Its seems to be a downward cycle for the industry... this is the reason that I am hoping to steer the next generation of breeders in the right direction for large production, grafting, and genetic selection for diversity.
Have you considered teaching a class or two or three that would cover this? If the price was right I would seriously consider a trip to MS for the queen breeding class.
We have student workers each year that earn experience, an income (although its a small one), and while they are working with us...we are working with them to build their own apiaries so that by the time they have the experience to operate in a commercial market...they have the bees and equipment to do so.
My operation (and my 3 kids..LOL) keeps me tied down, but next winter I will be traveling to speak at several associations and clubs. We had discussed creating a few courses, but as you may have noticed, I can be somewhat long-winded. lol. So I fear that the courses would be too long for anyone other than the extremely serious.
I also feel that after theory and mechanics have been learned, "hands-on" is the only way to truly make sure that your students are ready to use what they have learned in their own operations. So we are talking about a pretty long course... I will inform everyone on the forums if we decide to offer it.
Also, I have been adding these subjects to the forums on my site and adding to them as I have time.
I hope rising Queen prices don't end up like the end product of rising gas prices it seem like the higher gas prices went the worst gas mileage my little pickup gets. Or like the postal service the higher price shipping got, it seem the longer it took to get your packages.
Was doing some remembering back in1970 had a friend in Blythe his dad had a bunch of Hives and i remember him telling me
They fum gated the honey house used some kind of sulfur burning type of application
And the 200 queens they the had received to make splits or requeen was for gotten and got killed they cost around $2.50 to $3.00 each queen
they had 10 frame deep splits with laying queen for $20.00 Each
So at todays price of queen at $20.00 to $30.00 Each this would make a 10 frame Deep Split with laying Queen. costing $160.00-$300.00 This is compared $2.50 Queen 10 frame deep Split at $20.00 1970 prices
Last edited by Velbert; 01-19-2011 at 06:42 AM.
I have read references in bee literature about queens prices in the $7.50 price range in 1975. Price adjusted for inflation that would be over $30 bucks a queen in today's economic terms. Seems like few are actually keeping up with inflation and by most accounts beekeeping was a bit easier in the 70's.
The price of a queen can be driven by many things. Consider the costs of production; labor, feed, fuel, supplies, etc. However this is only part of the equation. Also consider that there are no real substitutes for a good queen. I would bet the demand curve for queens is relatively inelastic, meaning they will still sell well despite higher prices as long as the quality remains decent.
In our operation each queen has become VERY important to us and I do not want to part her unless it is really worth it. There is so much intrinsic value in a good queen, one would almost have to be nuts to part with her or have way more bees honey and wax than one knows what to do with, which very rarely can be the case.
Trouble with that is, three days wouldn't even cover the basics. Again, I feel that its the poor instruction that causes such poor results amongst queens... most are simply taught how to make a hive draw cells... but the most important lessons should be in selection, record keeping, drone production, and diversity.
Great point... start by learning all you can about the bee breeds... then dig deeper into the regions where they come from, how they differ and why... study the "cause and effects" of their history. This will give you the insight to know how climactic, agricultural, predation, and urban development can cause stresses that alter the course of the noticeable traits of a strain... and in turn you will learn what strains can be used and how they should be implemented to create the best bees for each of our industries many environments....
Warning!!! There is no exit from this rabbit hole! Once you fall in... you will be forever lost in the wonderland of the bee kingdom.
The roller coaster will have many "ups" and many "downs", but all you have to do is just stay on the ride... which of course is much harder than jumping while its at its lowest point... but its the only way to reach the reward at the end.
Funny you should mention that Russell. As I type this "In Search of the Best Strain of Bee" by Brother Adam is sitting on my coffee table with a bookmark in it. Lol, I was doing exactly what you suggested two hours before I saw your comment.
But from there, I need to understand HOW to select for certain traits. I'm sure it's covered more in depth in Brother Adam's third book . . .
Who ever said there was anything wrong with going further down the rabbit hole? I'd always choose the red pill.