2019 NUC Prices
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Thread: 2019 NUC Prices

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    Derry, New Hampshire
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    Default 2019 NUC Prices

    Looking at prices for 5 frame nucs in cardboard box now and from spring 2019 and most seem way lower then i have been paying over the last few years. Wondering if there is a running average price or all supply and demand? Most seem really close to package prices which seems off to me? Is the market flooded?
    Terrence

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    Default Re: 2019 NUC Prices

    This year I saw locally produced nucs selling for less than the the major supply houses were selling packages. And that was before shipping costs were added in.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  4. #3
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    Default Re: 2019 NUC Prices

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    This year I saw locally produced nucs selling for less than the the major supply houses were selling packages. And that was before shipping costs were added in.
    oy.....doesnt seem worth the effort for those prices. 20 percent of the cost is frames and box.
    Terrence

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
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    6,770

    Default Re: 2019 NUC Prices

    It has always seemed to me that hive and nuc prices do not pay an hourly fee anywhere near other trades. What is your plumber, electrician, mechanic and lawyer charging you?
    The box and frame value is about $27. The queen must be raised or bought. Queen value $30. Three pounds of bee's value in a package about $90. So you are up to $147 already. There is huge time and expense in making the hives to be divided. Those hives were probably fed and treated. Then they have to be divided and the resulting nucs checked or being queenright. The box must be folded. Then there is the distribution time involved in selling the nucs. I can send my bee helper out landscaping for $75 an hour plus and make a hell of a lot more money on his time than having him spend time making and selling nucs. And as a semi retired landscaper that is how I support my bee business, sending him out doing landscape work.
    There are $85 nucs for sale here on Craigslist. But likely upon on inspection I would declare then worthless.
    All of my opinions and suggestions are based on my five decades of actual beekeeping,
    not so much on book learning, watching YouTube videos nor reading internet sites.

  6. #5
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    Dec 2017
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    Wharton, Texas, USA
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    Default

    For those that have more bees than know what to do with it’s probably not viewed the same way. $85 is way low but $130-150 seems about right to me for a local guy. The big name people are still getting 200+.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Ohio
    Posts
    1,205

    Default Re: 2019 NUC Prices

    I sold out this year early at $180 and I'm rethinking if nucs are even worth my time. I can better then double my money if I run them all for honey. Honey demand is crazy already this year.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    3,705

    Default Re: 2019 NUC Prices

    I plan on raising my price for a local nuc from the $165 I charged this spring. This was the first time I sold them and really did not realize what all went into making a quality nuc. I do BYOH, so there is no box expense and frames are foundationless so $1 each, but still the return is not very great for the effort involved. Thank goodness this is a HOBBY! If it were a business, I would already be toes up.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Sedgwick Co. KS
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    1,124

    Default Re: 2019 NUC Prices

    I started a five nucs this spring just to sell locally to interested people (bought queens). I ended up selling them for $150 as 4H projects. I felt sorry the kids as well as the bees, and I made darn little for my time.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: 2019 NUC Prices

    Thanks. All the ones i ever bought were over 200 each. I like selling bees more then honey I think. Market seems saturated around me for honey sales. every store and farmers market has somebody there. Selling nucs i would deal with less people. guess we will see how it goes.
    Terrence

  11. #10
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    May 2019
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    Nacogdoches, TX, USA
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    Default

    If I sell a nuc it is usually because I split a larger hive to simulate a swarm, and I don’t want any more hives.

    Sometimes I’ll sell the old queen split for cheap once I know my new queen is laying in the parent hive (and make sure the buyer knows they are getting an older queen)....or I mash the old one, requeen the split, and sell for $150 on CL once she’s laying good and has at least a couple frames of capped brood.

    Ryan

  12. #11
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    Skaneateles, NY
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    938

    Default Re: 2019 NUC Prices

    I sold nucs this year for $165 for 5 frames with cardboard nuc box, plug, and a 2019 grafted queen from my best survivor queen ( 2016 queen).
    Didnt seem an unreasonably high price compared to others on craiglist.

  13. #12
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    Feb 2015
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    Rosebud Missouri
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    4,012

    Default Re: 2019 NUC Prices

    First bees I have ever sold was today. I sold a swarm that was caught a month ago and had 4 solid medium frames of brood and one full frame of honey for $75. I also sold ten medium frames of brood and stores and maybe the queen and maybe not cause we never saw her. I got $100 for that.

    It was a frame exchange and the buyers equipment and I made him do the frame transfers to his boxes. I did stand and help but mostly made him do it. It seems late here to be making my own emergency queen with the bees left, if he even got the queen which is questionable. If he did not get the queen, good for me. He seemed happy with the deal and was just wanting something that might make it through winter. I was happy cause making frames is my bottle neck. Now to decide if I want to do one or two more splits in case the queen does not get made and bred well and get back to 11 hives or not worry about it and worst case have nine. I had bad luck last year with late splits and queen return and so am a bit gun shy (out of four, only one returned).

    I figure the guy came out well and got to see every thing while it was being done and got ten medium frames when eight would be a normal match for a five frame deep. I come out cause I had no expense involved in equipment and it is easier watching then doing the work of the splitting. I will have to put starter strips on my new frames and they are not narrow like I build but still, I am satisfied and my wife got a $175 bonus today and done went to the store to get rid of some of it.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Santa Fe, NM
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    Default Re: 2019 NUC Prices

    "I sold out this year early at $180 and I'm rethinking if nucs are even worth my time. I can better then double my money if I run them all for honey. Honey demand is crazy already this year"..

    Or you could run your nucs for honey too. At the end of April each year I sell 5 frame nucs made up from my 4 over 4 over-wintered nucs in my 5 frame boxes that people return. I generally sell the over-wintered queen with the new nuc and introduce a new Russian or VSH queen to the remaining 4 frame nuc. Generally within 3 weeks I'm ready to add another 4 frame box to get the nuc back to a double again. Right about now these same nucs are capping the last of a third 4 frame deep box that I introduced with coated Ritecell 15 days ago. Yesterday I inspected 22 double nucs and pulled quite a fair share of capped deep frames of honey all from the nucs. I generally then extract the deep frames right away and give them back to the nucs to continue with the new flow. Cost wise I think its well worth raising and managing nucleus colonies. My typical payback on making up 5 frame nucs to sell from my double nucs is:


    Sell 5 Frame nuc: I generally do 50 or so, as its just me and I'm more a part time beekeeper these days: Sell for $325.00 ea. with VSH Queen. In case your wondering I usually borrow a frame of honey, pollen or comb from my production colonies to make it 5 frames. They don't miss it. And in case your wondering about the cost of the nucs; its the going rate in my area.


    So I have sold my original nuc for $325.00 and need to substract $30.00 for a new queen to keep the nuc sustainable, so I made $295.00

    This week many of these nucs gave up 34 lbs of spring honey that I extract and sell for $10.00 a 1 lb. jar. Minus the Jar and labels around a buck, so I again made $306.00 .

    It appears that these same nucs will again gather and store at least another box of 4 frames deeps ready to extract at the end of July. Yup that's another $306.00

    So I had a nuc that rebounded from an initial split and went on to make 65 lbs. of surplus. This is of course the original nuc that I still have, even though I sold half of the original nuc in the spring.

    So this end game nuc generated an income of $907.00 from April to end of July by selling bees, brood, great queen, and 8 frames of deep honey. But the best part of it for me is that I still keep the nuc to do it again next spring.

    Yes there is cost of production, my time, efforts etc. But all in all, I find my nuc production and management very cost effective.
    "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Wharton, Texas, USA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Riskybizz View Post
    "I sold out this year early at $180 and I'm rethinking if nucs are even worth my time. I can better then double my money if I run them all for honey. Honey demand is crazy already this year"..

    Or you could run your nucs for honey too. At the end of April each year I sell 5 frame nucs made up from my 4 over 4 over-wintered nucs in my 5 frame boxes that people return. I generally sell the over-wintered queen with the new nuc and introduce a new Russian or VSH queen to the remaining 4 frame nuc. Generally within 3 weeks I'm ready to add another 4 frame box to get the nuc back to a double again. Right about now these same nucs are capping the last of a third 4 frame deep box that I introduced with coated Ritecell 15 days ago. Yesterday I inspected 22 double nucs and pulled quite a fair share of capped deep frames of honey all from the nucs. I generally then extract the deep frames right away and give them back to the nucs to continue with the new flow. Cost wise I think its well worth raising and managing nucleus colonies. My typical payback on making up 5 frame nucs to sell from my double nucs is:


    Sell 5 Frame nuc: I generally do 50 or so, as its just me and I'm more a part time beekeeper these days: Sell for $325.00 ea. with VSH Queen. In case your wondering I usually borrow a frame of honey, pollen or comb from my production colonies to make it 5 frames. They don't miss it. And in case your wondering about the cost of the nucs; its the going rate in my area.


    So I have sold my original nuc for $325.00 and need to substract $30.00 for a new queen to keep the nuc sustainable, so I made $295.00

    This week many of these nucs gave up 34 lbs of spring honey that I extract and sell for $10.00 a 1 lb. jar. Minus the Jar and labels around a buck, so I again made $306.00 .

    It appears that these same nucs will again gather and store at least another box of 4 frames deeps ready to extract at the end of July. Yup that's another $306.00

    So I had a nuc that rebounded from an initial split and went on to make 65 lbs. of surplus. This is of course the original nuc that I still have, even though I sold half of the original nuc in the spring.

    So this end game nuc generated an income of $907.00 from April to end of July by selling bees, brood, great queen, and 8 frames of deep honey. But the best part of it for me is that I still keep the nuc to do it again next spring.

    Yes there is cost of production, my time, efforts etc. But all in all, I find my nuc production and management very cost effective.
    Where you at so I can bring some nucs up in spring

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Williamsport, PA
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    468

    Default Re: 2019 NUC Prices

    Quote Originally Posted by kaizen View Post
    I like selling bees more then honey I think. Market seems saturated around me for honey sales. every store and farmers market has somebody there. Selling nucs i would deal with less people. guess we will see how it goes.
    That is exactly where I'm at. The regulations and insurance needed in PA just make it not worth the effort to sell the amount of honey I produce. I am making nucs in the coming weeks to overwinter and sell in spring. I will probably drop my # of hives, concentrate on nucs, and use the honey for us, gifts, or bribes to use outyards.

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM
    Posts
    1,222

    Default Re: 2019 NUC Prices

    Amk

    Naturally ALL the nucs are not the same production wise, however this year has been well above average. I along the Rio Grande river between Santo Domingo and Taos Gorge.
    "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Ohio
    Posts
    1,205

    Default Re: 2019 NUC Prices

    Quote Originally Posted by Riskybizz View Post
    "I sold out this year early at $180 and I'm rethinking if nucs are even worth my time. I can better then double my money if I run them all for honey. Honey demand is crazy already this year"..

    Or you could run your nucs for honey too. At the end of April each year I sell 5 frame nucs made up from my 4 over 4 over-wintered nucs in my 5 frame boxes that people return. I generally sell the over-wintered queen with the new nuc and introduce a new Russian or VSH queen to the remaining 4 frame nuc. Generally within 3 weeks I'm ready to add another 4 frame box to get the nuc back to a double again. Right about now these same nucs are capping the last of a third 4 frame deep box that I introduced with coated Ritecell 15 days ago. Yesterday I inspected 22 double nucs and pulled quite a fair share of capped deep frames of honey all from the nucs. I generally then extract the deep frames right away and give them back to the nucs to continue with the new flow. Cost wise I think its well worth raising and managing nucleus colonies. My typical payback on making up 5 frame nucs to sell from my double nucs is:


    Sell 5 Frame nuc: I generally do 50 or so, as its just me and I'm more a part time beekeeper these days: Sell for $325.00 ea. with VSH Queen. In case your wondering I usually borrow a frame of honey, pollen or comb from my production colonies to make it 5 frames. They don't miss it. And in case your wondering about the cost of the nucs; its the going rate in my area.


    So I have sold my original nuc for $325.00 and need to substract $30.00 for a new queen to keep the nuc sustainable, so I made $295.00

    This week many of these nucs gave up 34 lbs of spring honey that I extract and sell for $10.00 a 1 lb. jar. Minus the Jar and labels around a buck, so I again made $306.00 .

    It appears that these same nucs will again gather and store at least another box of 4 frames deeps ready to extract at the end of July. Yup that's another $306.00

    So I had a nuc that rebounded from an initial split and went on to make 65 lbs. of surplus. This is of course the original nuc that I still have, even though I sold half of the original nuc in the spring.

    So this end game nuc generated an income of $907.00 from April to end of July by selling bees, brood, great queen, and 8 frames of deep honey. But the best part of it for me is that I still keep the nuc to do it again next spring.

    Yes there is cost of production, my time, efforts etc. But all in all, I find my nuc production and management very cost effective.
    Wow $325 for a 5 frame nucs. How many can you sell at that price? I'm why to big to retail at $10 a lb.

    All my hives get started in March with a 2# package. By May I can pull a nucs or make a split for production from 65%. I can sell the nuc for $180 and be done, or I use the split for production and produce 125-180 lbs. and wholesale for $3 a lb. ($375-$540) of course more work and expense for double the money on honey production. For me it's all about how many hive I can run and keep my production # up. I find if I do more then 900 hives, I don't do as well. Hard to keep up pulling honey on good years.

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Williamsport, PA
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    468

    Default Re: 2019 NUC Prices

    RiskyBizz, that is a well developed system! I don't know if I could get those prices but everything else is a nice template to try and replicate.

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM
    Posts
    1,222

    Default Re: 2019 NUC Prices

    Everyone's area is different for hive management as well as prices and demands. I usually make up and sell 40-50 splits. Have never had a need to really advertise. My yard locations generally produce good honey yields. Some years they produce a lot more. July here is typically slow but starts to pick up again in August. Late August into September and even October offers Chamisa (Rabbitbrush) in huge abundance as well as last crop alfalfa, wild sunflower, and aster. For living in the high desert I'm not complaining. We just finished up a federal agriculture grant in May focusing on over-wintered 4 over 4 nucs using Russian Hybrid and VSH queens from Baton Rouge Labs. My technical advisor happened to be Dr. Jose Villa, who lives a few hours away. You can learn a lot about genetics from individuals like that. Next spring we'll start a dedicated queen rearing program to carry on those genetics. Mite counts here are very low, and we usually loose few colonies to viruses. The isolated nuc yards from the grant were 22 colonies each. We lost 2 colonies, one went queen less and the other starved. Production colonies were equally as healthy. Test yards received no miticides or treatments of any kind.
    "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti

  21. #20

    Default Re: 2019 NUC Prices

    We were at $175 and sold out 1100 all picked up before April 8th. March 1-5 we pull 2 frames capped brood, add ripe queen cell, 1 drawn and 2 foundation. feed 1/2 gallon twice. By delivery they are solid 3 to 3 1/2 frames of brood with 4th frame pretty much drawn out. Most are starting on the 5th frame. We let everyone know they need another week but they could just as easily keep growing at their location by putting the nuc exactly where their hive is going to go. Most sales are 2's and 3's. Largest order this year was 75.
    Its great income for us and we feel its easier money than Almonds.

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