Beekeeping Budget: How Much Does It Cost to Start Beekeeping?

by | Sep 14, 2022 | Beekeeping 101

beekeeper holding honeycomb frame full of bees in apiary - How Much Does It Cost to Start Beekeeping is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon properties including, but not limited to,,,,, or

Beekeeping can be a rewarding hobby, but it’s important to understand the costs involved before getting started. When you consider all the essentials for beekeeping, a single new hive could cost around $150, clothing and equipment could cost around $160, and a package of new bees could cost between $125 and $150.

This article will dive into the beekeeping budget, discussing the key variables to consider and how much each can cost. This way, you can be better prepared financially for your new beekeeping adventure.

Financial factors to consider for a healthy beekeeping budget

The cost of getting started in beekeeping can vary depending on a number of factors. Some things to keep in mind are to be as fiscally responsible as possible and to choose quality over quantity when it comes to beekeeping equipment.

Here are some key variables that will affect your budget:

1. The number of hives

The number of hives you’ll need is one of the biggest variables in the beekeeping budget.

The biggest thing to think about is whether you want to build your own hive or buy one premade. A premade hive can cost anywhere from $200 to $600, while a do-it-yourself hive can cost around $100 to build.

To build a hive yourself, you’ll need to purchase wood, tools, paint, and hardware. The cost of these materials can vary depending on where you live and the sources of your supplies. Also, the number of hives should depend on how much space you have and how many bees you want to keep.

2. The location of your hives

Another factor that can affect the cost of beekeeping is the location of your hives. For example, if you live in an urban area, you may have to pay permits or registration fees in order to keep bees. These costs can range from $50 to $200.

In addition, the location of your hives will affect the cost of transportation. If you need to transport your bees long distances, you may have to pay for fuel and other travel expenses. At the end of the day, it is entirely up to the beekeeper to find the best location for their hives.

3. The cost of beekeeping supplies

The cost of beekeeping supplies can vary depending on what type of supplies you need and where you purchase them from. Some beekeeping supplies, such as hive boxes and frames, can be purchased for around $50 to $100. Others, such as bee suits and smokers, can cost anywhere from $20 to $200.

Sometimes, you can find rental or used supplies to keep costs down. However, it is important to make sure that these supplies are in good condition before using them. The last thing you want is your bees to get sick because of old or damaged equipment.

4. The cost of beekeeping classes

If you’re new to beekeeping, you may want to take some classes in order to learn the basics. Beekeeping classes can cost anywhere from $20 to $200, depending on the length and type of class.

Some beekeeping associations also offer apprenticeships or mentorship programs. These programs pair new beekeepers with experienced ones to teach them the ropes. Some programs may even provide beekeeping supplies or equipment at a discounted rate.

5. The cost of bee colonies

The cost of bee colonies can vary depending on the type of bees you want and where you purchase them from. Package bees, which come with a queen bee and a few thousand worker bees, can cost anywhere from $100 to $200. Queen bees can also be purchased separately for around $20 to $50.

Bees can also be caught in the wild, although this is not recommended for beginner beekeepers. If you decide to catch your own bees, you’ll need to purchase some supplies, such as a bee net and smoke bombs.

6. Keeping pests away and pesticide costs

As a beekeeper, you’ll need to take steps to keep pests away from your hives. This includes things like mites, ants, and wax worms. There are a number of products on the market that can help with this, such as insecticide sprays and chicken wire. The cost of these products can vary depending on which ones you choose.

Pesticides are also a necessary part of beekeeping. These are used to keep hive-killing pests away, such as the Varroa mite. Pesticides can be purchased for around $20 to $50.

Consider winterization for your hives

Winterization is the process of preparing your hives for the winter months. This usually involves adding more honey to the hive and insulating it to protect the bees from the cold.

Wooden beehives covered with snow among trees

The cost of winterizing your hives can vary depending on the type of materials you use and how many hives you need to winterize.

Overall, the cost of winterization is relatively low. The most important thing is to ensure that your hives are properly protected from the cold weather. This way, you don’t have to keep buying bees and starting over every year continuously.

How much is honey extraction?

Honey extraction costs will depend on the amount of honey you want to harvest, how many hives you have, and what type of equipment you use.

Honey extraction is simply the process of removing honey from the comb. This is usually done with an electric honey extractor, although it can also be done by hand.

Honey extractor equipment spinning uncapped frames


The cost of basic honey extraction equipment can range from $100 to $500. The cost of an electric honey extractor can range from $200 to $500. The cost of a manual honey extractor is usually around $100.

If you only want to harvest a small amount of honey, you can probably get away with doing it by hand. However, if you want to harvest large amounts of honey, you’ll need to invest in an electric honey extractor.

Professional Beekeeper Checking Hives

Hiring a professional

The cost will be higher if you want to hire someone to extract the honey for you. The price of hiring a professional honey extractor can range from $30 to $100 per hour.

Bottle Of Honey In Mason Jar

Bottling honey

Also, you need to consider how much it would be to bottle honey. Bottling honey can range from $0.50 to $1.00 per ounce, depending on your bottle type.

Total costs to become a beekeeper

With all the variables considered in becoming a beekeeper, you’re looking at total costs between $600 to $1,200 to get started. But, of course, this doesn’t consider the cost of beekeeping courses or the ongoing costs of maintaining your hives and harvesting honey.

The best way to keep your costs down is to purchase used beekeeping equipment and buy your bees in bulk. You can also join a beekeeping club or association to help you get discounts on beekeeping supplies.

The most important thing is to research and ensure that beekeeping is the right hobby for you. Then, once you’ve decided it is, be prepared to invest time and money into this rewarding hobby.

Read our article How to Start Beekeeping: A Beginners Guide for more information how to successfully start a beehive.


The cost of beekeeping can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the type of bees you want to keep, the location of your hives, and the cost of beekeeping supplies.

Beekeeping is a rewarding hobby that can provide you with plenty of fresh honey. However, it’s important to know the costs before you start.

By taking the time to understand the various expenses involved, you can make sure that you are prepared for the financial aspects of beekeeping.

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