Just how expensive is it to rent a colony of bees?
Between $10 and $180, depending on the season. When you rent a colony of bees, you aren’t just shelling out for the insects—the per-colony rental fee typically covers the cost of transporting the bees, setting up the hive and collecting the colony at the end of the contract. Colony rental prices are highest from early February to mid-March, during the pollination season for almonds.
Prices are higher than they used to be: Increased demand overall, combined with a reduction in supply as a result of Colony Collapse Disorder, has made costs double or even triple in recent years.