My first year with a 2 pound package offered hardly any honey. They spent that first year building up their colony, and getting the wax on the frames.
If I had killed them in the winter, it would have been nearly a waste. It cost me somewhere around $50-$60 for that package, and really all I received was almost two boxes of finished comb. If I had started the next year with a new package (and this comb) I can't see that THAT year would be all that great either. Considering you can't even GET bees until April at the earliest, and it would take a couple months for the hive to build up to a strong colony, I can't see that I'd receive much honey AGAIN. I just don't see how it works out to be any sort of gain for a small beekeeper. Maybe it can be for large beekeeping businesses, who probably get a discount on packages anyway because they buy in the hundreds.
We've had this talk before, and even though many people in the world do this sort of thing, I think it's more of a waste than a plus. But I see this kind of thing all the time here in the country. Many farmers get rid of much of their livestock before winter so they don't have to worry about the cost of feed during the winter - horses sold off to auction / only to go back out in the spring and buy a new one, chickens butchered / and new chicks started in the spring. But I don't really see how it saves them money......
They sell the horse for $500, to save feeding it $200 in feed - but then go out and buy a horse in the spring, and spending $1000 because the prices are back to normal. Same with chickens...... 25 hens might cost $30-$50 to feed over the winter, but so what. It's gonna cost more than that to feed baby chicks till they get to laying age if you restart in the spring, plus the additional cost of the chicks themselves.
Ignore me.... I'm rambling. :)