Beginning beekeeping

Asked January 15, 2017, 9:57 AM EST

I have been interested in starting a hive for some time. I would like to take a class and obtain starting materials, however the costs of both were a bit surprising. Do you have any suggestions on resources for low-cost supplies or grants for starting out?

Kind Regards,
Danielle B.

Macomb County Michigan beekeeping

1 Response


Basically, beekeeping is an expensive hobby. I would not recommend buying used boxes and frames to save money. If you would like to try and lower investment costs, you could read up on a technique called top-bar beekeeping. This is the standard method for beekeeping in many parts of the world. Mainly because a hive body and frames can be built with scrap wood. Even then, it is only cheap if you have the space and availability of scrap wood to slap together. You can also buy pre-fabricated top-bars, but they are costly because it is a fashionable niche method to keep bees right now.

You can scrimp some money buying hive kits. The most widely available kits are Langstroth dimensions. You would need the space and modest technical ability to put them together. It is a bit like putting together Ikea furniture.

Some places in Michigan to get kits:
Napoleon Bee Supply in Napoleon
Dadant & Sons Inc in Albion
AWS Bees in Flushing
TM Klein & Sons in St. Charles
J & T Beekeepers in Saginaw