Starting Costs For Bee Keeping?

Aquatic_blue

Songster
May 14, 2019
300
576
173
Southwest USA
One day I would love to do some bee keeping when we get a bigger plot of land in a more rural setting. It seems like it has some expensive start up costs (the suit, assembled hive boxes, honey extractor, etc. etc.). It seems that one could easily spend a few hundred dollars without the bees.
 

Freschick

In the Brooder
May 20, 2020
5
14
34
Central Valley, CA (zone 9)
Bee-Keeping can be pricey, and stressful with the number of hives you can lose from year to year. But it can be very rewarding, especially when you have an orchard and/or large garden for them to pollinate. We make enough honey that we've started brewing mead.
Outlay can be anywhere from $100-500 depending on how many hives you're going to have. You'll need the hive itself, the veil and hat, gloves, but i've worked hives in a white sweatshirt and jeans. You just don't want to look like a bear, you know?
It's a lot of fun, and I hope you give it a go.
 

Aquatic_blue

Songster
May 14, 2019
300
576
173
Southwest USA
I've seen plenty of documentaries where bee keepers lose their bees. That part does seem stressful - to invest so much work and then lose a whole hive or more than one hive.

Sounds like your efforts have been rewarding! Awesome!

Oh yes, I've been reading books about beekeeping and there's so many cool things about bees. They did mention that you don't want to go out in dark colors and take care of them as they may thing you are a predator. Words of wisdom, I suppose!

Sounds like fun =) I would love to be able to get my own honey one day and help the bee population out. I hope I get the opportunity some time!
 

Flockincrazy

Crowing
May 23, 2020
2,372
5,070
356
Elyria, Ohio
One day I would love to do some bee keeping when we get a bigger plot of land in a more rural setting. It seems like it has some expensive start up costs (the suit, assembled hive boxes, honey extractor, etc. etc.). It seems that one could easily spend a few hundred dollars without the bees.
Why would you not build the boxes yourself it would save you a ton of money and they're not hard to make i made some for a friend of mine took me 2days to build 6 of them and unless you are allergic you don't need a suit i go with my friend to get honey from her bee's no suit just long sleeves and pants
 

MarkJr

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
Jun 15, 2020
4,786
25,431
631
I can buy wood ware for a few dollars more than making my own. No outlay of tooling either.

Warre and Top Bar hives can be built for 30-40 bucks per colony. Conventional langstroths get more expensive rather quickly. I don’t have the full bee suit. I use a veil, smoker and give tool. If they’re particularly feisty, I’ll use a long sleeve shirt and duct tape the sleeves.

I spent 150 dollars on a package of bees this spring, and have 3 now going into fall.
 

Flockincrazy

Crowing
May 23, 2020
2,372
5,070
356
Elyria, Ohio
I was just googling how to make hives now im gonna start doing it my husband said stop giving me ideas i have enough to do lol I only have 6 projects going on right now but I have ADHD and go from one to the other so I dont get bored and I will make the hives a cold weather project to get them ready for spring im so excited i love to build
 

Aquatic_blue

Songster
May 14, 2019
300
576
173
Southwest USA
Why would you not build the boxes yourself it would save you a ton of money and they're not hard to make i made some for a friend of mine took me 2days to build 6 of them and unless you are allergic you don't need a suit i go with my friend to get honey from her bee's no suit just long sleeves and pants

I don't have a clue on how to build things like that myself. Not sure where I would even start. From what I understand with bees is that the frames inside the boxes need to be specific dimensions and sizes - you don't want gaps that are too huge or too small because the bees accommodate for that by adding too much propolis or beeswax in spots that would make it difficult to get frames out easily. At least that is what I have read.

I don't think I'm comfortable enough around bees not to wear a suit =P I have no idea if I'm allergic or not, I don't think I've ever been stung by a bee.
 

MarkJr

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
Jun 15, 2020
4,786
25,431
631
If you keep bees, you will get stung.
I work my bees in a veil and T shirt. This time of year till spring flows I wear long sleeves and tape wrists and openings. They have a tendency to become hot during dearth. They protect what they have because it has to last till spring. I never glove up. I can’t feel bees gloved, and smooshing them gets them as riled us as if one stings you.
 

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