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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Post Falls, Idaho
    Posts
    168

    Default How to value hives

    A local beekeeper passed away last week and his wife want to get rid of his bees and equipment. I am at a loss on how to value them. I have not seen them yet but talked to her on the phone. She said there were a couple of new packages and a couple of nucs installed a couple of weeks ago. Other than that, some other established hives. I believe about 15 total hives.
    She mentioned $150.00 per hive. I am not trying to take advantage of this tragedy but also do not want to pay more than they are worth. She wants to sell all of it at once.
    Is there any common way to value these hives?

    She mentioned other equipment like a saw and old boxes. It will be hard to buy things I don't really need if she wants it sold as a package instead of me picking out what I want.

    Your thoughts please.

    Thanks in advance.

    Soapy

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,371

    Default Re: How to value hives

    For me, the value depends on the condition of the hives. How many are queenright? Is there any obvious diseases? What's the physical condition of the boxes, covers and bottom boards. Were the hives neglected due to illness prior to this poor mans death?

    I would take the time and go through the hives to see what you're getting into first. If they're all in good shape, then I would try to attach a value to each hive. Five frame nucs here are going for $125 to $150 so I think $150 for a entire hive that's in good condition is a little low.

    On the other hand if she want's one complete purchase of everything then there's something to be said for paying a little less. I would talk to other beekeepers in your area or maybe look on Craig's List to see what the going price is for a hive as a comparison.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Post Falls, Idaho
    Posts
    168

    Default Re: How to value hives

    Nucs and packages in this area, Inland Northwest, are $90-$100. I buy my own boxes and frames pre-cut and assemble them myself. Make my own bottom boards also. So I am not used to paying full retail for assembled woodenware either. Again, I want to make this fair for everyone and avoid any stress on this lady. I will go thru all hives and see what condition they are in and let her know my opinion even if I don't end up buying them. This was a sudden death due to accident so they had been worked recently.

    Thanks for your reply.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,593

    Default Re: How to value hives

    If they are in good condition, then $150 is certainly low. In areas where the flow has ended then you could pay around $150, but there's no further yield. In your area, these established hives will certainly make honey the first year you have them. Even if there are a couple of weak ones, the $150 average is still a good deal. I'd buy them for sure. Of course inspect prior to purchase as you don't want to bring home disease.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: How to value hives

    150 is proabably around fair You can buy hives from most comercial guys for 125-175
    A decent bottom, top and 2 deep hive is worth 50-75 bucks used real easy. remeber a new deep is 18.00 PLUS another 20-30 for frames and foundation.

    the real question is do you need them, and what are they worth to YOU. if your a hobiest and don't need or can't sell the honey, then why???

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Brookville, PA
    Posts
    205

    Default Re: How to value hives

    To start with brand new equipment - if you had to buy it - and bought at least 5 pieces of each - bottom board, hive body, lid, and inner cover - for a complete 2 hive body setup, you would pay right around $106.00. Seeing a package of bees sells for around $90.00 - for a beginner to get started with just hive and bees - the total would be $196.00.

    You would be buying used equipment. How "used" is it and how many more years of use does it have? On the plus side, the bees are already installed - all foundation has been drawn out, the queen is laying, the workers are already storing pollen and honey. And it sounds like at least several hives are not this years packages - so there should be some "big boomer" hives going there. The older hives would be worth $150.00 for sure - and probably the newly installed packages from this year, but the nucs would probably be less.

    Suit up and check each hive. See how well they are doing and then start pricing. She wants rid of all of them - one big sale instead of dealing with several different people, so price accordingly. Did she say "selling everything" meant you pay $150.00 per hive and all the other equipment comes with it - or are those prices yet to be determined? If you don't want/don't need/ won't use the other equipment - it really has no value for you.

    So go through each hive - tally up in your head what each one is worth to you - look over the extra equipment and tally up what it's worth to YOU - if there is a bee suit there that won't fit you or you won't use - it really has no "value" to you. Once you have your tally - add everything up according to YOUR value and tell her you will buy everything for $x amount. The things that have no value to you, you COULD sell to someone else - but you won't know until you actually sell them what you will get - IF you CAN sell them, so unless she has things that won't be any problem to sell, your "cost" for that item should be $0.

    The ball is then in her court - and she can decide if she wants to sell it to you, or if she doesn't - it will be up to her find someone else to buy them.

    You of course, don't want to "rip off" a grieving widow, but at the same time - you don't want to be paying more for something either.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    4,001

    Default Re: How to value hives

    If I was closer I would buy her out at this price. Apparently the guy wasn't sick enough to plan on dying as he just bought nucs and packages. If you paid $150 for the hives each and the supers you have stolen the stuff. Good strong colonies of bees heading into the season are worth that without the equipment.

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