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  • Writer's pictureCJ Turner

The Price of Priceless: The Cost of Being a Beekeeper


When I decided to begin beekeeping around 4 years ago, I had no idea what I was getting into. All I knew was I wanted to help in the fight to save the bees, and have a little sweet honey along the way. Little did I know, I would fall in love and make the decision to make beekeeping a part of my everyday life. It truly has been a priceless experience for me. However, as soon as I started researching the supplies I would need to begin this hobby, I was quickly made aware of its cost.


Here is a breakdown of the supplies that one needs to start beekeeping. It is also important to note that your local beekeeping society might offer equipment rentals as a way to mitigate the cost. If you want to be a beekeeper, there are definitely ways to make it work.


The following are what I would suggest purchasing prior to starting a hive. I have provided the Amazon links for these supplies, however, there are many places you can purchase these items. I would also suggest looking at bee stores in your area and seeing if they have any sales or lower prices. We love to support small businesses!


The Hive

PRO TIP - When starting out, get a hive starter kit. ($99.95 on Amazon).

This kit will have almost all of these hive supplies included at a fraction of the cost.


*A Note: The links I have included are all assembled boxes with frames included*


Deep: $65 on Amazon

The hive deep is the first box of your hive and should be placed at the bottom. It is generally where the majority of the brood is located, and when starting off a new hive, it should be the initial box you place your bees in. Some choose to do two deeps, while others only stick with one. It is up to you how many you want to use after the initial deep.

Medium: $65 on Amazon

Medium Boxes will generally go on top of your deep and are, as the name suggests, less deep than the deep box. Bees will start filling this up with honey, and you will eventually need multiple of these as your bees begin filling up the hive with all their goodies.

Honey Supers: $71.95 on Amazon

Once your bees have sufficiently filled up 80% of their medium boxes, it might be time to add on a honey super. This is the box that will hold your precious honey that will eventually be harvested.

Queen Excluder: $12.79 on Amazon

Your queen excluder will go in between your medium box and the honey super to keep any larvae/brood/etc. from making its way into the super.

Entrance Reducer: $7.06 on Amazon

This will help prevent hive robbing and keeping any critters from making their way into your hive.

Screened Bottom Board: $41.79 on Amazon

This will go at the very bottom of your hive and will help you monitor mite levels.

Inner & Outer Hive Cover

Tools

Hive Tool: $9.99 on Amazon

An essential in your beekeeping toolkit, this will help you separate your hive boxes and grab frames with ease.

Smoker: $29.99 on Amazon

This necessary piece of equipment will help calm your bees prior to opening up your hive. You must "smoke your bees" prior to doing an inspection, it will save you some stings.

Bee Brush: $6.44 on Amazon

This will allow you to brush bees off of a frame to get a better look or to clear them out of the way when you are reassembling your hive during an inspection.

The Outfit

You will definitely need one of these if you are wanting to avoid any stings. I highly suggest a ventilated suit, as it can get extremely hot when you are doing inspections.

Pest Supplies

Apivar Strips: $28.95 on Amazon

One of the greatest threats to the American honeybee is varroa mites. Treating your hive with Apivar strips is one of the ways you can help prevent hive loss due to these pests.

Dryer Sheets for Small Hive Beetles: $12.56 on Amazon

Placing a few dryer sheets on each box will help prevent hive beetles from making their way into your hive. You can also order something called a beetle blaster ($15.99 on Amazon), that you would fill with oil and is very successful in trapping small hive beetles.


* A Note: I have not included the supplies needed for honey harvesting*


Not only is beekeeping a financial investment, but it does require a lot of physical work Therefore it is essential for new beekeepers to be aware of the initial financial investment of beekeeping prior to started this awfully big and incredibly rewarding adventure.

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