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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Arras, British Columbia, Canada
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    147

    Default Re: Inspiration to keep going

    Actually simpler than that, I forgot about the 4lb package with 2x queens. So I see it at around $100 plus the extra queen. I think if I was purchasing say 500 packages with 2x queens I could get them for $120 each. I am pretty sure I could get that load to Manitoba for $10,000. So I have replaced 1000 hives for $70,000 bucks.
    I now have the advantage of stripping every last bit of honey out of every hive in fall. Say 20lbs extra from each hive. At current prices that is an extra $40 bucks.
    I now have a very small spring feed bill. I have no wintering costs. Little to no medication costs. Say conservatively those add up to $65 bucks.

    Someone from the outside looking in could assume that if you make 140lbs of honey in a given year that all equipment except building and vehicle are paid for after year one. Recurring costs are only $70,000 per year to replace bees after that. Plus minor expenses. I think the competition would be fierce and many neighbors would become beekeepers. Every Mennonite, Hutterite, farmer looking for a change, opportunist.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Skiff, Alberta, CA
    Posts
    304

    Default Re: Inspiration to keep going

    Bingo Jodie. I don't need the neighbors being beekeepers.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,749

    Default Re: Inspiration to keep going

    Quote Originally Posted by JodieToadie View Post
    Heck, I've seen whole hives for sale coming out of almonds for $150. Providing they are 2 supers full as advertised, I could pay the keeper to shake 4X 2-3lb packages plus 3 queens. We would be getting close to the $50 range (Before delivery.) I think it could be done for $75.
    If you would take them beginning of March but even so, almond shook bees would never pass CFIA's requirements. It would be designated package operations, Oliveraz come to mind, already set up as package producers, control over their own hives over their own acres
    Last edited by Ian; 04-14-2014 at 12:39 AM.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
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    5,749

    Default Re: Inspiration to keep going

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Martens View Post
    Ian, what do you think the price for a US package would be if the border opened to packages, in $CND,
    Its about having the network in place to be able to react to terrible situations that are completely out of our control.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Campbell River, BC, CA
    Posts
    481

    Default Re: Inspiration to keep going

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Martens View Post
    Ian, what do you think the price for a US package would be if the border opened to packages, in $CND,
    Ignoring demand issues for the moment, not hard to pin a number on this. I'll use number regularly quoted here on beesource, at retail level.

    90 US dollars for a package, will turn into 99 Canadian dollars after exchange. Hard to estimate slippage accurately, but, it's a long trip that'll be done via ground, so there's going to be slippage enroute, guessing at 5% overall. That makes the package $104. The border itself will introduce some cost, inspection and likely a requirement for them to be treated for various diseases prior to crossing. That's going to bring the price up to $110. Shipping will tack _at least_ 5 bucks onto each of them, up to $115 now. At retail levels, there will be a middle man doing the import, with a markup, brings the price into the $130 range. Not sure if GST will apply at scale, it will at retail, if so, now we are approaching $140 per each at retail quantity one pricing. NZ packages here this spring, were $165 at retail quantity one pricing. The only difference I see, is the cost of an airplane ticket to get them up from the southern hemisphere.

    I think the main benefit for folks buying in quantity would be the ability to import by truck, at the border crossing of your choice, so you could eliminate the middle man during the import process. The big issue for bringing in from southern hemisphere in that respect, they will arrive in Vancouver, and unless you plan to drive out, it's not possible to eliminate the middle man during the import.

    The numbers will improve somewhat at larger scales, but, if you scale up enough, you'll affect the supply / demand curve in the US, which will increase the base price, and that'll cascade thru.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Fruitland ,Idaho
    Posts
    419

    Default Re: Inspiration to keep going

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    If you would take them beginning of March but even so, almond shook bees would never pass CFIA's requirements. It would be designated package operations, Oliveraz come to mind, already set up as package producers, control over their own hives over their own acres
    If the above was true you can pretty much rule California out. I don't know any package producers that leave bees out of almonds so they can shake them later, other than to start cell builders early.
    When you get the border open let me know. I would send some clean packages up on a share crop basis.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Spokane, Washington, USA
    Posts
    706

    Default Re: Inspiration to keep going

    Olivarez package bees are almond bees. The only reason why Olivarez is a large operation is because an almond grower provided them with the capital to expand to 20k operation and buy out a business in Hawaii. Those bees become the growers for pollination season. Talk about owning your bees!! The real package producers would be from southeast US.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    souris, manitoba, canada
    Posts
    749

    Default Re: Inspiration to keep going

    videos of the standing Senate committee on Agriculture, holding hearings on The importance of bees and bee health in Canada in the production of honey, food and seed in Canada


    http://senparlvu.parl.gc.ca/Guide.as...31&Language=E#

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Arras, British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    147

    Default Re: Inspiration to keep going

    Looks like we have some good fiction writers in Nova Scotia, Manitoba and Alberta. You might get your way Ian. There is a bunch of dialogue in the Senate regarding the opening of the border. You have to read it all. http://www.parl.gc.ca/content/sen/co...FO/51195-E.HTM

    Mark my words the dynamics will change. You might find that your existing operation will have to change very fast. The best news is that you will write your bees off to zero every year. But it makes an apiary worth the price of the supers. A hive becomes worth $60 bucks at the end of each season. I see an advantage geographically for me. I could do it like my father did in the 80's. I'll grab packages in March, down in the Fraser Valley or Okanogan. Catch a pollination, bring them up to the Peace Region in May. Kill the bees in September and start again the following year. I will have the advantage to take delivery earlier and possibly get a pollination payment. I could probably still make it work. It does really take it back to simpler times. Less labor with the Cowen machines and a whole lot less management of the hives. Plus if there are any infections in the comb I would have Iotron right there to irradiate the combs before the next cycle.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Dawson Creek, BC, Canada
    Posts
    165

    Default Re: Inspiration to keep going

    Quote Originally Posted by JodieToadie View Post
    Mark my words the dynamics will change.
    So if I get what your saying, if the boarder were to open to packages, it would drastically decrease the value of my current hives? That's a different way to look at things.

    Let's see if I have this right. Currently I value my hives at what it would cost to replace them. Last year I paid $150/nuc on May25th which got me basically what I currently have right now after winter, but a month earlier than buying nucs. By May 25 this year each hive should be twice as big as the nucs I bought, so I would say right now my bees are worth $250/hive minimum.
    If they open the boarder that value would become $75/hive? That would be a write down all right. It would make my beekeeping inventory feel like Blackberrys that nobody wants.

    Luke
    Last edited by JohnK and Sheri; 04-17-2014 at 08:13 AM. Reason: excessive quote

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    New York City, NY
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    4,293

    Default Re: Inspiration to keep going

    Here's a key quote from the senate hearing, "I have brought you further research that demonstrates a clear model of how you can keep bees healthy and treatment free using package bees."

    It's all about margins. If honey producers are going to simply blow bees out of their hives rather than try to overwinter them, it means that those of you that do overwinter hives can buy those bees, that would have been blown out of hives, as packages for 50 cents on the dollar.

    There's no reason to defend a price bubble if your margins remain the same or improve.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    1,905

    Default Re: Inspiration to keep going

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    Here's a key quote from the senate hearing, "I have brought you further research that demonstrates a clear model of how you can keep bees healthy and treatment free using package bees."

    It's all about margins. If honey producers are going to simply blow bees out of their hives rather than try to overwinter them, it means that those of you that do overwinter hives can buy those bees, that would have been blown out of hives, as packages for 50 cents on the dollar.

    There's no reason to defend a price bubble if your margins remain the same or improve.
    And feed them, overwinter them, treat them, work them, then feed them some more .

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    New York City, NY
    Posts
    4,293

    Default Re: Inspiration to keep going

    Or, not.

    They could always ship double the packages back to the U.S. for half price.

    You send up 3#s, you get back 6#s.

  14. #34
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta, CA
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: Inspiration to keep going

    There is a huge opportunity for bee producers to make large increases in Canada and over winter nucs for spring sales. This will pretty much stop Canadian interests in sinking any money into a bee producing businesses as when the boarder is opened, the capital investment would be worth $0.30 on the dollar. Great incentive for bee producers in Canada!! Put some government incentives out there to help with Canadian bee producing. It's 2014, sure it's easier to get bees from a warmer climate but it's not as impossible as one might think to produce bees in the GREAT WHITE NORTH and help our economy out at the same time!!!!
    May as well just keep buying foreign until we run out of gas, oil, Canola and honey!!
    Rant, rant, rant!!
    Sorry but feel better now LOL
    Mark
    First day of pollen coming in April 13, 2014.

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Arras, British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    147

    Default Re: Inspiration to keep going

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    It's all about margins.
    Not sure that you understand the market or economics very well. It costs a beekeeper up north in the range of 65 bucks to overwinter and medicate a hive (singles, doubles would be more) plus I figure I lose 20lbs of honey. So why would I want to spend $105 to possibly have 30% losses to overwinter a hive I could replace for $60 in spring? If the border is opened overwintering would not make any sense at all. Plus beekeepers in the usa are just as smart and wouldn't buy more bees going in to winter either as your other post suggests.
    Last edited by JohnK and Sheri; 04-17-2014 at 08:16 AM. Reason: excessive quote

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Skiff, Alberta, CA
    Posts
    304

    Default Re: U.S./Canadian honeybee open border issues

    Jodietoadie, can you itemize the overwintering expenses that up to 65$. Thanks.

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Arras, British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    147

    Default Re: Inspiration to keep going

    Quote Originally Posted by allincuddy View Post
    There is a huge opportunity for bee producers to make large increases in Canada and over winter nucs for spring sales.
    It will change the current market completely there will be big winners and big losers. As the California market reacts to a border opening there might be huge fluctuations in package prices. Under production or scarcity at first then overproduction. As the market becomes adequately supplied I will speculate that our nuc production market will go to zero. Those beekeepers will chase pollination and honey production. Crowding those markets and causing the prices to go lower. With margins squeezed and a less labor intensive, lower cost, more number stable method available beekeepers will jump to package bees. (This will also tear down barriers of entry for new competitors.) So we will return back to gassing our bees at the end of each season and ordering new ones in spring. (Otherwise known as the package treadmill.) Currently we beekeepers value our hives at $250-$300 each. Once we start on the package treadmill a hive in fall will be worth exactly $60 bucks or the price of 2 supers.

    I can understand the economic reasons for doing this but I think the proponents either didn't think it out or are so large that they don't even care. It will hurt smaller beekeepers disproportionately. The guy with 1000 hives or less will be the big loser. The guys with 5000 or more will win big time.
    Last edited by JohnK and Sheri; 04-17-2014 at 08:17 AM. Reason: excessive quotes

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    419

    Default Re: Inspiration to keep going

    My take on the economics of wintered vs package. It cost me about $45 per hive to winter and maintain my numbers. Historically I've had a 10% surplus, so at $100 a package (which is probably the cheapest US bees will be when all is said and done) that reduces my cost by $10 to $35 if I sell my surplus. Building up packages in spring I estimated would cost me $15 per package. Packages would need to be priced at $20 for me to break even. With singles I don't leave an appreciable amount of honey in the brood chambers. Usually I'm panicking to get the feed in after the hives have been stripped.

    Gassing bees on a large scale would never fly in today's political environment. It would be legislated illegal in short order. On top of that bees, honey and beekeeping have gain a lot of public goodwill. That goodwill towards beekeepers would be gone in a heartbeat.

    My understanding is that there is not a big surplus of packages in the US. Perhaps someone more familiar with the supply of packages could comment. I suspect the the protocols required by CFIA may well reduce the pool of package suppliers as well.
    Last edited by Allen Martens; 04-16-2014 at 10:24 PM. Reason: Add info

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Skiff, Alberta, CA
    Posts
    304

    Default Re: U.S./Canadian honeybee open border issues

    Sorry for the mistake JodieToadie. Could you itemize the overwintering expenses that add up to $65.00?

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Arras, British Columbia, Canada
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    147

    Default Re: U.S./Canadian honeybee open border issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Haraga View Post
    Jodietoadie, can you itemize the overwintering expenses that up to 65$. Thanks.
    It was an estimate but sure.
    What's Apivar worth? $5 bucks a hive.
    Fumigillan? $3.50 possibly treating fall and spring.
    Oxalic Acid is darn near free, same with Oxytet. But I do use honey bee healthy so combined another 4 bucks.
    Lets say labor for 3 treatments spring and fall or 1/2 hour per hive (5 minutes per hive per treatment including pre-mixing and set up and cleanup. Say my labor is $15.00 per hour. I would say it costs $20 per year for medication and labor. You could cut or add as you see fit.
    Knocking hives down to singles takes me some time. Say 20 minutes per hive in fall or $5.00.
    Per hive I would say I need around 50lbs of sugar to make weight. I don't get a huge deal on sugar so $.50lb or $25.00 per hive. Again you might do better or worse.
    The dedicated building or hive wrapping is not free. You may have costs lower or higher but we'll say $7 bucks per hive for argument sake. I would also guess that feeders have a limited lifespan and it might cost $.50 per hive for feeders per year. That might leave me $7.50 for labor to move hives in and out and set up for wintering, monitor and check hives, and pay for gas, utilities and other associated things I might have missed.

    Hence $65 bucks per hive.

    Haraga, what do you estimate your costs at. How far off would you say I am?

    So medicating total cost per hive might be $20.00

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