When I suggested to my wife in December, I was “starting to feel a stirring” to get into honeybees…I prefaced my newfound interest by promising I would not spend money we did not have. 😉
There is definitely a knack to dreaming dreams and not letting money (or the lack thereof) from stifling ones ability to plan.
I got a little cash for Christmas, so I used that to pay for the six week beginning beekeeping class offered through a local community college ($35)
Out in my wood shop, I had some 1 by 12 pine boards just sitting around, got on-line and found some Do It Yourself plans for building the hive boxes.
Mid February, I met with a woman who wanted to learn how to prune apple trees. She spent the morning with me pruning, and over the course of our time together, shared, she herself had a small apiary, and if I did get honeybees, I was more than welcome to use her honey extracting equipment come August…
In addition to the cash from Christmas, I had a small reserve of petty cash from people who have tipped me over the past year….normally, that is my coffee fund (Starbucks/ french roast/ beans/ not ground) but feeling as strongly as I do about getting a bee hive (or two), I decided to dip into that.
I did some work last Fall for a local electrician who offered to sell me one of his nucs this spring (A Nuc is a new bee colony with 3 to 5 frames of bee larva, eggs, etc). It is a great way to get a jump-start on raising a new colony.
So after totaling up what two complete hive boxes, frames, smoker, gloves, bee hat, hive tools, bees would cost, the total came to $900.00. I created a go-fund-me site a few weeks ago with a $1000 target goal. (Go-fund-me and all of their related fees costs just under 10% of what you raise, so I figured, by the time I paid the fees, if $1000 came in, I would be set, and still live within my budget.
So yesterday, I sold some free range eggs to someone locally. Our four free range hens have found their egg laying groove again. They are laying more than we can eat, so I have started to sell them on a limited basis.
The four hens have not cost us a cent since before Christmas. 100% of their daily food intake has been coming in from foraging. I do not have an electric water heater for them this winter either (normally that runs $30 a month in electricity), and when you’re watching pennies, $30 is not chump change….Instead, I use two plastic coffee cans and make sure they have access to fresh water a couple of times a day…birds in the wild, if there is no water, will eat snow, and I’ve noticed the hens are doing that as well.
I am selling the free range eggs for $2.50 a dozen….so when I went out into the shop yesterday to get the $5.00 for the two dozen eggs…this is what I saw:
To date, counting yesterday’s gift, $370 has come in..which will pay for all of my initial gear, and the forty frames for one hive…enough to get started.
I have kept my promise.
I have not spent $ we do not have.
Lest you think I am a mooch, I/ we, have also been on the giving end of the equation, multiple times over the years.
I have a very detached attitude about money. I can give it away and receive it with equal grace.