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So I am a beekeeper, I only have one hive but I still qualify.
I have been contemplating writing a proposal to help interested people to get into beekeeping relatively cost free.
The cost was one of the things that made me put it off for many years partly because I had the attitude of what would I get out of it that was financially equivalent.
But it was the growing concern over bee populations that overcame that attitude but it was still not a small initial investment. It costs roughly $300-$600 to start with one hive, depending on several factors of course,
In my community they offered free rain barrels, up to 4 of them, and for anyone who has ever shopped for rain barrels they go for between $50-$100, so I know there is money for programs that benefit the community and the environment.

The basics of the program I had in mind would be offering a limited number of people, strategically spaced and who had to commit to a certain amount of training and education for certification that would be at cost to them. This could be gotten for less than $100 and probably less if done as a set group.

This would be an inattentive to get more people to start beekeeping but only target people who already had an interest.
It would also bolster peoples awareness of the importance of bees as well as hopefully build community as I have found people who keep bees love to get together and talk about what's going on with their bees.

The proposed offering would be for a single 2 box hive with frames, a package of bees, veil and gloves, smoker and hive tool. I would assume that bought in bulk by a city negotiating price, the whole offering would be around $300 each for the city, similar to the cost of rain barrels program in my city.

So, by a show of hands, if your city offered such a program, how would you feel about it?

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ThomasLevi 6 July 3

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Can a person keep bees in a city/town? Or does it have to be in country/rural areas?

I live near Chicago and I know people who live in the city who keep bees and they do quite well with them. Bees can be kept pretty much anywhere that has trees and flowers. They actually do better in cities than many farming areas because of the monocultures found on farms.


I have 4 hives and encourage everyone to become a bee keeper.


I have a two box system that seems to be like what you're describing and your prices seem a little steep. Granted I bought mine two years ago, but the whole shebang with suit was only $250. I had to buy some special winterizing stuff that first year bc I was stupid about getting my hive to grow, some education would have been awesome.

If you're buying or building in bulk, then it should be slightly cheaper?

I was including the price of the bees and I've priced them at between $100 and $150, even more if it's a nuc.
Also, if the frames have supplied foundation and if it's assembled or not makes a big difference in price.


I have the space for it was looking into it from what I was seeing it is getting more difficult to get honey bees.

Not so much more difficult but definitely more expensive. Unfortunately the environmental pressures humans are putting on the bees is in direct opposition to the natural pressures that would help them fight off what is currently wiping them out.


I mean, it’s a nice idea for something to do with other people’s money.

It is spending public money for the greater good, not unlike spending it to plant flowers that are just going to die or fireworks that are just going to be blown up for the small percentage of people who care or are able to see them. I would much rather that money be spend on bee hives even if I was unable to take advantage of such a program.

@ThomasLevi I see the value in it, truly. But you aren’t likely to get traction going to local government and asking them to fund an unproven project like this. If you could get a private donor to fund a pilot project, you could at least demonstrate that people will participate, and maybe collect some data to show a larger benefit.

@A2Jennifer well, where I live they spent money on water barrels hey gave hundreds, perhaps thousands, with zero requirements that they even be put into use. There is money for projects at this already.

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