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How Much Will It Cost Me To Keep Bees?

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admin 

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I was chatting with a friend this afternoon who wants to take up beekeeping.

They asked me how much it would cost to start up,I said how much I thought it would be and they laughed at me saying they had read on the BBKA main website from a FAQ list,A question asking How Much Will It Cost Me To Keep Bees?

 

jimbeekeeper 

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Admin how much did you say?

I would say

Hive
used approx £50
seconds (e.g thorne) £80 as flat packed
or £150 + (depending on source) for pre built

Bees
nuc £0 - £180 but an average of £110 for 5 frames

Suit
£40 - £100

Tools (smoker, hive tool, etc etc) about £50

Extractor £50 + Average £100 for most peoples use


So about £350 - 500 to start off for one hive. But the above items only the nuc cost would increase with more hive, maybe the extractor as well.

But pay-back could be as short as 2 years with honey/nuc sales.
 
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Busy Bee 

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Well, if i may shed light on the subject. Doing it reasonably right buying a new hive (Hivemaker), getting the clothing from e-bay and then eventally getting bees from someone in a proper Bee Keeping Society. Around £350-£400 and thants not going over board. Later on if you have honey to extract it could cost you anything up to £250 if you can't get a lend of an extractor. But you will still need to buy jars and buckets. But don't be to concerned about this as I feel it may be the following year before you can get any amount of honey. No honey if you get a late Nuc of bees as they will need this for winter strores.

Last year I got a Nuc around Mid June and had no honey to collect as the weather here was absolutely brutal - 4 days a week rain until end of August Mid September. ~Bees got a late ivy crop and that was it!

Hope this helps as it is what I have experienced.


Busy Bee
 

admin 

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Admin how much did you say?
I said that you would need ?500

I realise you could build a TBH yourself and borrow your mums net curtains and her wedding hat then do a crush and strain for a harvest but how many mainstream people new to beekeeping are happy to go down the diy route.
 

David P 

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I would actually say a little higher as that avoids dissappointment later on. Certainly £500 will start you off, but in my experience the second year cost is more significant as you realise that you want more than one hive, will want spare kit for swarm control etc etc.
I realise that it can be done for less and that the question was to start , but im sure we dont want lots of new keen beekeepers giving up because of a second year investment.
In addition its worth pointing out that once youve bought the kit it should last a long long time.


Any way got to go now i want to see if any of our freinds from the darkside will sell me a good second hand hive with bees for £60.00



David
 

jimbeekeeper 

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I forgot to add frames and foundation and proabaly a few more bits so £500 is about right!


WOW how much have I spent:confused: dont tell the other half:toetap05::toetap05::toetap05::svengo:
 

Poly Hive 

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I say it costs as much as taking up golf. Mind you I might be lying...lol

If I told you guys what it cost me to get going well... thank god I was offshore is all I can say.

PH
 

Hombre 

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Actually just checking the date/time

"Peak Honey" is hopefully far away. I'm sure that I will never try to count it, but little costs keep creeping in, so an unrealistic budget could cause concern to some newcomers. Particularly if they didn't have your geographical/occupational advantage.
 
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shonabee 

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You've forgotten something vital, y'know: the nice-steak-and-bottle-of-wine needed to convince the husband that it's a good idea :boxing_smiley:
Do most people start with one hive? That's what I'm planning on, although quite a lot of books seem to say two is a better number in case of problems, also as somethign to compare to.
 

Poly Hive 

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Most do yes and very rapidly realise they NEED a 2nd one to provide a frame of young brood to check if they are as Queenless as they think they are.

If you read a book and it advocates one hive only bin it please as if they are talking that much rubbish it's not worth reading.

PH
 

Jenxy 

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Shona, I plan on only having one hive...... initially anyway. It may be at the other end of the season, when I know a little more, that I get to "sneak" another one in... unnoticed
 

Roy S 

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A friend of mine recently got a Thornes "beekeeping on a budget" package, that included everything needed to start up with one hive - minus the bees that is, even down to smoker fuel!!!!....the extractor is a cheap and chearful manual tangential, but will do the job he needs, hive is also seconds but red cedar and OK. The only thing that was totally rubbish, but still functional was the veil/jacket!!, I also gave him a spare copper smoker I had rather than use the galvanised one in the kit which was big enough to go through an apiary of 40 hives!!!!
It cost him ?275 delivered to his door, I'm sure he could have got better quality for some things, but the kit allows him to take his time replacing things as he goes along that he finds dont suit him.

But all in all with a nuc too, the cost will be around ?400 for him to start off.
Not Bad I dont think, especially compared to the ongoing costs of some hobbies!!(one of my other hobbies is RC aeroplanes and helicopters, which I keep insisting I'm not spending any more money on.....and failing miserably :))
 

grizzly 

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I remember saying the very same thing to myself, Jenxy, just wait till you get those little fluffy things home and you have done your very first inspection.

You wont be able to help yourself !!. :D
 

hedgerow pete 

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it can be done alot cheaper, a prime example is me ,but it only works if like me you can obtain free ply wood timber, just happen to have a shed full of tools the knowlage to use them and a sewing machine i used a net fabric for under skirts stiff but black the jacket is made from my old frame tent cotton canvas and the head area is stiffend with piano wire i dont know which but try middle g,

BUT and its a BIG BUT
tool cost £1000
labour to machine and complete hive £10ph total 6 hours £60
Frames new firsts ( i dont used 2nds) 60@ £2inc wax = £120
sewing machine and material and labour £250
Travel costs shipping timber about ect. £120
total £1670 for one hive but all the rest are less, cheaper to go to thornes to get one. it only realy works out cheaper to make the suit not the timber parts, but just rember one thing every one thinks its a good idea to make your own suit untill you get stung and off to sherrif you will go, spend your money wisely but just enjoy your hobbie rather than being a slave to money. if you want advise to how to do these things just ask
 

shonabee 

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My plan is like Jenxy's, start with one and see how it goes over the summer. I'm incredibly lucky in that will be receiving a full colony + hive via the local assoc., so expansion before the winter may be realistic....
 
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