Today, many people are turning into beekeepers as part-time hobbies.
This is because they love keeping bees, or the possibility for it to be a lucrative activity in the long run.
While there is a possibility of making money in the long run, you probably wonder whether beekeeping is an expensive hobby.
So, Is Beekeeping an Expensive Hobby?
Beekeeping is a relatively expensive hobby because you would require a good amount of cash as an initial investment. However, after the initial investment, the expense needed for beekeeping will go down to acceptable levels.
Generally, beekeeping can be an expensive hobby because of the needed initial investment. How expensive it is for you will also depend on the type and quality of the equipment you plan to use and the size of your operation the end, you should expect to spend about $1000 to $1200 to start beekeeping as a hobby, the amount can buy honey bees, two hives and the basic equipment needed to make your beekeeping hobby successful.
What is the Cost of Starting Beekeeping as A Hobby?
With more and more people realizing how beneficial the beekeeping hobby is, many want to be keepers.
However, similar to any other hobby, you will require to spend some cash to kickstart your journey as a beekeeper.
Most beginner beekeepers and other individuals interested in beekeeping often underestimate the startup cost and ongoing beekeeping expenses.
So, how much does it really cost to begin your beekeeping hobby?
Here is a breakdown of the initial beekeeping expenses;
1. Honey Bees
You can’t do beekeeping without bees. This means they are the essential part of your initial investment.
Most individuals buy their bees online, but it’s recommended to purchase the bees as close to where you live as possible to decrease the shipping time and stress exerted on your bees.
The two common ways of buying honeybees are
- package bees
- or nucleus hives.
Several beekeeping groups and large-scale beekeeping operations allow you to purchase packaged bees at a fair price.
The package bees often include three pounds of bees and a young queen.
The package often costs $100 to $140, which is relatively affordable.
This is one of the best ways to jumpstart your beekeeping journey because of what you are getting at a good price.
Alternatively, you can opt for a nucleus hive.
This involves a fully functioning hive with everything the bees require to establish a great colony.
This includes brood, comb, beebread, and all the types of bees, including an already accepted queen by the colony.
This makes the hive more stable.
A standard nucleus hive has five frames and is available in both mediums and deeps.
However, this option is more costly than buying a package of bees.
They normally cost between $130 at the minimum and about $180 at the maximum. You can also get full hives that are bigger and already established at around $150 to $350.
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2. The Hive
If you did not buy the bees packaged in a full hive, you would need to purchase one.
Bees live in a hive, so they should consider purchasing the hive before getting the bees.
More so, the hive is important on your side in helping you collect honey from the bees.
The Langstroth hive is a commonly used hive that features a bottom board, a stand, an entrance reducer, two deep boxes including frames and foundation, an outer cover, and an inner cover.
The honey supers that collect honey will begin to collect honey as soon as the bees produce a significant amount.
When starting, you should get medium-sized honey supers. A hive costs you about $150 to $300.
3. Other Essential Equipment
Beekeeping accessories are essential in helping you take care of your bees.
Although the bees can go about their business by themselves, you need to take care of them to ensure they survive well and are processing sufficient honey for you as a return of investment.
The equipment you require varies depending on various factors and conditions.
But at the very least, you will have to purchase protective gear to ensure you won’t end up being stung by the bees.
If you are on a budget, you should consider getting light protective gear.
These are also good because they won’t be as heavy and hot, although you may be susceptible to being stung by the bees.
To get thicker protective gear, you will have to spend more money.
Other essential gears you will probably require to include a bee brush, a smoker, a hive tool, etc. this will depend on your preference, but you should ensure you get protective gear.
Generally, you might spend about $100 to $300 on accessory equipment depending on the number of accessories you want to purchase and the quality of the equipment.
4. Pest control
One of the essential things to keep in mind is that pest infestation can cause the death of your beekeeping investment if you don’t control it.
While some beekeepers don’t find it essential for beginner beekeepers to invest in pest control, you don’t want to waste your effort and money due to pests invading and killing the bees.
This said, mites are the primary pests that can destroy your bee investment.
Based on the type of pest control you purchase, this investment can cost $20 to $200.
However, go for the more costly pest management system if you have the money because it will be worth it.
Other potential costs include pollen supplement and fee and beekeeping associations, and education.
Ultimately, if you are going for the cheaper cost, you will likely spend $350 on the initial investment.
However, if you want to go for the more costly and high-quality options, you might spend more than $1000.
With this, we can say that beekeeping is a relatively expensive hobby, particularly considering the initial investment you will need.
Fortunately, the initial cost is the most significant investment you will make as the maintenance and upkeep won’t require much.
If you need to add a new hive, you will only need to spend around $150, which won’t be a lot as you will already be making some money from the hobby.
Can You Make Money from Beekeeping?
Fortunately, the answer is yes! Beekeeping can give you profits from selling honey and other bee products, including; wax, venom, pollen, and propolis.
Currently, most of the honey consumed in America is imported, meaning there will be a ready market in your local area for your locally manufactured honey.
You can also earn money by renting your hive for pollinator services to farmers looking to pollinate their plants.
Alternatively, you can use your bees to pollinate your plants and sell the plants and seeds.
Another possible way to make money is mentoring other beekeeper beginners at a fee.
As long as you have gained sufficient experience as a beekeeper, you can make money from it.
However, you should lower your expectations of making money when pursuing beekeeping as a hobby.
In most cases, you won’t make a lot of money in the first one or two years, but after some years, you will sail smoothly as long as you take proper care of your bees and make the right decisions.
That’s it! We hope you now understand how costly beekeeping is as a hobby and what you need to kickstart your journey.
Generally, you will need quite a substantial amount to cover the initial cost of buying equipment, including bees and hives.