I am looking to put bees out at the family farm and was wondering if any one has infomation on the cost of starting up bee keeping
I bought a starter kit from Apple Blossom Honey that had everything in it when I first began keeping bees this spring. The initial cost for the equipment was under $250. The shipping cost added another $150. Then I had to buy package bees for another $120.
I soon learned that 1 hive was not enough for me, so I ordered a cedar built hive off Ebay and caught a swarm for it. Then I found a guy who sold me 2 10 frame hives with bees for $200 a piece, so I had to buy more supers and hive bodies.
As summer was ending, I ran across an ad on Craigs List about a guy that was getting out of the business. He sold me two established hives, one with 4 supers of honey, a tree hive (part of a tree with bees in it), and a whole bunch of hive bodies, supers, queen excluders and bee suits for $200. The sale of the honey for that purchase more than paid for itself.
I don't recommend buying package bees. that hive is very week and may not survive the winter. Try and find someone locally who will sell you an established hive.
Do you mean to keep bees for honey production and profit, or just to have bees for pollination?
>>I don't recommend buying package bees. that hive is very week and may not survive the winter. Try and find someone locally who will sell you an established hive. Guess it depends where you are,
my 2 packages I installed 8 years ago did very good, they each builded up fast the first summer, [2deep brood box] and filled a bit more then one deep super each,...bees needed to draw all new foundation!
Make sure to feed until the brood chambers are full.
Just be careful when purchasing old equipment, our local club advised me to start with two package, [one to compare with], install in brand new equipment, then you know they're clean, [no American foulbrood spores] ....glad I did.
You might want to go to Beesource,...lots of information there!
Okay, having just bought two differing packages (one for myself, one on behalf of a friend) within the last week, I can give the following points of reference:
Bare Bones Setup:
My friend had a honeybee swarm in their front yard they decided to keep. I helped them get the absolute minimum setup they'd need for it. Was a single hive box, 10 frames (with wax sheets), baseboard, inner lid, and outer lid. Got lucky, when I told them I was going to use it on a swarm we already had, they let us have the pre-assembled display at the normal kit price.
For my hive, I decided to go ahead and start with a full "just get it all now" set (assembly required). Hive box, two honey supers, base, inner and outer lid (plastic base/lids for durability), queen excluder, half dozen 9 frame spacers (one pair for each box), 10 frames for each box (so I'll have spares), resin for sealing everything with, extra pins to hold the wax sheets in the frames with, and a couple of swarm lures.
If my lures don't work, I should be able to get a nuk (queen and three frame's worth of bees) for an additional $85.
So the range from bare bones "I'll get more as I need it" to "everything but the smoker and the suit" is going to be $150-$400.
I started with 5 packages my first year in all new equipment and got 400 lbs of honey. It happened to be an exceptionally good year.