...in the case of a good nuc (of the quality Sol would sell), it is very little work to put a 5 frame box of foundation on top and remove brood as they get overcrowded....bait up with one comb and use foundationless and do cut comb....put them in an old box with some new pf100s or foundation and get some great new comb drawn....do as mike palmer does and use them as "brood factories"....none of this is much work. You can keep many in a rather small area. A two story hive booming with bees requires management and equipment (honey supers)...but good nucs ready to pop will do well almost no matter what you do...even if they swarm, you _still_ have a nuc.
The worth of something and what one may be willing to sell it for are two different things.
I have plenty of customers who buy nucs from me and at the end of the season they tell me how much honey they got off of that nuc. Had I kept that nuc, maybe I would have gotten something similar, maybe not.
But, if I can make 60lbs of honey off of a 5 frame nuc, that would potentially be $120.00 to $180.00 income compared to what I sold the nuc for. The sale of the nuc is gauranteed income to me when I sell the nuc. That is worth something.
My nucs are selling for $100.00 each this year and I have had no one balk at that price. If they go to $120.00 next year I wonder?
..but Sol's nucs (and our nucs...which we are not selling) are treatment free, the bees would be managed without treatment, the honey would be produced without treatment.
I can't do anything about your prices...but consider if you were getting $10/lb or more (rather than the $1.60-1.80 you seem to be getting)? A 60lb pail is $600.
I'm relatively sure you could devise a plan where you kept 100 nucs (2-4 yards?) with minimal management and pull an average of 20lbs of honey from each without much management or effort on your part. $20k.
I agree. Our circumstances are quite different. Your points are valid and accurate.
$600.00 per pail would be great. Do you get that much? This is somewhat Off Topic perhaps, but yours is a niche market, isn't it? How many places are there that would support such a price. PM me if more appropriate. Don't wanna hijack a Thread.
No, we don't get that for a pail. We have very little of our own honey at this point...what we have is sold only in small jars. We are in a unique situation in that we are already at the markets selling premium honey that isn't local....we can sell whatever we produce in small jars at this point. Even if it is to pricy for some, it shows the customers that we _are_ beekeepers and not flunkies in a booth and adds another taste to the customer experience. It helps with our sales even if it doesn't sell....but it does sell, and it makes it impossible for us to sell nucs or mated queens.
Thanks guys, great discussion, keep it going.
So my plan this year is to set aside a couple booming hives to try to make a good honey crop and use the rest to make mating nucs and then graduate those into five frame nucs, merge the dinks with the awesomes and sell the rest until I end up with 25 hives for next winter.
Thanks for all the compliments about the quality of my nucs (even if you were joking.) I would not let a hive out of the yard that didn't pass muster. The bees I sell are daughters of the queen in the box. You know what you're getting.
Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline
>The nuc as is is only worth what it is worth. you don't sell it's potential value.
I see your point, but the only reason anyone buys a nuc is it's potential value... if it was never going to be any more than a nuc they wouldn't bother.