No problem.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.