As with any dog, there are exceptions to the standards, and not every beagle is created equal.
A year ago, I fostered a little beagle girl who was about 3 years old. She was calm and easygoing, quiet (I heard her whine ONCE and she never barked while with me), totally and completley not food motivated (the only thing I could get her to do anything for was a Benny Bully), and all the excercise she needed was one half hour walk per day. I gave her more, but she'd just sleep after. She was very well trained, and totally ignored my cats.
She was a complete and utter doll to have around, and I'd have kept her in a heartbeat if I'd been able to.