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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Stafford, Virginia
    Posts
    300

    Default Re: Yearly expenses estimate NEW - 175 hives - please input!

    Quote Originally Posted by Specialkayme View Post
    Nice work Matt.

    What you have right now was something of a goal for me in the next few years. Personally, I didn't really know what to do when I'm between 50 and 100 hives. 50 became too many to treat as a hobby, but not enough to really get into pollination contracts with. Hives don't put on enough honey around here to be really profitable (35 lbs per hive state average, with some years in the 15-20 lb hive range), at least as the only business. And queen production (while a blast) requires such specialized equipment, you really need to be ready to get big into it. It's refreshing to see someone not too far from me making a go at it. Congrats.

    In doing the math in my head, it didn't really seem profitable for someone in the central eastern seaboard to run 50-100 hives to oranges in FL, Almonds in CA, Blueberries in ME, or Apples in MA (just to name a few). I thought we were more stuck with what we can do locally. Good to see you breaking out of that.

    It all depends on what you charge. My minimum is $75.00 per colony on pumpkins, and cucumbers. I get turned down a lot, but I also get enough to keep me going. If the client doesn't want to pay, I can sit at home as I have a very good retirement.



    So this upcoming year, as in February, will be the first Almond trip for you? Or was 2013 your first trip to Almonds, with this upcoming year being your second?

    Just checking, cause your expenses appear to indicate that you went in 2013.

    2014 will be my first.




    Is this an average? Or did you contract with someone to transport literally on a per colony basis?

    this is my prorated share of the trip to cali since I am filling a load from a Florida Beekeeper.

    If you don't mind me asking, how did a Va guy with 150 hives get an Almond contract without a broker? What rate did you get?

    I have had several (8) calls from California growers whose beeks are retiring. I advertise, send out pollination cards similar to post cards to several hundred different growers for different growers across the eastern seaboard.



    Which I assume counts your (and the bee's) travel to and from FL, as well as your travel to and from CA, but not the cost of the bee transport to CA, right?

    Yes, for 2013, 2014 will be higher at least by 35% especially if I hit 300 colonies.

    Thanks for the insight. Extremely helpful.
    No problem.

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Springfield, MO, USA
    Posts
    102

    Default Re: Yearly expenses estimate NEW - 175 hives - please input!

    Thanks for the thread. I am also growing so this is very interesting to me. I don't run almonds. Just nucs, honey and local pollination.

    My question: If they start running to almonds, won't their yearly losses be increase?

    I have been leery of almonds because although the money looks good on the front end, it seems as if we end up losing so much in hive health that the long term losses eat up the profit margin. The long term cost of losing hives through increased disease/pest/virus transmission and stress seems hardly worth it unless an operation is running thousands of hives and can make an economy of scale.

    I don't see those increased losses being factored here.
    Jeffrey Maddox
    www.MaddoxBees.com

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    bridgewater , nova scotia
    Posts
    784

    Default Re: Yearly expenses estimate NEW - 175 hives - please input!

    I hope everything works out great for you , I know asking questions on this site is a hard thing to do , you get more questions thrown at you rather than an answer .
    It's a lot like asking a Kung-fu master a question , it always is a question for an answer LOL .

    I will be close to the number of hives you have for rent in the spring and I am doing some projections as well. I find it hard to get everything covered , but I am using a miscellaneous section for things I might not think of right now and I think We will be okay , mainly because I won't have to travel as far as most migratory Beekeepers . My distance to the fields I will be pollinating will be a max of 2 hours 1 way . I did find a truck for 2800+ tx and yes it needs a little work , but for another couple grand it will be a nice flat deck truck and it is a 2004 W5500 GMC Diesel , not a 30 year old truck
    Ben Little <The Little Bee Farm> https://www.facebook.com/TheLittleBeeFarm
    Nova Scotia Canada

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    groveton tx
    Posts
    160

    Default Re: Yearly expenses estimate NEW - 175 hives - please input!

    The only bees that will die in almonds is the 5 percent that lose their queens in transit. And sometimes I find fungicide issues with the bees coming back. Very small price to pay for the added income.

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    groveton tx
    Posts
    160

    Default Re: Yearly expenses estimate NEW - 175 hives - please input!

    I have bought many used trucks in the past. One time a Chevy 6500 with a cat c7 in it. It had rather low miles on the odometer so I considered it a sweet deal. I figured the truck would be good to about 500k and it had around half of that. Long story short I took it to the shop after noticing oil dripping out of the blow by and it had super high hours from city driving or idling. So a rebuilt c7 is like a 15000 deal. Something to think about.

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    FRASER VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
    Posts
    1,349

    Default Re: Yearly expenses estimate NEW - 175 hives - please input!

    Benjamin:

    I was looking at your income forecast and it looks like you figure on selling 1 nuc per hive at roughly $110 per nuc to generate close to 20 k in bee sales. This may be a bit optimistic but is possible to find customers. Depending on the time they are available you will likely have to purchase queens so the nucs are available so the buyers have a chance of making some sort of crop. You may need 200 queens at $20 each to make up your 175 nucs so that would be more than your projected needs. Remember this does not include any for yourself. We loose about 3-4% queens per month. I suspect that if you run to California that number is higher.

    I do not see any money for California other than hive transport. So you are putting them on the truck and saying a prayer for them, and hope for the best. I think this is not a bad strategy given the limited hive numbers. Pretty sure if you personally go to Cali, your costs go way up. This could be offset by working there. Probably no shortage of work at certains times. Experience will be priceless.

    When I had around that number of hives I mad made less money than that. Expenses are always higher, income lower. If you hit 10k profit at the end of the year, good on you.

    Jean-Marc

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    East Peoria, IL
    Posts
    398

    Default Re: Yearly expenses estimate NEW - 175 hives - please input!

    Quote Originally Posted by babybee View Post
    So a rebuilt c7 is like a 15000 deal. Something to think about.
    Why so high? It's a sleeved block so 6 new piston packs and big end rod bearings and you're back on the road. No external high pressure fuel lines on a HEUI engine and oil pump and cam timing wouldn't be messed with. Solid lifters so just have to do lash adjustment on reassembly. You can rebuild that in your home garage with an a-frame lift to get the head out of the way.

  8. #48
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: Yearly expenses estimate NEW - 175 hives - please input!

    Quote Originally Posted by jean-marc View Post
    looks like you figure on selling 1 nuc per hive at roughly $110 per nuc to generate close to 20 k in bee sales. This may be a bit optimistic but is possible to find customers.
    I have no problem selling out $170 per nuc. Hmmm....

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    FRASER VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
    Posts
    1,349

    Default Re: Yearly expenses estimate NEW - 175 hives - please input!

    Ok, well at this price that changes things a lot. After a run to California, you should have enough good hives to split off the 110-115 nucs you need to hit the 20k in bee sales.

    Jean-Marc

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    groveton tx
    Posts
    160

    Default Re: Yearly expenses estimate NEW - 175 hives - please input!

    What's the secret to selling a nuc for 170? Most guys I sell to want to negotiate me off of my 70 dollar price tag.

  11. #51
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,625

    Default Re: Yearly expenses estimate NEW - 175 hives - please input!

    I haven't tried fully digesting your numbers Ben but I do have some questions and observations. Where will this nucing operation be taking place and how much attrition in your returning almond pollinators are you planning on? Early April splits up north can be pretty iffy depending on the weather, possibly even too early to get queen shipments up north.
    A word of caution here. Your first priority is to your own bees. You won't recognize your returning bees. Many will be quite strong some will be struggling and a few will be dead. Don't underestimate how much of the returning resources will be needed to rebuild the weak and dead hives. Going through post almond bees is both the best and the worst of times. Additionally if you are leaving all of your own queens you had better make plenty of extra splits for your own operation as many will certainly fail as the season progresses. I wish you the best Ben, hope for the best and plan for the worst.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  12. #52
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,618

    Default Re: Yearly expenses estimate NEW - 175 hives - please input!

    Quote Originally Posted by babybee View Post
    What's the secret to selling a nuc for 170
    Sell them in Canada

  13. #53
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: Yearly expenses estimate NEW - 175 hives - please input!

    Quote Originally Posted by babybee View Post
    What's the secret to selling a nuc for 170? Most guys I sell to want to negotiate me off of my 70 dollar price tag.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    Sell them in Canada
    Or in WY. Both places are hard to get bees.

  14. #54
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    groveton tx
    Posts
    160

    Default Re: Yearly expenses estimate NEW - 175 hives - please input!

    I have sold a few hundred to a guy out of Casper for the past few years. He always negotiates me down. Just good business I am sure. If you can sell a nuc for 170 you may as well buy from me and middle man them. As far as Canada, I think the border is closed to US bees. Right?

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