Thinking about beekeeping as a hobby or an additional source of income?
Then, most probably the question that might be hovering in your mind is, ” how much does it cost to start beekeeping?”. Apiculture has no bars. Anyone who is willing enough to spend some sincere time in bee management practices can go for it.
Beekeeping is literally a practice of raising honey bees for commercial utilization. Besides, honey, bee wax and bee pollen are also the products with high marketing potential. Honey has a great significance as household remedies for various problems.
For the ones looking at this as a source of an additional income stream, you really made a smart bet. Because beekeeping involves less expenditure as well as less time and effort. Honeybees themselves are very hard working creatures. Moreover, the demand for honey and wax is constantly witnessing inflation in the markets worldwide.
What thoughts people have for getting started with beekeeping?
People would prefer not to ask about beekeeping because it’s not for free.
However, this should not worry you in case you want to establish a bee farm. What’s the initial investment?
There’s a well-known misconception that for you to start beekeeping you need huge amounts of funds to facilitate the process.
Nevertheless, those who have made their minds firmly to get started with beekeeping in their backyard or rooftops, we have complete coverage of all the cost factors that are going to come your way
Your investment can be anywhere between $500-$1000 pertaining to the category of items and tools you prefer.
What do we need to start beekeeping? What’s the cost?
Before establishing how much does it cost to start beekeeping.
- There are certain factors that we need to consider that will determine how much does it cost to start beekeeping.
- The quality as well as the brand of devices and materials.
- The kind of bees that you intend to keep
- Capacity needed for the beehive, and the colony’s size.
- Whether you choose to create the beehive from scratch or purchase one.
Obviously, for beekeeping, we must get swarms of bees first.
The most common way is purchasing a bee package. Such packages are readily made available by large-scale apiary management in the month of April. You will get a box comprising 3 pounds of bees including mated queen bee.
Now, there are several ways to obtain these boxes from the management. First, get them straight away from the providers if this service is available in or near your area. If not, purchase it online. They will ship the boxes to your doorsteps. Some areas have bee clubs who get these boxes collected and later on distribute to their members. You can be charged anywhere between $100-$130. Whichever model suits you, get your box that way.
The second convenient method of acquiring your colony of bees is through buying a nucleus hive. A nucleus hive is a small assortment of bees. The hive contains five sets of bees, brood, pollen, nectar, and a fertile young queen bee. Such hive packages can be easily bought from the local apiary during April.
The estimated cost for this investment is going to be around $125-$175.
Lastly, you can opt for getting a split hive. This is costlier than regular nucleus hive as this contains flourishing hybrids. Some of the sets are expelled out of the box and superior varieties are transferred to another box. This new box is sold as split hives.
The cost for these boxes ranges from $150-$350.
Nevertheless, you are always free to catch a wild swarm of bees (only if your daring enough and not allergic to stings). We often observe a colony of bees establishing their combs on the garden tree, in the household verandah, and even on terraces. Otherwise, call some specialists to get hold of the bees and catch them for managing.
This completely cuts off your cost for buying bees. You got them for free now!
Make sure to get a bee suit and gloves as this will be helping you throughout your beekeeping culture.
The beehive kit
For beginners in beekeeping, a beehive kit could be a perfect solution. A beehive kit comprises of equipment that you’d need in beekeeping. These equipment include; a complete beehive that’s treated as well as painted, as well as bee frames. What’s amazing is that some of these bee frames can offer flow honey extraction. This flow of honey extraction allows you to get your honey easily and fast.
Just to give you a brief overview of variability in beehive kits. We have a quick competitive analysis of two premium kits.
What’s inside Build a beehive 10 frame deluxe kit? Check below to know.
- One 10-frame 6-5/8 inch wooden
- Hive tool
- Fittable gloves
- Bee smoker
- Bee smoker fuel
- Ten sheets of plastic foundation
- Inner cover
- Top bar frames of 6¼ inches (10)
- Entrance reducer
- A bottom board
Best for both beginners as well as advanced beekeepers. The only glitch to address here is that some people may find it challenging to assemble all the components together. This kit comes with a money-back guarantee in case users are not satisfied. It contains easy to lift hive and is expandable further if you want to add more items to your compilation. The only equipment missing here is honey extractor otherwise it perfectly enfolds all the tools high in quality and well-organized manner.
Secondly, we have a classic Flow Hive cedar 6 frame Langstroth beehive kit.
This kit contains:
- 8 standard frames without foundation
- 6 flow frames
- Flow keys
- Flow tubes
- Inner cover
- Bottom board
- Queen excluder
Made with western cedar, this kit is designed innovatively to enable honey extraction without the need for the extractor.
The roof protects colonies during rain and intense sunlight. Resistance from fungus and pests is also provided. The incorporation of honey flow tubes and flow keys makes the extraction process much simpler.
You will get a user manual for the quick assemblage of all the pieces of equipment.
There are also kits with 20 frames, some with double brood boxes and shallower super boxes. The price goes on increasing as the more features come in.
You find to get a high-quality beehive kit for only $250. That’s on average.
If you may not prefer to purchase all your seeking equipment in one kit. Well if you’d only want the basic equipment, which is the beehive.
There’s a need for you to decide which kind of beehive you’d prefer to use. Whether it’s a flow hive that’s equipped with the honey flow extraction.
There exist variation in the price of a beehive depending upon type, quantity, export, and shipping cost.
The additional components for hive include the bottom board, foundation, top covers, and inner covers.
As a starter, it’s advantageous to opt for medium-sized and shallower hive bodies. Not to wonder much about hive body, it’s just a box-like area at the bottom of the hive containing bees and frames.
The deeper the location of the box, the better is the hive. This is because deeper locations hinder the influence of temperature fluctuations and other climatic adversities from reaching the frames.
Many of you might be thinking to go for second-hand hives to limit the expenses. But wait, we have something to beware of!
Choosing the used beehive may lead to disastrous results later on. It may retain residual strains of diseases suffered by previous occupants.
It can be contaminated with several other harmful chemicals too. You never know! Better to eradicate this risk by going for new pieces of equipment.
Kindly note that many beekeepers have the opinion that the foundation doesn’t find any requirement for starting beekeeping while some prefer it.
Foundation inserts are the foldings of wax or plastic in the form of hexagons. They are named so because bees use these inserts to begin comb formation. They come in different types and colors.
Further, the foundation needs to be replaced from time to time as it readily keeps absorbing chemicals from the environment and the bodies of bees who wander all around in search of nectar.
It’s worth mentioning here that most of the experienced beekeepers strongly recommend beginning with two sets of hives.
You can compare between the two as to how healthy, progressive and functional your hives are. Then optimize the performance accordingly.
However, we can estimate the price of a quality beehive at around $150.
A Bee smoker.
A bee smoker is a device that can be used to calm down bees. This equipment is mostly used during honey extraction.
It’s used to bring down the beehive frames. It is advisable to use a bee smoker, it can be useful in unforeseen occasions.
Also in an emergency where the colony might be reacting aggressively and the situation becomes difficult to control.
You can get a bee smoker for only $20
Other necessary equipment that you might require in beekeeping include;
- The bee smoker fuel which will cost you an average of $10
- A bee suit that is used to protect the beekeeper from stings while harvesting honey. It’s advisable to get a high-quality bee suit for maximum protection. A bee suit should cost $60-90 on average.
- Quality beekeeper gloves for only $10
- Durable bee feeders for only $10
- Beehive tool that costs $10
- Equipment for harvesting honey that is approximately $100-400.
- A knife for cutting off honey bars from time to time.
- A bee feather for sweeping the bees away from the honeycombs.
Mite control and management
Mites keeping and beekeeping often go together. To get rid of these undesired insects, we recommend learning mite management strategies too along with the bees.
There exist a variability in techniques for mite control. You need to figure out which one works best for you based on your own circumstances.
The most common during the recent years have been varroa mite devastation as reported by novice beekeepers.
Apart from this, beware of too hot summer, chilling winters, wet springs, colony collapse disorder, and small hive beetle infections.
The mite treatment, at most, may compel you to spend $200. However, this price can just be $20 for the well-controlled atmosphere.
A beehive is undoubtedly an essential basic framework for beekeeping but simple hive won’t work well.
The hives need to be lacquered or polished with some protective elements. The further add-ons are hive stand for perfect positioning and bottom board for proper ventilation.
The estimated cost for this can be $20 per hive.
We would like to believe now that you can estimate how much does it cost to start beekeeping.
Kindly note that the above figures are the best prices we could find for essential beekeeping equipment.
Hence we can conclude by saying that, by adding the above expenses, it should amount to roughly $970. This is a high-quality beehive set.
But you can as well go for the cheaper one for approximately $400.
Although you can go for used equipment, there is always a risk associated with it. The diseases, infestations and other hazards are the used items may destroy your hives.
Starting with the two hives is a wise decision. Always wear a bee suit, bee veil, and the gloves properly before interacting with bees.
Write down all your requirements and essential tools, start with the basic ones and cut down extras for now.
You can get them later on as you flourish your farm business. Then, decide your final set of equipment.
By doing so, you will be managing everything well in a cost-effective manner.
So, here you’re. You are all set to kickstart your beekeeping venture. Good luck folks! We hope you have some great time and experience.