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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Dexter, Maine
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    1,037

    Default NUC sales, medium vs deep

    So I am gonna be selling about 150 nucs this coming spring. I really like the idea of keeping all medium boxes (I already use only 8 frame), but I am concerned haveing only med nucs will hamper sales. Has anybody switched over, and if so how did it effect sales? Does anybody sell both, and which do you get more call for? Finally when I sell nuc's I have been selling 4 deep frames, how many medium frames are usally in a nuc?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Montgomery County, MD, USA
    Posts
    115

    Default Re: NUC sales, medium vs deep

    How many frames you offer is what should be in a medium nuc. Some folks offer 5 frame nucs most of the time others 4 frame.
    If you can spend a perfectly useless afternoon in a perfectly useless manner, you have learned how to live. - Lin Yutang

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Sudbury, Ontario
    Posts
    148

    Default Re: NUC sales, medium vs deep

    One question is what do your customers want/use? Are people in your area using medium brood boxes, or deeps?

    4-frame medium nuc seems awefully small to me.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tipton, TN, USA
    Posts
    784

    Default Re: NUC sales, medium vs deep

    Personally, I'd rather have medium frames. I know there seems to be a pretty good following on that front.

    My biggest concern would be the price. If you buy a 5 frame deep nuc, that would be roughly the same as a 6.5-7 frame deep nuc.

    So if your charging the same price for a 5 frame medium that other people charge for a 5 frame deep, I'd be less willing to consider it.

    G'luck

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Mission, Texas
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: NUC sales, medium vs deep

    Consider surface area. A 4 Frame Deep nuc would require a 6 frame medium to be comparable in surface area. A 5 frame nuc would need about 7 to 8 medium frames to be comparable.

    Mediums would incur a higher material and production cost. The majority of the people I know prefer deep frames for brood, but more and more are shifting over to exclusively medium boxes. So to fulfill the client need expectation I would initially suggest you supply both sizes until enough sales/demand data was collected to determine demand size percentiles.

    Another consideration is nuc transport. Most people have or can easily order deep frame nucs. They are a standard.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    3,995

    Default Re: NUC sales, medium vs deep

    I made some 5 medium frame splits this spring - 3 brood, 2 stores + laying queen - and they took off great.

    I think they would be great for hobbyists - especially if they are less expensive than 5 frame deeps nucs.

    Maybe you could take orders and make them up with extra frames - with a per frame price option - if some people wanted.

    I'd like to know how it works out.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Lakeland FL
    Posts
    840

    Default Re: NUC sales, medium vs deep

    why not sell a med box of bees maybe 5 fr of brood and a frame or two of honey. Then sell the med for about 70-90$ then any one can take it and either put their deep on top of it or run just meds. i know a few guys who sell bees like this, nice little unit to buy.

    Probably could make them up a month early maybe 3fr brood and a fr of honey and let them grow some that way you can make more of them.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Billerica, MA
    Posts
    298

    Default Re: NUC sales, medium vs deep

    I bought two medium frame nucs locally this year. Each were 8 frame, although one was clearly stronger than another. Based on my limited knowledge, they seemed to be about the same price as a five frame deep nuc would have been. I had limited options for medium nucs around here, and would have traveled to get them (maybe not to Dexter though)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,925

    Default Re: NUC sales, medium vs deep

    There is a good market for mediums, but if you're serious about nucs, I'd sell both... there is a market for both...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Kokomo, In
    Posts
    359

    Default Re: NUC sales, medium vs deep

    I had some interest in my mediums, this year. I lost out on a couple thousand dollars, because I didn't have enough to go around. At any rate, I think that offering both is the way to go. I plan to charge a little more for the deeps.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Winston Salem , NC
    Posts
    228

    Default Re: NUC sales, medium vs deep

    5 frame medium same as 4 frame nuc. My thoughts
    larry

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,925

    Default Re: NUC sales, medium vs deep

    Five medium frames cost about the same as five deep frames. A five frame medium nuc box costs the same as a five frame deep nuc box...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Kokomo, In
    Posts
    359

    Default Re: NUC sales, medium vs deep

    Quote Originally Posted by LT View Post
    5 frame medium same as 4 frame nuc. My thoughts
    I assume you are talking bee-wise, not equipment-wise.

    As Michael stated, the equipmet cost is about the same. What's different is the amount of bees.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Montgomery County, MD, USA
    Posts
    115

    Default Re: NUC sales, medium vs deep

    I make both and sell both, mediums and deeps at the same price; it takes me the same amount of work to make either one of them. So I set the price based upon deeps, but if the customer wants mediums that is all that is changing - the frame size not the price.
    If you can spend a perfectly useless afternoon in a perfectly useless manner, you have learned how to live. - Lin Yutang

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    3,995

    Default Re: NUC sales, medium vs deep

    Maybe a solution could be a 6 frame medium nuc for about the same price as a 5 frame deep nuc. That way even thought the customer is getting fewer bees (probably) it's harder to make an apples to apples comparison.

    If it contained 4 medium frames of brood it would be about equal to 2.5 deep frames of brood. The quality of the nucs would be at least as big a factor as a difference of 1/2 frame of brood.

    Of course it would involve custom built nucs.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,325

    Default Re: NUC sales, medium vs deep

    I too sell 5-frame medium nucs, and thought about also producing 5-frame deep nucs. But, since I only have one twenty-two frame deep hive and all my other hives are strictly mediums, it seemed much more practical to focus on producing medium nucs. I have sold medium nucs to customers who had me install them into their deep supers - this seemed to work just fine. Much easier than installing deep frames in medium supers.

    I sell nucs as starter colonies and believe my prices are competitive, but I don't worry about the difference in frame area between deep frames and medium frames. I don't apologize for keeping my bees in all medium supers and growing medium nucs. I focus on having strong healthy nucs that are headed by vigorous young queens, ready to grow into large, productive colonies.

    I have had a few customers that insisted on having their nucs shaken into packages and the queens caged. I reluctantly did as my customers requested, and provided them with their "package bees". I reduced the price by only $10, because, even though they are not receiving the frames, combs, and the resources they contain, it is more work to shake the bees into a package (the customers provided their own cages) and cage the queen. I did explain that the colonies would fare better with their five combs of honey, pollen, and brood, but could not convince those customers who had their hearts set on package bees.

    When I have them available, customers can always buy additional medium frames/combs of brood or honey/pollen for $10 each. Some do, and some buy frames of brood to boost their own colonies.
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 07-05-2010 at 01:24 PM.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Cullman Co., AL
    Posts
    196

    Default Re: NUC sales, medium vs deep

    Great idea, I had to look far and wide to find med nucs last year. I wish more folks would do that, but as noted, depends on market. I usually make my own, but every few years, I want a new genetic strain.
    I would have purchased a truck load, but was lucky to find 30. Paid 75 for a five frame, busting at the seams. Used cardboard travelers for transfer.

    I have contacted Weaver's, to see if they would be interested in that market. I will let you know when they reply. Also asked for a fall queen market, as some of us re-queen in the fall.

    Kind regards
    Stonefly7

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: NUC sales, medium vs deep

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Clemens View Post
    I have had a few customers that insisted on having their nucs shaken into packages and the queens caged. I reluctantly did as my customers requested, and provided them with their "package bees". I reduced the price by only $10, because, even though they are not receiving the frames, combs, and the resources they contain, it is more work to shake the bees into a package (the customers provided their own cages) and cage the queen. I did explain that the colonies would fare better with their five combs of honey, pollen, and brood, but could not convince those customers who had their hearts set on package bees.
    IMHO, those customers would be better off buying a 3lb package with a queen rather than a nuc. I'd take an established nuc over a package any day. I just don't understand why they would do that. If it were me I'd refuse to shake the bees down and lose the money and tell the customer to go pound sand. I know there's another customer out there that would gladly pay the money for the nuc.

    Bishop

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    dallas, tx, usa
    Posts
    515

    Default Re: NUC sales, medium vs deep

    I wonder how many of these hobby beeks actually have their 5-frame medium nucs survive. That is just too small IMO, especially without drawn comb, and the risks are great if you are a beginner.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    3,995

    Default Re: NUC sales, medium vs deep

    Quote Originally Posted by mythomane View Post
    I wonder how many of these hobby beeks actually have their 5-frame medium nucs survive. That is just too small IMO, especially without drawn comb, and the risks are great if you are a beginner.
    I've started several 5 frame medium nucs this year and they do fine - during the nectar flow they pretty much double in size in a month. One that I started last summer that didn't have a laying queen until Sept 1 - because of usual mishaps - built up to one really full 8 frame medium and over wintered fine. Built up great this spring. Comb is always in limited supply for me at this point.

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