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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    Baker Oregon
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    2,356

    Default Re: How does a beekeeper, currently treating on LC, move to a SC treatment free progr

    I disagree if you under value your services so will your customer. People do care about cost but really care about perceived value. It all depends on what market share you want. You can be Wal Mart or Nieman Marcus. In my business we charge a premium but provide superior services. Basically you can do more units at lower cost or fewer at higher cost. You can develop the business you want within the constrains of the available market.
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 9 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Nashua, NH, USA
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: How does a beekeeper, currently treating on LC, move to a SC treatment free progr

    Please don't take this mindset: There are those that only small cell/natural cell, treatment free, local survivor stock, with overwintered queen (with that nuc) will do and there seems to be a shortage so you can gouge them for whatever price you can dream of and they are at your mercy. They only hope there are enough less choosy customers that will bolt so you keep the prices low. Say, free with delivery and installation included would be nice.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,033

    Default Re: How does a beekeeper, currently treating on LC, move to a SC treatment free progr

    I do free delivery, which you provide by picking up at my house. I actually am doing free delivery and installation for a friend who I built the whole hive for.

    I have done the 'start off low and then work up' method with honey and nucs. As time goes on, I feel more secure in my offerings and sell out every year so I think it's working, so it's a balance. Still at very low numbers though.

    I still am not entirely comfortable offering guarantees because I have nothing against which to measure my relative success or failure. I sold some drawn comb as well which I am now kicking myself for as I am kicking myself for selling those nucs. By selling rather than keeping, I have been meeting one goal at the expense of another, having more hives to produce more in the future.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Denison, Texas
    Posts
    510

    Default Re: How does a beekeeper, currently treating on LC, move to a SC treatment free progr

    That would be a pretty cool attitude to have. I might go see if the Lincoln/Ford dealer here would have that same mindset.
    Instead of driving my beaten up '93 Ford truck. I'll go ask if they'll sell me one of those fancy new Lincoln trucks for the
    same $1000 I paid for my Ford. This is an exageration to demonstrate my point. Quality should cost more.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,033

    Default Re: How does a beekeeper, currently treating on LC, move to a SC treatment free progr

    Yes, it should, but I'm Tesla, not Ford, but with lower overhead. If sold nucs are successful, the price goes up.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Denison, Texas
    Posts
    510

    Default Re: How does a beekeeper, currently treating on LC, move to a SC treatment free progr

    Many years ago. My late wife and I used to raise Siberian Huskies. Of the puppies we sold, we were able to keep track of a few of
    them. We found that the people that paid a premium price were more able and willing to take better care of them. They had more
    of an investment in them. So, If someone buys a nuc for $75 or a nuc for $300, Which one do you think they'll take the better
    care of or be prepared for? I say this is just to give you a different angle to look at when deciding on a price.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,033

    Default Re: How does a beekeeper, currently treating on LC, move to a SC treatment free progr

    As the neighbor of a 'dog breeder', you make a good point. By 'dog breeder', what I mean is 'has dogs that mated and now there's a bunch of poorly cared for English Mastiffs running around and pooping on my yard.'

    I guess I need to double the price....at least.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Denison, Texas
    Posts
    510

    Default Re: How does a beekeeper, currently treating on LC, move to a SC treatment free progr

    Worst case scenario that I would forsee is, You don't sell the nucs at a higher price. Put them in full sized boxes. Now you have single
    brood chamber hives for sale. Go a up smidgen on the price to make a profit margin for the bigger equipment. And the very worst case,
    your hive count might expand for next year.
    Last edited by Steven Ogborn; 02-20-2012 at 06:09 PM. Reason: corrected a spelling

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Baker Oregon
    Posts
    2,356

    Default Re: How does a beekeeper, currently treating on LC, move to a SC treatment free progr

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    I guess I need to double the price....at least.
    As long as you are giving the customer a high quality produce (and from everything I know of you on Beesource I would expect nothing less) I think that is a good idea. And at double the price if you only sell half you are still far ahead.
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 9 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,313

    Default Re: How does a beekeeper, currently treating on LC, move to a SC treatment free progr

    I think you need to be honest about what you have invested as far as time and money and don't be shy about recovering that. That doesn't mean you are gouging anyone, you are just asking to be compensated fairly for your work. I agree you should price it higher than a typical nuc. It would be worth twice as much to me...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,033

    Default Re: How does a beekeeper, currently treating on LC, move to a SC treatment free progr

    My main concern is my fragile reputation which is still in its infancy. I am selling a nuc to a friend this spring and I built him a hive and the whole caboodle. He thought it would be a good idea to have a screened bottom board but I don't use them and figured he didn't need one either. But if I think about it now, he really should get one. If a hive I sold him dies next winter, he's gonna look at me and say 'I told you there should have been a screened bottom board' even though the hive shouldn't need one. It's like a doctor who orders an x-ray just because the patient wants it even though it's not necessary and he obviously won't be blamed for the heightened risk for cancer a couple decades down the road. If the hive dies without one, he's going to raise an eyebrow. If the hive dies with one, not so much.

    Too bad I didn't get many answers to the OP. I ended up selling him 15 frames of drawn comb for $5 per. I regret it every time I look at the hive and fairly regularly between times as well. It's not the money, I'm probably going to need those frames and I won't have them. Experience is something you get right after you need it. At least I have about 340 other ones that are in the hives in the yards. I'm going to need about 200 more drawn to meet my goals this year. I guess 15 isn't so much of a deal.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,222

    Default Re: How does a beekeeper, currently treating on LC, move to a SC treatment free progr

    Methinks you are fretting a bit too much about this Sol. Anytime I have sold nucs I just tell them that all I can guarantee is that there is a laying queen in there and I encourage you to check it out for yourself at the time of delivery, after that there are just too many variables. There are always a lot of prices for nucs floating around this site, with the treatment free angle though I really couldnt say, you will just have to be the trend setter there.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,814

    Default Re: How does a beekeeper, currently treating on LC, move to a SC treatment free progr

    Solomon, I think you are being realistic and will increase price as the value of your product is proven.
    The difference between a Lincoln and a Ford has a lot to do with reputation and track record.
    As for a fair price. I ahve been offered a 5 frame deep nuc for $125. I also have gathered the information that causes me to think a frame of bees is worth $20. so 5 frames is $100. the seller is supplying the nuc and I consider that worth at least $25. You are offering more, to certain people, than just a nuc full of frames. I woudl not be included in your prospective customers as I do not put a premium on small cell or treatment free. But many do. I believe you should add at least a small increase just for that fact alone. Maybe $150 to $175. increase to the $200 plus price as your reputation develops. My opinion about small cell and treatment free is it is just another method of watching bees die. But that is me. It is hardly true that everyone agrees with that opinion so the market is real. Best of luck in filling that nitch.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,530

    Default Re: How does a beekeeper, currently treating on LC, move to a SC treatment free progr

    Try looking at this a.little differently.

    You have a nuc....its yours, untreated, and it belongs to you. Can you pretty much count on 30lbs of honey from that nuc (even if stripping out all the honey and combining the nuc with a stronger colony) ? Do you have a market for treatment free honey at $10/lb? Can you sell the queen for $25? If so, that nuclear can produce $325 for you...you get to keep the comb....you get first dibs on the queen if she is a standout...you keep all the equipment. Yes, there is some work and some risk that the nuc might not be productive or die.....but a pretty good bet that it can produce real income for you without much work...and it could be a boomer, producing enough bees to setup another 4-6 nucs and draw more comb for you.
    Unless you have nucs coming out of your ears, why would you sell for less.than the nuc is actually worth to you?

    Deknow

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,103

    Default Re: How does a beekeeper, currently treating on LC, move to a SC treatment free progr

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    My main concern is my fragile reputation which is still in its infancy. I am selling a nuc to a friend this spring and I built him a hive and the whole caboodle. He thought it would be a good idea to have a screened bottom board but I don't use them and figured he didn't need one either.
    The customer is always right. Give him what he wants. I mean Sell him what he wants. Then when it dies, "Not my fault."

    Reputation? If you are worried, don't sell anything. Your reputation will proceed you and follow you and there is not very much you can do about it, except maybe maintain your own integrity. People will still make up their own minds based on their own peculiar/personal point of view. You will be okay. Don't worry too much about it.

    I like both Dean's and DanielY's opinions.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  16. #36
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    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,814

    Default Re: How does a beekeeper, currently treating on LC, move to a SC treatment free progr

    deknow, along with the potential profits you also accept the risk and time to manage. not all that profit is free. TI is also why you could not sell a nuc that could potentially make $325 for $325 you are avoiding the additional risk and cost. The nuc as is is only worth what it is worth. you don't sell it's potential value.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,103

    Default Re: How does a beekeeper, currently treating on LC, move to a SC treatment free progr

    You will never know how much you could have sold it for until you get turned down consistently. The nuc isn't going to spoil. You don't need to sell it to sustain your livelihood. Set the price rediculously high and you will find someone willing to buy it, because it must be the best nuc ever since it is so expensive.

    You will also make more per nuc.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,222

    Default Re: How does a beekeeper, currently treating on LC, move to a SC treatment free progr

    I like Dean's take, thats why I am not in the business of selling nucs.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,530

    Default Re: How does a beekeeper, currently treating on LC, move to a SC treatment free progr

    Sure there is risk...there is always risk. We've never had a problem with credit cards, but have gotten both bad checks and counterfeit bills at times...selling isn't risk free either. Its also conceivable that one could get sued by a customer for much more than the selling price...costly even if you win.
    But a nuclear is of value to me. Regardless of what you want to pay, I can (and should) decide for myself what I need to part with it). It also (if you are honest and genuine) communicates.your confindence in the product you are selling if you canturn down an offer because you are willing to bet that the product would turn you a greater profit.

    Deknow

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,530

    Default Re: How much is a small cell treatment free nuc worth?

    ...this is also one of the factors that has been considered when we sell queens.

    What would I have to get for a mated queen (mated and proved for a month in a mating nuc) if I were to consider what I could be getting for honey produced by the bees that are sitting on that queen for a month?

    I can raise 30 cells easily in a 2 story ventilated nuc with frames in the top box only and a bunch of shaken nurse bees....I can replenish this with a frame of capped brood from time to time and keep going. Add a finisher and I can crank out 100 queens a week without too much trouble. Cheap enough.

    But 100 mating nucs a week....and only reusing them after a month? Such queens would either have to be expensive, or a charity project coming out of our pockets.

    There are other reasons we like selling virgins, but the thing that prevents us from selling mated queens is the cost of the resources (which is based on the market value of our products).

    deknow

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