Hosting a Beehive- The Easiest way to Have Honey Bees


Beekeeping is a great way to help pollinate your flowers, fruit trees, shrubs, and add to the overall ecology in your neighborhood, on your property or the like. There are several barriers making keeping bees difficult, expensive, and inconvenient when done the traditional way. But thankfully some beekeeping businesses are offering Host a Beehive programs to increase access to local beehives.

8 Frame Honey Bee Brood Box
8 Frame Brood Box of Honey Bees

The Problem- Traditional Beekeeping

Traditional beekeeping is an art, a science, and a labor, and these are the aspects that can make it difficult and very time consuming. By traditional, I do not mean the method within managing the bees or the type of beehive, that is covered in an article about new types of beehives. The context of traditional beekeeping for this article, is the traditional way of keeping bees, which include:

  1. Researching equipment types, names, etc.

  2. Taking a beekeeping class or online beekeeping training.

  3. Determining what type of honey bee you would like to raise.

  4. Spending time determining your management strategy.

  5. Locating a mentor.

  6. Finding a location to keep the bees

  7. Ordering your equipment & ordering honey bees

  8. Feeding the bees and establishing their brood nests

  9. Managing bees approximately every 2-6 weeks.

  10. Locating or purchasing honey extraction equipment.

  11. Storing any non-wintering equipment where pests cannot get to them.

  12. Preparing the bees for winter.

  13. Replacing the 40-100% of colonies that do not survive winter.

Keeping bees comes with its share of cost, time, and sometimes extreme learning curves. I can contest to the learning curve and the cost of replacing lots of bees the following spring. Bees certainly are not cheap, and depending of how you decide to educate yourself at first can have a large impact on your initial success, or as I like to say your minimizing of failures.

No matter how intelligent you are, or the time you have put into researching, bees will always have their way of making us beekeepers humble. Even 40 year veterans with large commercial operations experience major setbacks due to weather, climate change, pests, and the like.

First Year Beekeeping Costs-

Beekeeping isn't a cheap hobby or venture, and often the costs out weigh the physical benefits. Now, I understand the social and self benefits of a hobby, and only you can determine the value of that. However, to breakdown just the setup costs for the first 12 months for each hive may help you decide if traditional or hosting a beehive is best for you-

  • Hive Kit- $300

  • Beekeeping Suit- $150

  • Package of Bees- $150

  • 4 Honey Supers and Frames- $360

  • Misc tools, supplements, fencing, etc.- $100-700

  • Honey collection tools- $50-600

  • Jars- $75

  • New spring bee order (1st year chances of kill ~75%)- $150

  • Management time- 6 hrs/ year per hive ($50 hr)

  • Total = $1,335-2,785

We have many conversations about the cost of beekeeping with new beekeepers and when we first talk to them buying bees they talk about the low cost of keeping bees. When we discuss with them in the fall of following spring (buying replacement bees) they talk about how much more expensive it was then they thought. I am not trying to scare anyone off, but just provide the information for you to decide. Bees CAN pay themselves after years of service and after you become a better beekeeper once you can keep your losses at or under industry standard annual honey bee losses.

host a beehive

Hosting Bees-

Hosting bees from Kinnickinnic Bees is a low cost, no maintenance way in keeping bees. Hosting a beehive takes most of the cost and all of the time out of having bees at your property to help pollinate your garden, trees, shrubs and plants.

How Does Hosting a Beehive Work?

Hosting is as simple as filling out a beehive assessment form, and then the beekeepers will typically assess the property and make sure it fulfills the honey bees and beekeepers needs, as well as assess for any necessary permits or notifications from a city, township or county. Once the site meets all screening then the property owner, or renter can enjoy the bees and honey crop without any needed labor. There is no limit on the number of beehives you can have (unless city ordinances or for practical sakes), assuming reasonable quantities in neighborhoods or smaller property.

What is Included in Hosted Beehives?

Included in each Hosted Hive-

  • Custom built Kinnickinnic Bees insulated beehive w/ stand and sloped cover.

  • Honey Bees- We replace any bees or queens that are under performing at no additional costs for as long as you are

  • A beekeeper to manage your hive as needed.

  • Each hive guarantees 15 pounds of honey from your hive*

  • Year round placement of the hive and all the management of the hive provided by Kinnickinnic Bees.

*Due to weather or other factors, there are cases in which the hive at your location cannot produce the 15 pounds. In those cases we pull honey from another local beehive to fulfill the 15 pounds of raw local honey.

If you've ever wanted to keep bees but haven't had the time or knowhow to get started, or simply do not want to spend the time. Hosting a beehive is the perfect way to help save the bees while they pollinate your property and gather as local of honey for you as it gets.

Maybe after all, you can have your honey and eat it too, I'm pretty sure I just made that up.

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