Re: Queens are relatively cheaper now than before Varroa????
I purchased queens for $6 each in 1977 from Glenn Fowler who had been the president of American Bee Breeders Association in the 1960's. No shipping was involved, I called in advance, he caged the queens, I picked them up an hour or less later. I still remember carrying those queens home in my car and installing them in colonies built from swarms I had captured. In 1985, he raised the price to $8 each because of the rampant inflation at that time.
It is worth noting that he was the most scrupulously conscientious queen breeder I've met. His queens were outstandingly good Italians.
NW Alabama, 46 years, 24 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest