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  1. #61
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,887

    Default Re: Nucs versus Packages?

    Quote Originally Posted by Maddox65804 View Post
    The vast differences in the quality of Nucs from different suppliers is the reason I started a thread last year: http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...ndard-for-nucs

    I found it very interesting the see the wide variety of ideas and ethics displayed by the various vendors. As Major said above, make sure to look carefully and ask questions BEFORE you buy.

    We are teaching our newbees how to ask questions this year before paying for the nuc. And which questions to ask. So many were cheated last year......very sad.
    Often the "Cheated" isn't intentional. I will give an example of a situation I ran into once when buying nucs. I purchased from a reputable person and paid for them in the winter like is often the case. A couple of weeks before they were due to pick up I got a phone call that they would be ready on a specific date. The day of pickup I was not able to pick them up because of another obligation... About 3-4 days later I went to pick up the nucs and everything had been picked over by other customers. All that was left was a handful of really lousy nucs.

    At that point what do you do? If I had been able to pick up on time I would have had the pick of the litter. A nuc is a functional hive in every aspect except size. Just like the best beeks in the world will have some weak hives and some good hives and some really strong hives, the same is true for nucs. When making nucs up we estimate what we will have available to sell... once you collect someones money you really can't call them up and tell them that you can't give them what they ordered.

    In the ideal world money would not be collected until the customer picked up the order, but that isn't always possible and frequently if you want bees you have to pay ahead.

    The other issue for new beeks is often they are unwilling to actually inspect a nuc and even if they did, they would not know what they are looking at. They are just so happy to have a box with bees it in that they would not even see the flaws with their particular box.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    10,162

    Default Re: Nucs versus Packages?

    Quote Originally Posted by bluegrass View Post
    once you collect someones money you really can't call them up and tell them that you can't give them what they ordered.
    You can if you can't give them what they ordered and you should.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  3. #63
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,946

    Default Re: Nucs versus Packages?

    bluegrass...others..... Since I am basicall already sold out for the year, maybe beesource won't think I am advertising, so here are my prices.

    Nuc transfer..Normally, 3 frames brood, 2 frames of bees, pollen, honey, new queen, $95.00

    5 frame nuc in a 5 frame wooden nuc, same bees as above, the nuc is a box jointed nuc, detachable bottom board and migratory top $125.00 I posted a photo of them somewhere on this site.

    5 frame nuc in 10 frame equipment. Same bees as above, plus 10 frame bottom board, deep hive body, inner cover, top, $150.00

    Please keep in mind that I am not making a living from my bees, and I am a small peanut compared to those who sell nucs. I am retired, and I enjoy helping people who want to get started in beekeeping. My prices are in line with the commercial sellers, perhaps just a little less for this area. I only sell 100 nucs each year, then I am done for the year. I do have a 100 % guarantee on my nucs, If the custormer is not happy I will refund, or replace, no questions asked. I know there are some on here who have bought from me over the years.

    I make all the woodenware, except inner covers and frames. I don't use inner covers myself, so I buy those already assembled from Kelly Bee. The woodenware I sell is all new, painted white. The frames are virtually new, because they were likely put in the brood stock hives last year to replace frames I sold as nucs. A major portion of my wood is free as I have contacts with building contractors who give me cutoffs for a little honey. The remainder I buy from the Amish, and they pick my wood and give me a GREAT deal, and in return, I put 25-40 single chamber hives in their pumpkin patches.

    This is how I am spending my retirement years. I go to a lot of schools, bee clubs, Ky State Parks, and put on bee demonstrations. I am at the end of my beekeeping, and I sure would like to see younger ones take it up.

    Thanks for the math, Bluegrass. I could figure it out from your post, but I am just going to take it as true. If it wasn't true, you wouldn't post it. I enjoy your posts.

    Hope this has been helpful to someone wanting to get into selling nucs. There is plenty of room out there for anyone who would like to get in the business. There is more money, easier, in selling bees, than selling honey. Keep three things in mind when selling nucs, 1. Quality. 2. Quality. 3. Quality.

    cchoganjr
    Last edited by Cleo C. Hogan Jr; 01-10-2013 at 02:21 PM. Reason: spelling typing

  4. #64
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,887

    Default Re: Nucs versus Packages?

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    You can if you can't give them what they ordered and you should.
    Say you bought a nuc from me. How would you feel if you bought and paid for the nuc, and then come April when you could not find a replacement anywhere, I called and said that what I had was not good enough to sell and that I was refunding your money? The result is that I lost you as a customer... or there is a slightly better chance you would be fine with a weakish nuc and you would buy from me again if I just gave you what I had.

    There are a few nuc producers who don't collect any money until the nuc is picked up. Mark Berninghausen I think is one of them... But then you run into a problem where it becomes first come, first serve and you risk offending somebody if you said you could give them one, but then they show up to pick it up a week late and you sold out.... It is a tricky business this bee selling.

    You are not always going to make everybody happy... some people will sing your praises up and down and you will always run into somebody who doesn't like the way things work out and no matter what you do to correct the situation... you lost them as a customer.

    Cleo: You are giving those nucs away ... If you cancel all your current orders I will take all 100 of them and send you a certified check over night Mine are 125.00 without a box, bottom or cover and I can't produce enough to meet demand.... mine all go to repeat customers and sell out 6-8 month ahead of time.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  5. #65
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    10,162

    Default Re: Nucs versus Packages?

    Quote Originally Posted by bluegrass View Post
    The result is that I lost you as a customer... or there is a slightly better chance you would be fine with a weakish nuc and you would buy from me again if I just gave you what I had.
    If you sell me a nuc that you know is weakish and don't tell me you are not only going to lose me as a customer you are going to lose anybody I come in contact with. If it is my decision, or a deal is struck between the two of us then you don't loose me as a customer and more than likely you will gain more from the positive relationship.

    I am sure location makes a difference but my nuc supplier charges $70 and you supply the empty frames. He has been doing it for a long long time.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  6. #66
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    proctorsville, vermont
    Posts
    152

    Default Re: Nucs versus Packages?

    how about a quick run down on procedure,steps, and time frame for putting together and selling a proper nuc. for those of us who dont kno any better. just curios i am.
    thats the way i roll.

  7. #67
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,946

    Default Re: Nucs versus Packages?

    Bluegrass...I could not do that to my customers. I appreciate the offer, and would not need a certified check. I have never been stiffed on a bee sale. Most of my customers are repeats and someone who recommended me. I have never advertised and I am normally sold out by mid January and don't start making nucs until April.

    You are absolutely correct. I and most others who put together quality nucs, can sell all they make, It is just a sideline for me. A good way to spend my retirement years, get more people into bees, meet some GREAT people, and I really enjoy the woodworking in the Winter.

    Kelly Bee Company got me started several years ago by sending people to me, after they sold out. They sell thousands and still sell out early. I can always tell when Kelly sells out. Unfortunately by that time, I am also. There is a big demand right now. Don't know how long the craze will last, but it has been with us for a while. Only a couple or three others in the area who sell nucs, and they only sell like 10-15 per year. I met with a young man last week from Scottsville, and he is seriously thinking big. I told him everything I knew about selling nucs. He already has his queen raising well underway. He is likely going to keep his day job, and expand a little at a time.

    cchoganjr

  8. #68
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clackamas Oregon
    Posts
    790

    Default Re: Nucs versus Packages?

    Cleo, I posted on another thread about a non profit asking me to whip out some nuc boxes for them. They said the local suppler was at $39 unassembled for finger joint boxes and $21 for rabbet jointed. I had to ask him twice. Figure a buck for foundation, one for frame and $30 for a queen he could almost buy nucs from you and be ahead of the game!
    Retired Army, that’s too bad….go Navy!
    Back on subject the in laws got one package and one nuc, same store. Put them in two new hives second week of April. End of June the package had drawn two boxes, nuc only had 8 in the bottom box and the 2 frames from below trying to bait them up.
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  9. #69
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    661

    Default Re: Nucs versus Packages?

    The Ontario Bee Breeders Association have attempted to establish a standard. Some might find their definition and nuc buying guide helpful:

    http://www.ontariobee.com/sites/onta...uying-Nucs.pdf
    Adam - Zone 5A
    www.adamshoney.com

  10. #70
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,946

    Default Re: Nucs versus Packages?

    minz... I know that is true, But, next year or next week you might find the results reversed. There are so many factors on which will be the best after 30 or 60 days or one year. There is certainly no one answer.

    I get $30.00 for an empty 5 frame, box jointed nuc painted white. That is pretty standard for the area, except for assembly and paint. As I said, the way I can sell cheaper than some is I get most of my wood for free, well, almost free, I give them a jar or two of honey.

    I guess our suppliers don't get as much around here as in other areas. I have heard of a company over near London, Ky that sells box jointed nucs for $20.00 unassembled. They say very nice nucs. I just looked up Kelly Bee Company, and they get$137.50 for a complete 5 frame wooden nuc with bees and Carniolian queen. I couldn't find that they sell just wood nucs. Better Bee gets, $30.95 for an assembled 5 frame wooden nuc, not painted.

    Zhiv9... I just read the Ontario Bee Nuc Defination. It is good.

    I love the Navy, As a Company Commander in Vietnam in 1968, the New Jersey fired for me at Hue, and I regularily got fighters off the carriers in the Gulf, and I can never say enough about The USS Sanctuary and The USS Repose, hospital ships, that took care of the wounded. So I also say, Go Navy. Thank You Guys.

    cchoganjr
    Last edited by Cleo C. Hogan Jr; 01-10-2013 at 06:49 PM. Reason: add info on Ontario Nuc Defination

  11. #71
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clackamas Oregon
    Posts
    790

    Default Re: Nucs versus Packages?

    I am not bran new at this but if I were going to buy a nuc this spring I don’t know if I would want to pull apart a bunch of frames and look at it for fear of losing a bunch of field bees. I open up a hive here in the cold, wet spring they typically are coming at me in a hurry. About a month ago I popped a lid and had 10 stingers in my glove before I got the lid off. Not a real common issue but an issue all the same.
    How do you do a nuc inspection at the purchaser and not leave a lb. Of bees at his place to check the items listed by Zhive9?
    Cleo, did all my time on an aircraft carrier. We got attacked by the most powerful navy on earth one night. Holy crap did we burn. I could not imagine what damage those guys could do to us if they were serious! I would bet you seen your share of incoming ‘friendly’.
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  12. #72
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,427

    Default Re: Nucs versus Packages?

    Quote Originally Posted by minz View Post
    How do you do a nuc inspection at the purchaser and not leave a lb. Of bees at his place to check the items listed by Zhive9?
    Quickly and carefully. Know your supplier and trust him a bit or open it up at his shop in the late afternoon so it goes dusk before you put it in your truck just like you would move a hive. There is really no way tell them to stay in the box.

  13. #73
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,887

    Default Re: Nucs versus Packages?

    I don't worry about the field bees. I will open and inspect a nuc any time of day. As long as it has plenty of brood, plenty of stores and plenty of hive bees any bees that are out in the field are at the end of their life expectancy anyway. There are plenty of bees in the nuc who are 21 days old the day after you pick it up...and they graduate to field bees.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  14. #74
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,946

    Default Re: Nucs versus Packages?

    Quote Originally Posted by bluegrass View Post
    I don't worry about the field bees. I will open and inspect a nuc any time of day
    I agree. Most of my customers don't open them, so they get all the bees. I tell them if they are not happy when they get home, just let me know, I will replace or refund. I have never had a complaint.

    I close the nuc off with screen, before daylight, on day of pick-up in order to get all the bees but, if they want to open and inspect and you lose a few field bees, and 50 guard bees, it will not significantly weaken your nuc, if it was a good strong nuc.

    minz.. Believe me, there is nothing friendly about incoming.

    cchoganjr
    Last edited by Cleo C. Hogan Jr; 01-10-2013 at 08:37 PM.

  15. #75
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Lexington, Kentucky
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: Nucs versus Packages?

    Just curios but why can't I buy a nuc and a package and remove the queen from the package and combine the two into 2 8 frames bodies?

  16. #76
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,946

    Default Re: Nucs versus Packages?

    ImaNewBeeToThis... you could certainly do that, I wouldn't, but if you did , two things. 1. I wouldn't start with 2, 8 frame bodies. I would start with one and let them populate it, then add the second box. Unprotected comb or wax is not good. 2. If I wanted to go that route, I would contact the seller and get a queenless package and combine with the nuc. That way you don't wind up with an extra queen. Add additional boxes as required.

    cchoganjr

  17. #77
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Lexington, Kentucky
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: Nucs versus Packages?

    Sounds like a great idea, so why don't more people do this?

  18. #78
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,997

    Default Re: Nucs versus Packages?

    its not cost effective to buy a nuc and package to make 1 colony. If you get the NUC and package at appropriate times and have good queens in both you can make a honey crop on both in same year.

    NUCS always trump packages if built correctly.

  19. #79
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,997

    Default Re: Nucs versus Packages?

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    You can if you can't give them what they ordered and you should.
    Geeze,

    I really really hate to agree with you ace but you are finally correct.

  20. #80
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,716

    Default Re: Nucs versus Packages?

    Quote Originally Posted by ImaNewBeeToThis View Post
    Just curios but why can't I buy a nuc and a package and remove the queen from the package and combine the two into 2 8 frames bodies?
    By the time you pay for a package (minus a queen) plus a nuc, you likely have about $200 (likely more) invested in bees for just one hive. When you apply that to two hives, you probably have close to $450 for just bees for two hives.

    And if you were considering just populating one hive, you will be taking much higher risk than if you populated 2 hives. With two hives, you can borrow resources from one to diagnose and fix problems with the other. If you only have one, you are stuck.

    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

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