Getting Started

Become a member

Beekeeping is a significant and important commitment. The OBA understands that new (or potential) beekeepers have special needs in terms of advice and questions.

In this section we provide you with information that will help you make the early important decisions leading to positive outcomes as a beekeeper.

New beekeepers will need to consider the time and energy that keeping bees requires. There is a difference between a ‘bee-haver’ and a ‘bee-keeper’. Buying bees and neglecting them will result in colony death, disappointment, and poses a biosecurity risk to other bees and beekeepers. Beginner beekeepers should prepare themselves to manage and care for a colony of honey bees as you would any other pet or livestock. Decisions will need to be made in regards to: budget, bee source, equipment style/source, management techniques, record keeping, bee yard location, honey production and much more.
As with any hobby or new undertaking it is important to consider financial input. To begin keeping bees consider budgeting for the following approximate expenses: 
Basic Hive Equipment: $500-$800
Veil/Bee Suit: $50-$250
Tools (Smoker/Hive Tool, etc): $100-$200
Bees (Nuc/Colony): $200-$450
Total to get started with one hive: $850 - $1,700
Honey processing equipment, jars, treatments, etc. are all extra expenses to be considered. Whether bees will be kept as a business venture or as a hobby it is important to remember that honey bees will produce honey. Plan ahead for honey production with extra honey supers and ways of extracting and processing honey produced by the bees.
When making decisions related to bee equipment style and management techniques ensure that you diversify sources of information and approach online opinion with critical thinking. The environmental conditions and beekeeping regulations in particular are areas where it is vital to seek information and advice from sources that are relevant to your particular area. Beekeeping can be very different in different parts of the world. Even other provinces in Canada have differing regulations from each other.