Even though beekeeping isn’t a common hobby for many people, it’s an incredibly rewarding experience. Most would say that they want to help the environment and boost pollinator populations; however, few will actively do something about it. It’s no secret that this hobby can be costly, but it’s worth doing if you have the passion. If you’re wondering whether or not you can beekeep on a budget, consider a few helpful tips for saving money in your apiary.
Build Your Own Hive Stands
Beehives shouldn’t sit directly on the ground. Hive stands are a must for every beekeeper. For those in warmer climates that don’t get snow, a simple wooden pallet is all you need to keep your beehives off the soil. However, those who live in colder locations that experience multiple inches of snow every winter should build higher hive stands. These can consist of cinder blocks and pallets to keep it simple and cheap.
Use Foundationless Frames
Frames make up the inside of the beehive, but there are a few different types. Some frames have foundations to make it easier for bees to start building combs; however, foundationless frames may save you money in the long run. These frames are much cheaper to start, and they make it much easier for beekeepers to extract honeycomb while it’s still intact. With foundationless frames, you can cut the comb along the wooden edge to remove it from the hive.
Start with a wooden paint stirrer for your bees to begin building their combs in foundationless frames.
Share Honey Extractors With Others
Extracting honey is one of the most exciting parts of beekeeping, but it can also be one of the most expensive. Beekeepers place uncapped honey frames in an extractor that spins at high speeds. The centrifugal forces remove honey from the comb and allow it to drain into collection containers.
Unfortunately, extractors can be anywhere from 200 to 2,000 dollars, making them difficult to get for many people. Consider going in with other local beekeepers to buy one or see if your beekeeping club already has one for people to rent or use.
Assemble Your Own Hives
When looking for honeybee hives for sale, you might notice that some come already assembled while others come in pieces. You may be able to save some money by choosing those that require assembly. Even though it may cause extra work for you, putting your beehives together at home is an easy way to start your beekeeping journey on a budget.
Now that you know a few tips for saving money, you also know that beekeeping on a budget is possible. Although you may have to put more money into the project down the road, it doesn’t have to be an excessively costly hobby to start.