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Thread: Price Wars

  1. #1
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    Apr 2005
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    Auburn and Tri-Cities Washington
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    This may have been discussed here already but what is the cheapest place to buy hives and equipment? It seems there should be a one stop site or store that is cheapest. (LetÂ’s not consider shipping because I know that can make a big difference). Feel free to list your favorite sources in order of cheapest price.

  2. #2
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    Sep 2004
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    Devils Lake, North Dakota
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    Sorry......... no One Stop

    Boxes: Shastina Millwork (see For Sale)

    Complete Nuc's: Western Bee

    Small Cell Foundation: Southwest Bee

    Wood Frames: Browning Cut Stock

    General Stuff: Kelley's

    Stuff in a hurry....... Mann Lake (close to me)

    Boxes to avoid freight...... Mann Lake for pick up.

  3. #3
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    Apr 2003
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    Greenville, TX, USA
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    Isn't Dadant cheaper than Shastina for mediums?

  4. #4
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    Sep 2004
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    Devils Lake, North Dakota
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    No idea...... was quoted deeps.

  5. #5
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    Apr 2005
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    Auburn and Tri-Cities Washington
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    Do all the places you mention have web pages or do you have to call them?

  6. #6
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    Sep 2004
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    Devils Lake, North Dakota
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    Most are in Bee Culture or the ABJ.

    Some have web pages, like Kelley and Manns.

    Southwest Bee I only use for small cell ($140.00/25#)

  7. #7
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    Jun 2005
    Location
    White County, Arkansas
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    Western and Shastina also have websites. I can't remember if Browning does or not. I usually just do a search under either beekeeping equipment or beekeeping supplies and walk down the list. Hope this helps.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Ronan, MT 59864
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    Granted, I am close to Western Bee (20 minutes)but it's tough to beat their prices-and they only use ponderosa pine - that was my biggest complaint from their closest competitor - Browning Cut Stock. I see Western also has a new online ordering system that includes 8-frame boxes. Looks like they're still adding to it. If I understand it right, they also supply woodenware to several of the dealers/wholesalers/manufacturers across the country that you guys buy from (including Dadants).

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
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    Kelley seems consistently to have better prices for most items... I'm cheap enough that I'll use different tabs (Firefox) and make the same order on several websites so I can tab back and forth and see the difference. Kelley's almost always ahead, tho they don't have a couple things like triangle escape and sucrocide.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  10. #10
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    Jun 2005
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    Greensboro, N.C.
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    I don't shop around all that often, unless the immediate need calls for it.
    Price is important, but service is valuable, too. I like Kelly's all the way around.

  11. #11
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    vgarabs........ Dadant owns Western Bee now. Being close makes all the difference with shipping!! You are lucky. I was going to vacation out there and my wife raised her eyebrows at the thought of dragging back 120 deeps!!

    I just got 300 frames from Browning and they were great for $0.50 each. Shipping was not to bad either.

    I agree with Ben...... Kelley's gets my nod more often than not.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    In the end shipping plus the cost is what counts and distance has everything to do with shipping. Price them all for YOUR location with shipping included.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  13. #13
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    Mar 2005
    Location
    Gilroy, CA
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    Shipping is my biggest problem. It may be me but im just not sattisfied with Mann lake anymore, im going to try out these other guys you just mentioned, especually browning cut.

    Danny
    Happiness is something final and complete in itself, as being the aim and end of all practical activities whatever .... Happiness then we define as the active exercise of the mind in conformity with perfect goodness or virtue.

  14. #14
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    Danny...... I haven't dealt with Mann Lake much. May I ask why you are not satisfied??

    I was thinking about getting some deeps from them because they are near enough to pick them up.

  15. #15
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    Mar 2005
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    Polson, MT
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    I see I have a couple emails that apparently have come about from this topic. Western Bee has always been a subsidiary of the Dadant's. Some knew, most didn't. I don't think it was ever a big deal one way or another. WBee's purpose originally was simply to supply the original 11 or so Dadant branches with woodenware. Time has changed, we have our own catalog, we have our own website, we carry almost anything a beekeeper at any level could want, and we compete head to head with Dadant's as well as everyone else. We have four family members (not Dadant's) in key positions here. We've been through all the ups and downs over the years with those who've chosen this as a living, sideline, or even a hobby.

    The comment is also true from above regarding supplying woodenware to other competitors other than Dadant's. I won't say who they are - but we have a unique little position here when we supply our major competitors with at least some of their woodenware.

    This is our 40th year - thanks to all of you who have helped keep us here.

    Rick
    www.westernbee.com

  16. #16
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    Jul 2004
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    Inver Grove, MN
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    Some of the nicest woodenware that I have, I got from Western Bee. Usually I order from Mann Lake because the shipping is less for my area, but I like Western's stuff better.

    Saving a couple pennies on the material and then eating up all the savings on shipping doesn't do you any good.

    You have to decide on a balance between price, shipping, and quality.
    Linux - World domination through world cooperation

  17. #17
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    Sep 2004
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    Devils Lake, North Dakota
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    Thanks Rick for the insight. It is always good to hear success in family operations!

  18. #18
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    Aug 2004
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    Syracuse, NY (upstate)
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    I'll mention betterbee. Their website is one of the better (www.betterbee.com). They have a broader array of products than most. And I like them because they are 3 1/2 hours away (although I usually have them ship anyway). Their jars are the lowest I've found. I like Kelley, but as I said to them in my letter last year, it's the same catalog with the same pictures and descriptions from 30 years ago when I first started beekeeping! Only the prices have changed. They do have low prices and I admit, their customer service reps are friendly, but when are they going to join this century? Plastic frames... no. Polystyrene hives... no. etc, etc. I'm not sure if they know Varroa mites have reached the U.S. yet! Despite all that, they still have the best full suits.

  19. #19
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    Jun 2005
    Location
    White County, Arkansas
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    I had an old friend drop by today and when he found out I started beekeeping and was looking at some more ordering and building he recommended local farmers co-op's. Especially one in west Little Rock (for my area) as well as some local ones. I'm going to check it out, but, has anyone else in and outside of Arkansas heard of this as a resource? Thanks! David

  20. #20
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    Jun 2005
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    White County, Arkansas
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    Well... actually last night as it's now the wee hours of morning.

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