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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camarillo, CA, USA
    Posts
    312

    Default Word on the street

    Update, The correct percentage is about 30 % empty, out, unrentable. This is from multiple truck loads. These bees where just put on trucks a few days prior in the east. I have this confirmed from multipe sources.

    Also, bees in the valley already,( ie delevered in Nov. to CA) 15 to 20 % outs, which this is inline with my own experiance of hives that where in ID for summer. What I found was that the old queens became drone layers after a brief hybernation.

    Larry

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Southern Oregon
    Posts
    1,162

    Default Hold the line, dont panic.

    Don't most growers carry crop insurance and have to use the required 2.5 or so hives per acre to satisfy their insurance requirements? Understandably if the bee supply was larger than demand there could be price cutting, however all the stats I have seen show a steady downward trend in the numbers of managed hives since the peak in the 1940s. According to Dr Burgett the numbers of managed hives has decreased by 60% since 1948. Has there really been that big of a spike in supply and a corresponding drop in demand? I would think that drought conditions in the Southern CA would make crop insurance all the more important. I hope beeks hold the line and do not cut their own throats.
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  3. #43
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,496

    Default

    LS,

    This doesn't surprise me. I help load a couple of trucks that had multiple beeks bees and some beeks hives were noticeably light going out to Cali. So light in fact that several of us mentioned it to the beeks saying we didn't think they would make it with no reserves and they wanted them shipped anyway. I am hoping that these guys hives made grade, but if they had no resources to tap into in Cali between Nov/Dec and now they are going to be hurting.
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid. John Wayne

  4. #44

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alpha6 View Post
    So light in fact that several of us mentioned it to the beeks saying we didn't think they would make it with no reserves and they wanted them shipped anyway.
    Its sometimes hard to understand some folks' business strategies. I suppose its a sort of Darwinian process at work...its just too bad that the bees have to pay the price for human foolhardiness.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Lancaster CA
    Posts
    410

    Price is crashing

    The roller coaster has left the gate. Heard first hand info today of offers for bees at under $95.00 and the grower is shopping for a better price. Said he would call back. 20,000 aussi packages landed at SFO today.

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Southern Oregon
    Posts
    1,162

    Thumbs down Say it aint so

    With prices in the toilet, those packages sound like a money losing proposition. How much are they going for these days? I thought word was out on the inferior pollination capabilities of a package compared to decent 8 frame hive?

    If they rent for way less than they cost, plus the expense of feed and labor and trucking the empty boxes to CA somebody could take a beating while adding to everybody else's problems.
    Last edited by JBJ; 01-23-2009 at 12:47 AM. Reason: afterthought
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Clear Lake, WI / Sebring, FL
    Posts
    632

    Default

    Ive heard that water shotages are causing some farms to take a year off ,and those bees are being shifted around ,wich is causing a glut of bees. Is there any truth to this?

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Lancaster, Ky. / Frostproof Fl.
    Posts
    986

    Default

    From what I have heard in the last week there are alot of weak/deadouts and there will not be a huge oversupplu of GOOD BEES. Maybe a alot of extra beehives but not good beehives! Personally I would not ever go to CA without a contract. My bees are still inFlorida and I plan to ship Feb 6 unless season stays late and I may delay a week. My contract was signed in Oct at 152.00. If price drops to below 125 in the future I'll stay in Florida and make nucs/honey! Not worth the work/risk/loss of nucs/honey if any less $$.

  9. #49
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Fresno California USA
    Posts
    2,479

    Default On paper

    Just remember, everything is negotiable. You have an old, trusty client with whom you have dealt for many years and have a good relationship you would like to continue. You signed a contract for $150 last October. Now your old client is besieged with phone solicitation, newspaper ads , Blue Diamond rep, all offering quality bees at 30% less than the contract. He calls you up at this point in time, " Gee, Tom, your price seems a little high..." What are you going to do? Insist on 150 and alienate for next year? Walk away and try to sue? No, you RENEGOTIATE!

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,309

    Default

    Thats how I see it too.The almond growers are getting squeezed for real. Yes we are too.But you gotta look at the big picture. If I had one of those $170 contracts I heard about earlier,I would be real nervous right now!

  11. #51

    Default

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28808767/
    Coburn said he is abandoning tomatoes and will use his brackish well water to try to keep vineyards and almond orchards alive. Other growers are choosing instead to let their nut trees go dormant, which has meant less work for the beekeepers who travel to central California each year to pollinate orchards.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  12. #52
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,496

    Default

    Tom...remember when we talked about this in Dec last year...you could almost set a clock by your predictions. One post says there is a glut the other not enough; one says 170 the others 95...worse then Wall Street.

    And the thing that most disturbs me is beeks working against other beeks. I believe Keith mentioned this before. There has GOT to be a better way...we are getting too few as it is and should be able to have our act together. With the packers working against us with imported honey, the package importers flooding the market with Aussie bees and who knows what other little surprises they are arriving with, and with beeks pitting against each other for pollination its a wonder any commercial beeks are left. People...we better get our act together.
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid. John Wayne

  13. #53
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Southern Oregon
    Posts
    1,162

    Default

    Very well put. Organizing beeks is probably akin to herding cats, but something needs to happen. It would be good for growers and beekeepers. Has there ever been or could there ever be a pollination co-op? Probably not possible since one bad apple can spoil the whole barrel, but there must be some mechanism to assure fair prices on both ends and an adequate supply without the risks associated with imported bees.
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  14. #54
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Lancaster, Ky. / Frostproof Fl.
    Posts
    986

    Angry

    Tom....I dont disagree with you all togather.....but IF I SIGNED a contract for 152.00 then bees were very short(ie 2-3 yrs ago) and price went to 200.00 would the almond grower want to change the price and pay me more? If Diesel went to 10.00/gal....would he want to pay more?? I understand your position....a few year ago I purchased a semi load of honey for .70# (top price at that time) 6 weeks later when he was finished extracting and ready to ship price had gone to .96....and he wanted .96 since I had orders for honey and no other supply I had to pay it....but what if price had gone to .40.....would he have wanted to go down?? Thats why you sign a contract.....for a guarantee for goood bees at a given price...A person is only as good as his word.....if wants to get cheaper bees well they wont be mine!! and I wouldnt ask for a raise if they went higher! Thats just the way I do business! Next year I might be wiling to negociate a lower price...but I dont back out on contracts....no differance that if price went to 200 and I took bees to someone with more money....wouldnt be right!

  15. #55
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Hughson, CA
    Posts
    153

    Default

    Has there ever been or could there ever be a pollination co-op?

    Yes. My understanding is there are pollination cooperative(s) in France. What crops they sign contracts for and how many members I do not know.

    I was in an orchard yesterday and saw some white on the buds; which means bloom is not far away. Next week is going to be sunny and warm. I wouldn't be surprised to see bloom in the first week of Feb.

    On your mark......Get ready.........GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. #56
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Swalwell, AB
    Posts
    579

    Default

    As a guy with no dog in this fight, but quite a bit of interest in the phenomenon, I took a trip through almond pollination two years ago and looked into a lot of hives.

    I have to say that I saw everything from boomers to rows of virtual deadouts along my travels, all set in orchards or along the roads and presumably earning fees. Some of the best looking boxes had the worst bees

    The respected and well-known broker I visited was in the orchard with the manager and they were looking at bees and counting frames. There were no duds and some very big hives. That orchard got its money's worth and more, and the beekeeper came out with a fair fee and hives that were all splittable.

    The other orchards maybe paid the same, or a bit less, but if they got pollination, it was by luck, not good management, and maybe from bees visiting from the well-stocked orchards.

    It is amazing to me that in spite of the missionary work done by people Like Joe Traynor, that there are still beekeepers and growers who think that somehow they can ignore the facts of life and not measure and charge or pay on the basis of performance. I suppose they deserve one another, but it is a shock to observe.

    My guess is that the beekeeper with a long term contract and a good performance history and who has taken the time to educate his customer rather than fool him, should have a good enough relationship to work things out so both prosper. A deal is a deal, but then nobody can get blood from a stone.

  17. #57
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Lancaster CA
    Posts
    410

    Default # 59 good post

    I worked with Joe for 25yrs and would split my bees directly out of Almonds and averaged over 100# honey in the first honey flow May 1 with the splits. Strong bees, unite weak colonies, less units moved, inspection and medication = max. income.

  18. #58
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Davis,South Dakota,USA
    Posts
    401

    Default

    Very well said Tom,sticking to your guns,unlike our society with no backbone.

  19. #59
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,309

    Default

    There is always room to compromise .But a 30% cut from 150 would be $105. I would balk at that for good bees. But enforcing a contract through the courts is a hassle,to say the least.Did that once in another line of work, and after all the time wasted, lawyer involvement,even if you win, you will learn that most judgments are never collected on(I never got a penny).I learned that there are all kinds of ways to beat a judgment.
    One just has to gather as much information on the current situation as possible,then go from there.
    One thing,I agree with Larry that there are a LOT of bad bees in California right now.

  20. #60
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Stanislaus County, CA
    Posts
    69

    Default

    Just a bit of info. Ad in Modesto Bee classified section stating: "Good strong vigorous hives of bees for rent $100." Strong or weak not the question. Beeks or nut sellers or clothes reatilers. If supply is up throat cutting starts. When an almond grower that is paying $150or up sees or hears this, they aren't going to be happy! With the average price of nuts around $1.15 a lb. an almond grower is looking to cut expense per acre any way they can. I sincerely wish all of you with contracts the best of luck! You have to have them, but...I'm with Loggermike, have dealt with the problem of contracts in another industry. Court is not where you want to end up. I've had more than one businessman tell me the only thing a contract is good for when times are bad is to wipe your _ss with!

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