Start-up costs

How much will it cost to start beekeeping?

The truth is, beekeeping is an expensive hobby.

The price and quality of merchandise vary widely. Your first season can cost anywhere between $550 to $1,500. Some of what you may need will come down to personal preference. For example, do you prefer a full suit, a jacket/veil, or just a veil? Are you the gadgets type? Can you rent an extractor or do you have to buy one? We strongly suggest starting with two colonies. Two hives will give you flexibility and choices, more options for issues such as queen loss or hive disease. They will also let you compare the behaviour of the bees and help with that steep learning curve.

Below, we have endeavoured to put together some rough start up costs for equipment based on prices found in British Columbia in April 2022. The list includes: apparel, tools, hive components, feeding, honey harvesting and some "would be nice" extras. Remember to add the price of bee packages and/or nucleus colonies (nucs) to your cost. These prices change from year to year. In 2022, expect to pay around $250 for a package and $250 to $325 for a 4 to 5 frame nuc.

The take-home message is to budget and plan accordingly.

Be prepared for unexpected expenses - because they will happen!

Start-up cost at-a-glance for two hives (April 2022)

Equipment List + Start-Up Costs EXCEL.xlsx

Sample quote for one hive from a local supplier (April 2022)