I am new to beekeeping. how much will it cost to begin beekeeping?
I am new to beekeeping. how much will it cost to begin beekeeping?
Welcome to Beesource!
Depends ..... How many hives did you have in mind? Are you in a position to build some/all woodenware? How do you plan to acquire bees? TBH or Lang style hives?
If you can catch a swarm, and build your own hives, you might need to buy as little as a smoker and a veil. That can be done for about $50 or less. But, that is not typical. If you are buying bees and Lang equipment, the minimum I would expect is about $300. Note that your chances of success are much improved if you start with at least two hives.
USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft
We have 5 seasons behind us now. Last year we added 5 more hives. We bought everything new for those hives, including 4 pound packages of bees. We had over $3,000 into those 5 hives. The cost of woodenware, and frames has doubled in 5 years. When we sold out of honey last fall we had recovered one dollar for every 3 dollars spent. Startup is very expensive.
Much depends on how your start. We always encourage new beekeepers to start with 2 or more hives but not much more. Having hives to compare and for resources if one hive has an issue, and it will, is a great help. One of the big investments I think new beekeepers fail to make is in education. A good beginners beekeeping course will be money well spent if it is a good course. Are you going to extract honey or maybe run your hives for comb. Richard Taylor, author/beekeeper running comb honey always said the only harvesting equipment he needed was a pocket knife. Extracting equipment is expensive but necessary if you plan to harvest liquid honey. We figure with the cost of deeps, frames, supers (3 per hive is a good start), bees, protective wear, and smoker if you set aside around $400 per hive as an estimate for the 1st and a little less for the 2nd and additional (you'll only need one smoker, one suit, one hive tool) you'd be pretty close. You can set up a small extracting operation for another $500 - $600.00. Keep in mind you should think about the initial cost as an investment over a period of years, kind of like amortization, because well painted and well maintained equipment will last for years and the honey and enjoyment factor will be will be peace of mind now and memories for generations to come.
Good Luck and welcome to the experiance!
My thread on costs includes everything we spent on those 5 hives over the year. If you just consider the basic equipement plus bees you are looking at about 2/3 of the actual cost. We have to put fence around our hives, and it takes a 2"X4" wire to stop the skunks. Even blocks to put the hives on are expensive. Too often people starting a new hobby look at the basic costs, plan for that cost, and then get in over their heads because the actual costs are much higher. I am not trying to discourage you, beekeeping is fun, but it does take a commitment of time and money.
When applying for a beekeeping mortgage, remember to include everything you might need this year and next......lol j/k
I started last year with 2 nucleus colonies: $250.00
Two 8 or 10 frame complete hives (2 deeps, 2 mediums, SBB, inner cover, telescoping outer cover, frames and foundation -$300.00
Full bee suit $150.00
Bee brush and hive tool $20.00
You'll still want some odds and ends like a tool box, benedryl, etc......but that is up to you.
Last edited by Eddie Honey; 01-26-2013 at 08:16 AM.
I wonder how she/he got registered w/out a state listed under Location?
Mark Berninghausen "Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board." Zora Neale Hurston
If you ask my wife, its not expensive at all! If you ask me, it can get pretty costly!!
When UPS shows up im like a kid waiting to intercept a bad report card from the mail man!!
You can learn to make some things, and learn that its cheaper/easier to buy some things. I buy frames by the hundred. I buy the boxes (except for nucs, I buy the plywood and make them myself) and I make my hive pallets and tops.
Be keeping can be as cheap as you want it, or as extravagant as you want, the choice is yours!!
Coyote Creek Bees
Beginner kit is about $300 which will have complete wooden hive with frames, hive tool, smoker and a veil. A package of bees is around $100. So you could start a hive for about $400. It is good to have at least 2 hives. The second hive may cost a little less.
I am restarting after about 7 years away. I have a veil, a smoker, a brush, and a hive tool already. I have a box of 50 frames (new price about $42 + shipping) and a box of 50 foundation (new price also about $40 plus shipping) on hand already from my last hives.
I am making all new woodenware. One deep box will cost me $10 for lumber (one 1 x 12 x 6 from the local lumber mill). I need about 15 boxes for my first year. I also need tops (est. cost $14 a piece), inner covers (est. cost $4 a piece) and screened bottom boards. Finding the screening for this was fun, since I have to buy it online--10 ft (shipped) will cost $26, plus 1 x 4 and 2 pcs. of 2 x 2 plywood, which should come to another $16. I like double hive stands and it takes 3 pcs. of 2 x 4 x 8's to make one of those, but I happen to have a bunch of those on hand.
I hate to think what it would cost if I had to buy all this and have it shipped here.
I will need 2 packages of bees @ $95 each (I can pick them up myself and save about $50+ per package on shipping costs). I will likely want to requeen those packages because I want resistant bees and can only find Italian packages, to the tune of $20 a piece for queens + $20 shipping.
Now I haven't added this all up. I'm afraid to. I might get cold feet. And I can think of a bunch of other stuff that I haven't listed, like Tanglefoot for the stand legs to keep the ants away, Beetle Blasters to trap the SHBs, feeders, and stuff like that.
All of this just to keep a bunch of bugs in a box! No wonder my family is convinced I'm crazy!
Last edited by Rusty Hills Farm; 01-26-2013 at 11:30 AM.
I'm looking in the mann lake catalog you can get all the woodware for a hive assembled for under $250, Double that for 2 hives.
You will still want a top feeder $20, a smoker $34, a couple hive tools $6, & a jacket or veil $52, === $112
Now you need bees if its not too late to order a package will cost you about $100
one hive $465. Two hives $815 These are the top end prices, there are ways to bring the cost down.
Brooksville? What state? If you so indicate it, the chances are good someone near you can give you local input as to what works best, where to obtain at best prices, mentoring, etc. Best wishes.
His Hive Honey Farm - Do all for His glory!
Look for a local association or club in your area. Experienced beekeepers are priceless and usually willing to help and mentor a starter. You may also find some parts/equipment deals in your area.
Greg Whitehead, Ten Mile, TN
Blog - http://gregsbees.blogspot.com/
Tampa area has a great bee club. We drove 100+ miles to go to a Saturday program there a couple years ago.
A lot of variables for start up money. My first four hives were established hives, single 10 frame deeps. One was a very good price and awesome bees, got that one for $100. Two were $200 each, my first was a raffle win for the bees themselves. It was ordained that I would become a beekeeper.
I had a great mentor from our bee club--yes, priceless! I figured out after a year or so that mentoring could have gone south. Depends on the mentor, and the fellow that mentored me and another newbee was perfect.
Now my mentors are here at beesource. I love this site.
If you are going to get involved in a club, and if you want to save a bit of money, catch a swarm.
After they build out comb (a very good advantage) then requeen with help from someone in the bee club. My bait boxes this year are going to be with the boxes they are going to live in. One frame drawn comb at the end, the rest foundationless frames. I did that last year with nuk boxes and got some real nice swarm catches that produced enough honey by fall for me to harvest some off with plenty of stores left for them. If you go foundationless, you save money there too. Just be sure boxes are level. All my bait boxes drew beautiful comb. It's the supers I have more trouble with, need to try something different this year with those. I wasn't careful and I didn't have any frames of drawn comb to get them started as a guide.
Protective clothing--you can save money in the long run if you get what you want right at the start. I bought a used bit too large thin jacket for my first year+. Then I got an ultrabreeze jacket and have a pair of pants they don't sting through and wish I'd done that to begin with.
I also now wish I'd gone with mediums and shallows for my boxes.
Welcome to beekeeping and to Beesource.
"Rule Three of beekeeping...Never cease to feel wonder" Laurie R. King--
March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF
It's probably going to cost you between $300 and $400, to start with 1 hive. The price will go down slightly with the number of hives you want to start with. If you are a woodworker that will drop the price further. I don't suggest starting your hobby by attempting to catch a swarm. Hopefully you've done some research, read a couple of books, and found a mentor to help you out during your first year. As is mentioned above, your local bee club is a very valuable resource.
Brooksville is just west of Weeki Wachee, Florida and near Trilby Florida. It's a magical, amazing land!
Lots of resources here if you look around. Miksha is just down the road and several larger and smaller beekeepers that can provide packages,Nucs and queens. The closest practical equipment is Dadant in Highsprings. I mostly use Mann- Lake.
The best way to determine the cost is to decide what you need and how you are going to obtain it. There are places to skimp but they are personal decisions. I build my own tops and bottoms but I have a veil, gloves and a jacket veil combo. Some people might not want to make equipment but not see a jacket or gloves as needed.
hernando county. hour south of ocala.
Hello new BeeSource poster. So, is "Brooksville" in Florida? I am in Tucson, Arizona and have no idea which state Hernando county is in. I have heard of an Ocala, in Florida, but apparently it is in Marion county.
This is a forum with international membership, so it is better to give us more details, than less -- helps to get an idea where posts are coming from.
Startup cost can vary a great deal. Depends on where you're at (location), availability of free swarms or cutouts, how adept you are at woodworking (how well your wood shop is equipped and stocked), how experienced you are with honey bees, what size you wish to start at, what size you plan to grow to, etc.
There are a huge variety of variables that all interrelate to both startup and operating costs. So really, there is no simple answer to your question.
48 years - 50 hives - TF
Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni