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  1. #1

    Default Average Transport Cost to haul colonies to almonds.

    What is the average transport cost charged by bee hauling companies to move approximately 800 colonies from east coast to almonds & back (fuel, truck, drivers, equipment). Based on current market prices.

    How many colonies would be recommended to make the trip worth it financially?

    How many pallets of bees does the average flatbed carry?

    Thanks.

    James Henderson
    Golden Delight Honey, LLC
    7366 Waxhaw Highway
    Lancaster, SC 29720
    (225) 803-5406
    LABeekeeper@earthlink.net
    http://www.GoldenDelightHoney.com
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Golden...y/299766739899
    James Henderson
    Golden Delight Honey; 225-803-5406 (cell)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,284

    Default Re: Average Transport Cost to haul colonies to almonds.

    The trucking company which I deal w/, transporting hives from NY to SC, costs me $2.80 per mile. Fully loaded w/ story and a half pallets the semi carries 544 colonies.

    When a friend of mine sends a load from SC to CA his loads carry 408 or 384 colonies.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Sidney, Montana
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: Average Transport Cost to haul colonies to almonds.

    $2.60-$3.00 a mile. 400+/- double deep hives a load

  4. #4

    Default Re: Average Transport Cost to haul colonies to almonds.

    Thanks for the input. Shooting for Jan 2015 to send flat bed of my Russians for almond pollination.
    James Henderson
    Golden Delight Honey; 225-803-5406 (cell)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Average Transport Cost to haul colonies to almonds.

    So, just so I am clear, 9K+/- per trip. Maybe a detour to Oregon or Washington State afterwords for some extra dollars. Don't know what current per/hive $ for almonds are running, but pretending that's $100 that nets about $20K before loading, unloading, agent fees, traveling, lodging, etc. And also before getting those 400 hives in shape with copious feeding.

    Sounds like a ton of risk for maybe $10,000 per load,net, before the keeper gets paid for his effort. I understand there is honey, bees sales, etc, that supplement that income, but still that is math is tough, unless I am mis-calculating the revenue side of the equation.

    Thoughts?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,284

    Default Re: Average Transport Cost to haul colonies to almonds.

    Try $150.00/col pollination income. 408 colsX$150.00=$61,200.00-$18,000.00 transportation fee=$43,200.00-Handling costs in CA(?). Maybe someone who knows can fill that in.

    East Coast Almond pollinators that I know send their bees out to CA, let someone else handle them there and stay home. Then when bees are shipped back they are usually ready to split.

    If one is in the business of making splits to sell nucs, they are probably feeding syrup and protien sub anyway, so that expense would be there whether one went to almonds or not. Maybe one wouldn't have so much getting ready costs, new pallets, pressure washing, moving hives to clean pallets, etc, but feeding would probably still be done.

    I'm imagining more like between $20,000.00 and $30,000.00/load in the beekeepers' pocket after expenses. Unless I did my math incorrectly.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Average Transport Cost to haul colonies to almonds.

    That's great scoop. Thanks for clarifying. If I can get someone else to handle the bees, makes sitting at home in winter in the East sound cozy!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,284

    Default Re: Average Transport Cost to haul colonies to almonds.

    Yeah, I'm not sure what the handling fee percentage is, but it beats driving to CA I'll bet. Especially when one has a thousand hives to work while the ones in the almonds are away.

    You better have someone you really trust.

    I have also heard of beekeepers who send their hives to almonds and then sell them right from the groves or staging areas. Then transportation is someone elses headache.

    I also know some folks who have bought hives, by the semi load, after almond pollination. In that case one either needs to fly out and pick out the ones they want or trust the seller to send you good ones. It's a way of getting a truck load of strong/splittable hives in March or early April. Could I afford a semi load of two story cols and had the equipment to split them into, I'd do it. One could dbl their hive count pretty quickly that way. Wanna split a load?
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Average Transport Cost to haul colonies to almonds.

    My instincts would love to split one! But my customer base and real estate won't support it....not to mention my lack of experience in that side of the business! Someday, when I quit my day job....

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Stafford, Virginia
    Posts
    300

    Default Re: Average Transport Cost to haul colonies to almonds.

    I am in Virginia and looking to add 150 hives this spring. would love to get them coming out of the Almonds. Purchase plus transportation costs are a killer.

    Jerry Mattiaccio
    Rock Hill Honey Bee Farms

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Grand Rapids MI
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Average Transport Cost to haul colonies to almonds.

    Hi Jim, We have been sending a load/ year. Our costs from Florida are 6,000.00/ trip x 2 trips. Our handling fees are 20.00/ hive that we are charged for loading and unloading. It costs us approx. 3.00/hive to get them ready and powerwash the skids. This involves going through them, and weeding out any questionable ones. The time for loading, unloading and netting the semi in Florida is about 3 hrs. The time for putting them back in the holding yards would be 1 night. {396 hives} And the last 2 years we were charged an additional 10.00/hive from the state of CA for income in their state. Some beekeepers don't pay this depending who they pollinate for. Our gross income was 145.00/ colony, last year. 135.00+ 10.00 bonus for strong hives, 15-17 frame average the last 3 years. So the shipping is about 30.30 from FL./hive. The handling is approx. 26.00/hive and then an additional 10.00 a hive for taxes, you are close to 66.00/ hive for total expense, which would leave you a profit of about 80.00/hive. Last year they couldn't get all 396 on a load b/c of weight issues so that was an extra 900.00 for them to be shipped back on a different load. Our first year profit/hive was 103.00 b/c of cheaper shipping and there was no 10.00 tax on them at that time. I was informed that the trucking would go up another 1,000.00 for the two trips this year so we are probably going to sit this one out.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Washington, DC
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    69

    Default Re: Average Transport Cost to haul colonies to almonds.

    That is really helpful info. THANKS.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Placer County, California
    Posts
    76

    Default Re: Average Transport Cost to haul colonies to almonds.

    Handling fees out here are total of $15.00 for both on and off. The $10.00 tax (7%) is not an issue as you would apply that to your local state tax as a credit (unless you do not pay a state income tax).
    The highest freight fees we have seen this year is $3.15 per mile.
    Hope this helps
    "Success is all about attitude"
    California Almond Pollination Services, Inc.

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