Each year, I bring in a small group of packages for the beekeepers in my area, so I am always watching what the major bee supply companies are selling their packages for. Last year, we all thought the package bee prices with Tractor Supply were outrageous, but I am seeing similar prices with Kelly's and Mann Lake this year. I think I understand that with the poor showing at almond pollination, packages are in low supply, but is that the reason for the crazy prices?
My vendor still has his Georgia packages for the same price this year, so I know not all the prices have increased. And I also know that his packages are not off almond pollination. Maybe it is just west coast suppliers that are experiencing the increase? Years ago, when I got a few packages from Mann Lake, I know they came from Oliverez in CA.