the term "banked queen" generally refers to caged queens....3 frames with a queen is a nuc. I understand that you see these as "banked", but the terminology gets really confusing when you stray from well accepted definitions.
I have stated in almost every post I am a new beekeeper since May 2011. Thank you for the correction.
Since single caged queens are not generally overwintered, I considered a two or three frame more of just a queen a bank, not a standard nuc.
Just My opinion. Sorry it it was confusing
What is an overwintered nuc worth compared to one made from an early split with a cultured queen? Probably only a rather discriminating buyer would be willing to pay any more for it. Early availability might be the main factor for impulse buyers - like those folks at Lowes buying tomato plants on a sunny Saturday in March.
If you could get a good quality overwintered local queen or nuc any time you wanted one - when would you want it? At the onset of early build up? Dandelion Bloom? Seriously asking, not being sarcastic.
I see selling extra nucs after accounting for winter losses as a possible way to generate a bit of bee keeping income from that sustainable apiary. Demand is usually high at that time of year.
It would probably be a good experiment to produce some of both (OW and Early splits) from the same stock and then compare their performance.
I sold two nucs last fall for the normal price because I couldn't see how risking them to overwintering would be more profitable. Some nucs will be lost over the winter, that means the surviving ones should be worth about that much more. In my experience, a queen proven to be able to survive the winter is far more valuable than the best freshest recently raised and mated queen in a cage or a nuc.
I know a queen breeder that keeps about 900 nucs year round. January price is $75 for 5 frames heavy with stores and 2-3 frames of bees. March price is $90 for 5 frames light on stores and 3-4 frames of bees.
As is typical it seems that the price would be location specific. In Ca the price could be 90 or 100, however in Pa where I am I'd pay 150 for a good 5 frame nuc in March. I know a friend of mine who's starting out would also. Especially when you can only buy a package mid march / early April for about 100. A 5 frame nuc a month earlier is worth it IMHO. That's what I'm banking on. Also if you look at other sites there are people that sell 5 frame "northern raised" nucs in June for almost 150 so perhaps my numbers are low. Does anyone else have thoughts? I know MP has sold some nucs in the spring. Has anyone else sold them and do you care to share how much you sold them for?
That is helpful guys!!! The people that I remembered selling the nucs for has them offered at 120, but they're already all sold out. I realize that a nuc is SOOOO much better than a package and if packages are going for around 100, then nucs should be at least 1/2 again as much. (150) Overwintered even more (Even up to 200?) so because they're available much earlier and even before build up even starts. Seems to me that there's a ballance between selling price, how many you have, whether you sell out, and what demand is that's interesting. Seems to me that if someone's sold out already in January then either he's small, underpriced, or didn't have any for sale this year. When I'm ready to offer them I'll also overwinter them and offer them for about the same price as you mention. 170 sounds resonable to me. I realize how fast a nuc builds up even w/o any comb drawn other than the 5 frames.