There are multiple hives and plans with the same basic name here. Use the search bar at the top left of this page if you do not see exactly what you want and came here by a search engine. Use the "Older Posts" hyperlink at bottom for more hives. For a larger photo, click on the photo. Got Small Hive Beetles? Use the traps in our Build It Yourself section and get the upper hand.

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January 8, 2009

Beekeeping 101

Regardless of the design you pick, there are some construction and management decisions to consider first. We can further break these down into these categories: Budget, Construction/Purchase of Equipment, Acquiring the Bees, Training/Management/Education and Rewards. Let's look at each category.
  • Budget.
The cost of beekeeping can range from zero to several hundreds of dollars for a single hive. Cost has many times prevented new beekeepers from trying it and has also caused some current beekeepers to stop. The costs come from several areas:
  1. Initial Training: This may have been your beekeeping course or the expense of attendance to seminars and events.
  2. Equipment: This usually the most expense. In addition to your hive for bees generally you will need some basic equipment to start. You do not however need to purchase some as many items can be adapted or made by yourself. Many times beekeepers have extra equipment that might be available for free or a reduced cost. Ask around. See the "Basic Equipment" page on this site for more information.
  3. Feed: We often think of other animals when we talk of animal food. Bees can be self substaining, but usually are provided supplemental foods by the beekeeper. Sugar and pollen patties are the most common feed. Other food sources such as various grains are also feed to the bees at times.
  4. Disease/Pest Controls: These costs are determined by your approach to beekeeping and if you are visited by pests.