Everything considered, the small time hobbyist beekeeper probably won't quite break even. A well managed colony in a decent area will produce about 100 lbs. of honey per year. At $1.75 per lb. retail or $175.00 that does seem nice, until you start to consider equipment cost of more than $150.00 for each hive; then there's extracting, bottling, transportation, marketing, hive maintenance, medication costs, requeening, etc. etc.. However, frugal spending and diligent management can keep these costs to a minimum. The real value is in the opportunity to practice the age old art of beekeeping - the hands on personal experience of manipulating, and managing a hive that houses one of the most fascinating organisms on the planet. Honeybees are a gentle, and truly wonderful insect in many important ways. I could go on and on about the bees, and their value as pollinators. I could cry about the hard times facing the beekeeper, but hard times seem to be going around. Much of society does not seem to realize how much we depend on honeybees.