"if you like having money on your account, beekeeping isn't for you"
I got a laugh out of this. The reality is that almost every hobby is expensive.... It is relative to how much $ you have though and what your goals are.
Compared to golf, woodworking, RC airplanes, etc.... Beekeeping is cheap.
I just got into it about 4 weeks ago so the costs are still fresh in my mind from a starting point.
$220 - 2 used hives with bees, 1 deep, 1 super, screened bottom board
$110 - gloves, hive tool, smoker, brush, hat, veil
$22 - long sleve white fishing shirt (I will use this for fishing too (I have been wanting one) found at Sam's. They are normally $40.
$160 - 50 med frames, 10 deep frames, 50 med wax foundation, 10 deep wax foundation, bee quick, frame grip, wire
YYY - wood to build medium supers ( have not purchased yet but expect this to be about $20)
That is a total of $512 so far. I don't expect much more expense until the spring.
By the way, everything I have been told and now know from research is that I got a very good deal on my hives and bees. Buying used helped alot and I think the timing just worked out and the beekeeper was just looking to get rid of them at a very fair price.
Woodworking is my other hobby that is far more expensive than beekeeping. Anyway, I can use my tools to build the woodenware and save a few bucks on that and besides I like doing it.
Now, maybe I am nieve, but the main reason I got into this was to get honey. Not many hobbies actually can pay for themselves or maybe make money. For us, we use over a gallon of honey a month and that equals at least $360 a year but is more likely closer to 1.5 gallons a month.
In FL, 100-120lbs is average output of a hive. I have two. That means 200 lbs or 16 gallons of honey (or more). That will definatley supply our honey needs for the year. So for us, a 1 to 1.5 year return on the investment does not sound bad and I think if I add one or two more hives then I will be able to sell enough and recover from issues that it will sustain itself money wise. I am fortunate to know a number of people that use alot of honey as well and selling to them a gallon at a time will not be difficult.
As I said, maybe I am crazy and of couse all of the above assumes that everything goes as planned and I know that is probably not reality. Even so, I can provide pollination for my garden (higher yield), local honey (some say helps with allergies and my family has them), a fun hobby, get to be looked at like I am crazy for playing with bees, get the satisfaction of eating our own honey, get to use it more as the cost will not be as big of an issue as it is now at about $30 a gallon, etc.
That is my take on it at the moment. I reserve the right to change my mind. :)