The cost of beekeeping can vary a lot.
And if a person decides to "go big" and get into beekeeping up over 50 hives, the costs can really begin to add up - time and money.
Take for instance the hive cover of a typical langstroth:
If you go the route of a store-bought inner and outer cover, you can pay $30 or more per hive. Over the course of 50 hives, that's $1500 plus tax and/or shipping. On the other hand, if you go the root of a piece of reclaimed ply for an outer, and a feed bag for an inner - you could do the whole lot for $100 or even less. If the remaining $1400 is applied in an equally frugal way, you could probably do a lot. It all depends on who you are, how you approach things, and how much you're prepared to spend on your bees.
So for those of you who set your mind to economy, what have you done to save your pennies? How would you advise a beekeeper to design or manage their operation to save time and/or money?