Cost of a hive
The cost of buying new woodwork for a basic 4 box hive would be about $160, this does not include nails and paint. However buying a second hand hive together with all the bees and food stores, you would generally expect to pay between $80 to $140 depending on the condition of the woodware, bee population and food stores. The Club would endeavour to have an experienced member check the hive with you, to see that it is disease free. You could expect to pay more if there is a honey crop on the hive. A box full of honey would contain about 20 kg of honey, which is considerable value in itself and would offset the initial cost. Other items required are overalls, hat, veil, gloves, smoker and hive tool; again these items are cheaper if bought second hand.
A properly run hive in the town are should yield between 50-60 kg (some will produce 100 kg) of honey per season. Hives in the rural areas are generally more dependant on the seasonal variations.
It would pay to do a little research by accessing the books available at the public library or the Club library, but remember that most books are written with respect to the Northern Hemisphere.
More information on beekeeping available www.nba.org.nz