Trevor, I'm not "worried" about who it is, as I said earlier if it was someone I knew I would be more inclined to give the rumor some creditability. I do not know Ryan Cusins and he probably doesn't know me.
As for the market this coming year, I have no idea what it will be in February 2014, I haven't guessed it right in 15 years other than it was going up.
However, I do know what the market is today and if the beekeepers are trying to set a rate at $180.00 per hive as you say, the Growers are trying to set the rate at $145.00 . Just today I've received calls from three different growers totaling over 1,100 hives, (all in central California) (yes I realize it's a drop in the bucket but this was just today's inquiries) asking what our rates were, none of them are willing at this time to comment to anything over $145.00. I have one contract in Chowchilla that has agreed to $155.00 per hive and I have a small local beekeeper very happy with that rate. As a second generation almond grower for over 30 years, Yes, I do know a little about almond pollination, more than most, less then some.