How much does it cost to start beekeeping?

The initial cost of beekeeping can be intimidating for new beekeepers. You'll need to invest in supplies such as a hive, proper protective clothing, a smoker, and a hive tool. You can make one quite easily if you have the tools and skill, otherwise add the cost of a hive bracket to your account. However, if you actually read the bee book, he will most likely recommend starting with at least two hives and two colonies, so you can double the cost of wood and bees.

There are plenty of other things you'll probably want to buy in the future, such as more bee boxes and a honey extractor, but the above is what you'll need to get started. I didn't include the cost of the double compound fracture of my leg that took me to the hospital twice, the titanium rod that I still have inside, and the rehabilitation that was painful and boring. We strongly recommend starting with 2 colonies to increase the odds of not having to start completely over in the second year if it's within your budget. And don't forget, you'll most likely need some type of feeder for each hive, especially for packages to start in spring.

We recommend that all hives be made of wood and the cost of your hive will depend on your choice. You can buy a kit that gives you the bare minimum needed to start a hive and add components as you go. However, we realize that this significantly affects your cost to start beekeeping, so make sure you can afford it. The costs of beekeeping, both in time and money, are something that many people can't commit to until later in life, when they retire (plenty of time) and children are away from home (more money to spend on themselves).

Unfortunately, much of the cost of beekeeping is upfront, so it's always advisable to go to a course that allows you to handle bees before you decide to take the plunge. Only recently did a supplier on the island begin manufacturing its own components for hives, reducing some of the costs.

Erika Shipley
Erika Shipley

Subtly charming beer nerd. Extreme internet specialist. Devoted travel junkie. Proud coffee maven. Friendly problem solver.