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  1. #61
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Fresno California USA
    Posts
    2,479

    The Main Thing

    Is to keep open lines of communication with your valued clients. When they don't return your calls it's already too late.


    Remember that party game the LIMBO???

    Reset the bar!

    How LOW can you GO?

    Actually I haven't had to do any explaining or rolling back but like MA said when they see it in the paper you look like a crook!

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Southern Oregon
    Posts
    1,166

    Default

    Almond growers cant do it without us, so why do beekeepers consistently cut their own throats? When greed and fear prevail the whole industry suffers.
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  3. #63
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    FRASER VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
    Posts
    1,349

    Default Greed and fear

    John: I'm not sure that greed is a big factor. By the sounds of it almond growers are getting squeezed and are in survival mode. I'm sure all the beekeepers without contracts are in fear mode and as an industry we are first class champions at cutting our own throats. I'd don't know what that is but I see it here on the other side of the border. Maybe it's something in the bee venom. I don't know if it will ever change. I'm trying here with a couple of other fellows to start a pollination group and at the first sign of competition others wanted to back our rates down. I thought it was premature as winter is not over by a long shot here and yet panick set in.

    It was interesting to hear Allen point of view on the shocking lack of strength in some hives. I keep telling my growers it's not luck that makes good hives ,although some years there is an element of luck. It's work , patties, syrup ,new queens , good honey flows. These are inputs carried by beekeepers. Generally the more inputs go into hives the better the colonies. Generally good hives are the result of good management and not luck. Some growers understand this and others cannot seem to understand this. It's not all that hard to figure out. I tell my growers that I charge a little more for my hives because I spend a lot more than the average beekeeper on my hives. Generally speaking they are better than most, and it'a not a coincidence.

    Best of luck to everybody.

    Jean-Marc

  4. #64
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
    Posts
    3,280

    Default

    J-M, well said

  5. #65
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Southern Oregon
    Posts
    1,166

    Default

    Jean-Marc, While I agree with you fundamentally. When I referred to greed I was thinking of both beeks and growers. I have seen many it times on both sides of the coin.
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  6. #66
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    FRASER VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
    Posts
    1,349

    Default

    John:

    Well I haven't seen too much greed here on beekeepers part but I'm sure it exists. Unfortunately I've seen too much incompetence. So how about selling some of those fine looking queens of yours into Canada? I'd be glad to be your first customer.

    Jean-Marc

  7. #67
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Southern Oregon
    Posts
    1,166

    Default

    J-M I Have seen intentional undercutting to run other beekeepers out of certain pollinations.
    I would love to send you some queens, but the bureaucratic hoops to jump through... I need some help there. I still wondering if I am going to get my bees rented in almonds this year.
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  8. #68
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    FRASER VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
    Posts
    1,349

    Default

    John:

    That kind of undercutting is truly hurtful, shortsighted. Hard to protect yourself from that behavior. So I take it then that you did not have a contract or are facing some stiff undercutting. Like others have mentioned contracts are not worth anything in these kinds of situations. I guess they spell out expectations of both parties to avoid suprises, but when undercutting takes place, guess what "Surprise" rears it's ugly head. Early in my beekeeping business I had such a surprise and decided that it was not worth pursuing. As pointed out in earlier posts you can't really win in such a situation. But I'd still like to try some of your queens. Can't say for sure but I bet Ian would like some too, provided I'm first of course.

    Jean-Marcd

  9. #69
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    LA Co, Calif, USA
    Posts
    87

    Default Be nice & supportive??

    Three different brokers we spoke with told us that several large beeks from Florida / east shipped their bees to Calif without contracts. They have agressively been undercutting prices and brokers lost their pollination spots on some farms; which in turn means the beek that was going to be there is out of luck. AND the price per hive is dropping....

    Aussie packages, why not?? It's sounding like the wild, wild west out here - in a freefall!!

    Have also heard rumors of very weak hives. The good looking 10 frames are now barely 4, trying to hang on. Don't know if this will be a factor in the next few weeks? Haven't heard of any large amounts of empty boxes, like last year.

    Maybe the rain/mountain snow in the next few days will help?

  10. #70
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    VENTURA, California, USA
    Posts
    3,604

    Default Three different brokers we spoke with told us that several large beeks from Florida

    FYI:
    Staging areas are becoming less avaialble for the almonds.
    Try this for some excitement--I know a man that has staged bees in the same area for over 20 years and guess who dropped a load of bees on his location? Now what do you do when you pull into your location to unload and it' occupied by some one else.
    Ernie
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  11. #71
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,356

    Default

    I think the water situation is a big problem. Shasta Lake is only 31% full.Growers are getting notified that they will not get the water they need. Also almonds are only moving at a low price.Most almonds are exported and the credit situation with other countries is having an effect. So growers are in survival mode as J-M pointed out.
    There is a good chance that all this deflation is going to reverse in the coming months due to massive money printing by the Gov as they try to inflate their way out of this mess. So the money we do get is liable to be worth even less in the coming months.
    Heavy rains in the mountains yesterday brought the creeks up.Looks like 7 to 10 days of dry weather ahead for the big move.

  12. #72
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
    Posts
    3,280

    Default

    [QUOTE=mbholl;387233]Have also heard rumors of very weak hives. The good looking 10 frames are now barely 4, trying to hang on. QUOTE]

    Well, it's the same sloppy keeping.

    "I know Barry I'm beating my drum "

    We are seeing 12-15 frame bees in our outfit.

    Here's a six pound patty, look closely you will see the unfinish ring of the old patty due to the patty that was out side of the heat ring of the cluster.
    http://s148.photobucket.com/albums/s...t=100_2837.jpg

    Now we have a store bought patty, this is only five pounds and most will be out side the heat ring & won't be eaten for months,
    http://s148.photobucket.com/albums/s...t=100_2838.jpg

    the same hive feed, but two out comes.

    A beesource member from Texas paid me a visit in the bee yard to see it for them selves, he said he grades bees for a bee broker, and has never seen 12 frame avg in the almomds.

    Well he might chime in when he gets back to Texas.

  13. #73
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Swalwell, AB
    Posts
    579

    Default

    Here's a six pound patty, look closely you will see the unfinish ring of the old patty due to the patty that was out side of the heat ring of the cluster. http://s148.photobucket.com/albums/s...t=100_2837.jpg
    Is it just me, or does it not look as if the hive has dwindled since eating the previous patty? Sure looks like the hive was much bigger in the past.

    Now we have a store bought patty, this is only five pounds and most will be out side the heat ring & won't be eaten for months,
    http://s148.photobucket.com/albums/s...t=100_2838.jpg
    You are predicting the future?

    the same hive feed, but two out comes.
    Not sure what that means. Are you saying it is the same formula in both cases?

    Anyhow, when I signed up for Beesource again recently, I read the terms of participation and seem to recall rules against spamming and thread hyjacking. Was I mistaken?

    Back to the topic under discussion: I should also mention that in the case of most of the many many almost dead hives I saw in my travels mentioned above, from the look of the comb, there had not been large colonies in those boxes for months. I wonder if anyone, beekeeper or grower had even bothered to look or had just counted the boxes.

    When bees are in short supply, growers have to take anything they can get, but when bees are in surplus, it is payback time, and growers can be selective.

    I suppose, tbough, that some growers will continue with the beekeepers they have used in the past. This is particularly the case of absentee owners with managers who are underpaid.

  14. #74
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
    Posts
    3,280

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by allend View Post
    Is it just me, or does it not look as if the hive has dwindled since eating the previous patty? Sure looks like the hive was much bigger in the past..
    Well allen, here is a pick before they have been smoked.

    http://s148.photobucket.com/albums/s...t=100_2832.jpg

  15. #75
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    souris, manitoba, canada
    Posts
    787

    Default What, Which growth hormone using ,

    Keith,What,Which growth hormone are you using,......awsome colonies
    Last edited by irwin harlton; 01-25-2009 at 11:00 AM. Reason: incomplete

  16. #76
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Fresno California USA
    Posts
    2,479

    Default Too many bees

    Aren't those things a threat to public safety? Seems there should be some kind of ordinance to address this problem.

  17. #77
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,356

    Default

    LOL.They do look over the legal limit.Got an MCP for those bees?

  18. #78
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,496

    Default

    Nice colonies Keith. I haven't seen bare ground or green on trees other then evergreens for almost three months...
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid. John Wayne

  19. #79
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Lincolnton Ga. USA.
    Posts
    1,725

    Default

    I wouldn't want to go out there to the almonds, sounds like price cuts are there and with the water shortage also making it worst, looks like prices spiked the last few year drawing a lot of beekeepers out there, I think it will be a matter of survival for local guys, price will probably drop this year and the next and maybe after that but once it gets to where its not worth traveling cross country the price will probably go up again! like some one said already the roller coaster has started (up and down)! hope I am wrong for everyone's sake!!! my philosophy is to stay in Ga and sale nuc's and queens and maybe do a little pollinating here but a lot easier working here at the house than traveling bee's.
    Ted

  20. #80

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