Buying hives
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Thread: Buying hives

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    East Tennessee
    Posts
    32

    Default Buying hives

    I have found a gentleman who is getting out of the beekeeping business and wanting to sell all of his colonies. He is asking $150 per colony. Does this sound fair? I know that nucs in this area are going for somewhere in the neighborhood of $165, so it sounds good to me, but I'm new to this. Anything in particular I should look for or ask the seller about his hives in particular? Is the price OK? Any info is greatly appreciated!

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO United States
    Posts
    1,468

    Default Re: Buying hives

    What sizes are the hives/clusters? All alive & healthy? Sounds like a deal to good to be true, so that raises a red flag for me.
    Please excuse me, I am now free to go manage & treat ;)
    my ladies the best way I know how.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    7,866

    Default Re: Buying hives

    Either a great deal from a kindly old man or a pile of diseased junk. Could be both. The equipment has probably seen better days but live colonies this time of year alone are worth that price. You need help inspecting from someone who won't steal thedeal if it is too good.

    Ask the owner to inspect with you. Check for frames with dead or less than pearly white larvae. Search here for pictures of AFB. if you have no sign of disease, tell old man youneed lessons with the sale. That could be mutually beneficial.
    N

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    East Tennessee
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Buying hives

    I've not seen them out talked to the owner yet. The guy said he was too busy at work to manage them properly.. They are supposed to be double deeps with one medium on top. My dad ran across them somehow and called me to tell me about them. Guy is selling all his bees and keeping his equipment, just in case he decides to get back into it. Possibly some major pest issues? Or the fact equipment doesn't take time to keep up? Not sure at all at this point. How big should the cluster be at this point?

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Champaign, Illinois
    Posts
    2,461

    Default Re: Buying hives

    Good price but you have to inspect b4 you buy. Don't expect new equipment for that price.
    Frames and foundation with drawn combs are precious if they're healthy.
    It could be that the guy set the price low because he wants them gone fast or they're sick.

    Might ask him if you could bring the Tennessee state bee inspector to inspect hives before moving any colonies. It's pretty much an ordinance or law here that all bees going from county to county or state to state have an inspection and a permit saying they've been inspected.
    Internet credibility is an oxymoron

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Jackson, Ohio (SE Ohio) USA
    Posts
    817

    Default Re: Buying hives

    I'd jump on it, at least to the extent of getting out there to look at it ASAP, hopefully you can take an experienced Beek with you. Expect to do a lot of scraping and painting of woodenware and general maintenance. Try to get additonal empty woodenware as well. e.g. You want two hives with bees, try to get a correstponding number of empty deeps, mediiums, etc. so you can get those cleaned up and painted, then transfer your frames and bees to them and rehab the others. You're then ready to get into doing splits and increasing your number of hives.

    Query the owner as to what type of treatment(s) he's doing so you can continue or if he's not, you can decide what you're going to do. I'd suggest OAV at a minimum.

    Talk to an experienced Beek about how much work is involved, it's not just a matter of setting up a hive and walking away and thinking you're helping the environment or something.

    Good luck,

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    34,541

    Default Re: Buying hives

    How much do you know about bees and what a good colony looks like? Do you know what healthy brood looks like? AFB? Mites? Check each hive for strength, absence of disease, and an acceptable mite lode. This time of year zero, two, or three. But if it's higher you can do something about that. If the mite lode is real high, 15 and greater, maybe you can use that to negotiate an even better price.
    Mark Berninghausen

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    East Tennessee
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Buying hives

    I've got a super beek to help. He taught beekeeping at university of Tennessee and is a genius in every aspect. I'll try to get him to go with me, as it is close to his house. I also found some people selling some drawn frames along with allot of other equipment, I.e. bothering machine, barrels, boxes,... Drawn out combs and frames are $1. Gentleman passed away and family is selling out. Bees already sold. Sounds like I might empty or the old pocketbook.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Sonoma County, Ca, USA
    Posts
    457

    Default Re: Buying hives

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilli_in_TN View Post
    I also found some people selling some drawn frames along with allot of other equipment, I.e. bothering machine, barrels, boxes,...
    I'd pass on the bothering machine. The one I had was extremely bothersome.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
    Posts
    819

    Default Re: Buying hives

    Be sure they get inspected prior to the sale. It is illegal to sell without a prior inspection. Inspection services are free, so there is no reason to not have it done. PM me for info. I am an inspector in TN and may be able to do it myself or help you find someone closer to you. -James

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Lake County Illinois
    Posts
    313

    Default Re: Buying hives

    Quote Originally Posted by aunt betty View Post
    Good price but you have to inspect b4 you buy. Don't expect new equipment for that price.
    Frames and foundation with drawn combs are precious if they're healthy.
    It could be that the guy set the price low because he wants them gone fast or they're sick.

    Might ask him if you could bring the Tennessee state bee inspector to inspect hives before moving any colonies. It's pretty much an ordinance or law here that all bees going from county to county or state to state have an inspection and a permit saying they've been inspected.
    Good advice! Any equipment or bees I sell get an inspection.

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