool which again you could make or use a flat bar picked up at a tag sale.
    Yes scrap wood can be used but to say you don't need to spend any money because you can use scrap wood to make equipment and you can make your own hive tool all requires tools. Those tools generally cost money less someone is a user of people and constantly milk folks for their tools.
    Last edited by Barry; 02-16-2012 at 10:29 AM.

  16. #16
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    Dec 2010
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    Spicewood, TX, USA
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    Default Re: Beekeeping is a very cheap hobby

    I have to say, as a scuba diver, underwater photographer, and whitewater enthusiast, beekeeping is my least expensive hobby. The thought that it might generate some revenue is nice, because the others certainly do not.

    Of course the Kawasaki Mule that I "had to have" to drive down to my hives, upped the anty a little.
    Last edited by Barry; 02-16-2012 at 10:29 AM.

  17. #17
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    Jan 2012
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    Pisgah Forest, NC, USA
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    58

    Default Re: Beekeeping is a very cheap hobby

    There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch..... That's what we were taught in economics. Which means that for everything we do, there is an opportunity cost, which is generally whatever activity we could have been doing instead. That being said.... what else would anyone want to do other than have their head in a hive all the time?!?

  18. #18
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    Feb 2011
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    Denison, Tx
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    109

    Default Re: Beekeeping is a very cheap hobby

    Quote Originally Posted by Risky Beesness View Post
    Of course the Kawasaki Mule that I "had to have" to drive down to my hives, upped the anty a little.
    You have to have some reason to justify that new Mule
    Last edited by Barry; 02-16-2012 at 10:30 AM.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    S Hadley, Massachusetts USA
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    710

    Default Re: Beekeeping is a very cheap hobby

    While it does cost money to get started for most of us.....if you handy and want to work at it you can get every dollar back that you spend and then some.

    I make all of my own equipment......Home Depot Cull Lumber is great. Just about free. I sell honey, candles, nucs, and woodenware. This winter I turned a profit. Going to raise about 20-30 queens this year and sell them too.

    All of this while working 7 days a week in my day job.
    Last edited by Barry; 02-16-2012 at 10:30 AM.
    Pearl City Apiary Michael and Loucil Bach

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Gray,Ga. USA
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    26

    Default Re: Beekeeping is a very cheap hobby

    I guess I'm as close to the topic as can be.

    alaskan mill.jpgwood pile.jpgwheels.jpg

    I made the saw from 2 saws that were in a trash pile. got the materail for the barrel from a wire supplier that was throwing them away. and cut and dry the trees for the wood for the boxes. the tablesaws were my fathers and grandfathers pass down. I now have 25 hives and my tools are hand made smoker from bean cans hive tool from peace of metal from the trash. vail from a piece of netting from old torn tent. hard hat from long ago job.I form my own foundation sheets now made from a fiberglass model I made. I have a total of 75.00 which has been payed back in full.

    guess I just a lucky and handy man.

    john
    Last edited by Barry; 02-16-2012 at 10:24 AM. Reason: missed photo

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