For anyone who is interested in beekeeping, one of the biggest questions is: how much does beekeeping cost in the UK? And while there is no simple answer, you can expect to pay anywhere between £350 to £500.
While beekeeping is definitely great for the environment, it’s not always as great for your bank balance! So to help you work out how much you need to spend on each piece of beekeeping equipment, let’s take a look at the basics and add it all up.
Self-assembly Beehives Cost
A self assembly beehive, also known as a flat pack beehive will typically cost anywhere between £130 to £150. Typically, assembling your own beehive will take approximately 1 to 2 hours depending on the hive type you purchase. On Amazon.co.uk, a self-assembly langstroth beehive starts at £135. However, it doesn’t come with frames or wax foundations.
Estimated Cost: £150
Fully Assembled Beehive Cost
A fully assembled beehive will typically cost an extra £100 to £150 on top of what you would pay for a self assembly beehive. This is a great choice if you don’t have the time or tools to set construct a beehive yourself. If you do, you can save yourself a pretty penny by going the DIY route.
Estimated Cost: £300
Beehive Frames and Wax Foundations Cost
Many beehives will already come with frames and wax foundations. But for those that don’t come with them, you can expect to pay between £25 and £50 for a set of 10 wired wax Foundation sheets and frames. Of course, this will depend on the Beehive type and the box that they will be used in.
Estimated Cost: £40
Protective Beekeeping Suit Cost
When you first get started with beekeeping, you are definitely going to want a protective beekeeping suit.the price of a beekeeping suit will vary depending on where you purchase it from. From a dedicated beekeeping supplier, you will pay anywhere between £60 to £100. On Amazon and eBay, you can expect to pay around £30 for a beekeeping suit with a veil, Queen catcher, beehive brush, gloves and hook.
Estimated Cost: £40
Cost for a Nucleus of Bees
Several factors come into play when it comes to working out how much to pay for a colony of bees. Everything from the type of honey bee to supply and demand can have an impact on the overall cost. However, to answer your question you should expect to pay somewhere in the region of £120 – £150 for a 5 frame nucleus.
Estimated Cost: £120
Beekeeping Tools Cost
Here we will list the two most important beekeeping tools that most beekeepers use.
The first beekeeping tool is the honey extractor, which typically start at around £180. As a beginner beekeeper, you will probably find it more economical to manually extract honey until you start introducing more hives.
The second beekeeping tool is the Beehive smoker. This will be the most affordable part of your beekeeping setup and typically costs between £20 and £40.
Estimated Cost: £200
Total Cost for Starting Beekeeping in the UK
You searched for how much does beekeeping cost in the UK? And the answer is anywhere between £350 -£400 for a self assembly beehive with all of the above accessories and between £400 – £550 for a fully assembled beehive with all accessories.
You can, of course, opt to purchase second-hand beehives and equipment. But while this can save you a lot of money up front, you run the risk of introducing diseases and parasites into your new colony of bees.
And while your best option is to always buy from a reputable beehive retailer, don’t overlook the savings that online shopping platforms and auction sites potentially have to offer you.
If you are still considering getting into beekeeping and want to learn more about the beehive basics, why not check out this blog post. Created with the beginner beekeeper in mind, it offers a wealth of useful knowledge and information to help get you started.