finding efficiency with nuc sales; specifically transportation/boxes?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Brooklyn, Connecticut
    Posts
    37

    Default finding efficiency with nuc sales; specifically transportation/boxes?

    hello good sirs and misses,
    in an effort to reduce overhead i am considering ways to get bees from one yard to another, safely. ideally, it would be nice if we could ratchet strap the costumers complete langstroth deep for transport but there are too many seams which can open from sliding and create a safety risk. i do not like the idea of having nuc boxes as it interferes with the minimum equipment (specialized equipment bad) i run in the apiary but i am not sure if there is a suitable alternative? i like the idea of not having to weather proof in the immediate future; i.e. painting so polymers tend to appeal more.

    is there a better way to get customers bees without buying specialized equipment? i understand they will lose forager bees and do you account for this in the price? i am not worried about it as they will drift into another colony but i want to keep customer happy; maybe reduce price 25$ compared to those that sell nucs with boxes?

    as of now the plan is to build 1/2" nuc boxes and run xps covers so that painting can be reserved for the customers.

    i want to get a pallet of coroplast nuc boxes from china but not sure of the cost at this time, my aliababa quote was not returned. with shipping can we get down below 8$ per box? even so, this would be for next year.

    any alternative ideas you want to steer me in?
    thank you for your time and consideration!
    peace and long life!

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    6,953

    Default Re: finding efficiency with nuc sales; specifically transportation/boxes?

    We use ratchet straps because they can be tightened so firm that boxes do not slide. Duct tape is used on open seams. Review your ratchet strap technique.
    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.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    2,732

    Default Re: finding efficiency with nuc sales; specifically transportation/boxes?

    I am going to prove I am way off the mark. You are putting 5 frame nucs into customers 10 frame boxes and delivering those?
    It is hard to design a safety net that some will not use as a hammock.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Brooklyn, Connecticut
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: finding efficiency with nuc sales; specifically transportation/boxes?

    Frank,
    thank you for the feedback! i have not tried ratchet straps yet i was just forecasting a potential issue. happy to know it can be implemented correctly. i was thinking using two in a cross pattern to limit movement in all planes; i.e. like a wrapped present.

    it would make me feel better if this can work as the nuc boxes become an expense in time, money, and space which increases overhead. these boxes in the northern environments, in and of themselves making wintering next to impossible. they will likely just deteriorate in a couple years or get trashed; wasted energy. i will await more feedback and keep talking about it with others and see if other, viable options exist.

    thank you all for your time!

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Red Bud, IL, USA
    Posts
    1,811

    Default Re: finding efficiency with nuc sales; specifically transportation/boxes?

    I sell nucs with no frame exchange. Customer brings their own box and no used equipment goes in my yard; transfer frames and bees in driveway or other space away from the hives. They get an extra shake or two of nurse bees to compensate for any lost foragers.

    I used to sell 1/2" plywood nuc boxes but found them more trouble than it was worth to me.

    Ratchet straps are your friend for transporting hives. Strapping hives together, to the dolly and onto the trailer
    “The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Skaneateles, NY
    Posts
    1,007

    Default Re: finding efficiency with nuc sales; specifically transportation/boxes?

    Quote Originally Posted by logicallycompromised View Post
    hello good sirs and misses,
    in an effort to reduce overhead i am considering ways to get bees from one yard to another, safely. ideally, it would be nice if we could ratchet strap the costumers complete langstroth deep for transport but there are too many seams which can open from sliding and create a safety risk. i do not like the idea of having nuc boxes as it interferes with the minimum equipment (specialized equipment bad) i run in the apiary but i am not sure if there is a suitable alternative? i like the idea of not having to weather proof in the immediate future; i.e. painting so polymers tend to appeal more.

    is there a better way to get customers bees without buying specialized equipment? i understand they will lose forager bees and do you account for this in the price? i am not worried about it as they will drift into another colony but i want to keep customer happy; maybe reduce price 25$ compared to those that sell nucs with boxes?

    as of now the plan is to build 1/2" nuc boxes and run xps covers so that painting can be reserved for the customers.

    i want to get a pallet of coroplast nuc boxes from china but not sure of the cost at this time, my aliababa quote was not returned. with shipping can we get down below 8$ per box? even so, this would be for next year.

    any alternative ideas you want to steer me in?
    thank you for your time and consideration!
    peace and long life!
    i move full sized hives on my trailer every year and just ratchet strap them in both directions. Never had an issue yet.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Denver Metro Area CO, USA
    Posts
    2,258

    Default Re: finding efficiency with nuc sales; specifically transportation/boxes?

    maybe reduce price 25$ compared to those that sell nucs with boxes?
    why leave money on the table? spending $10 on something like a pro nuc or jester gains you $15 profit a sale that adds up fast. Why lose money and at the same time have customers preconceiving your nuc as a lesser product?
    Packing matters in retail, some times costing more then the product..
    you could cut some Dcoats nucs out of OSB for like $3-$4 a pop, but that looks less professional

    Either way I would not be bringing in peoples equipment into my yards
    "oh well, let us stick to science. let them have their beliefs and intuitions!" -Medhat Nasr

  9. #8

    Default Re: finding efficiency with nuc sales; specifically transportation/boxes?

    First i only do about 30 nucs. I Have made up nuc boxes out of plywood and solid wood. When they pick up their nuc. I get a $25 deposit check for the box. When they drop it back off I tear the check up. Boxes are built in spare time. With heavy discounted wood.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Pennsylvania/Florida
    Posts
    483

    Default Re: finding efficiency with nuc sales; specifically transportation/boxes?

    Make the deposit higher,

    I used this model for years, but even with the deposit a large number of my boxes did not come back. While the deposit wasn't a bad trade off, i would rather get my boxes back, more so to save the time of cutting and building new ones on a near annual basis.

    Aaron

  11. #10
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Skaneateles, NY
    Posts
    1,007

    Default Re: finding efficiency with nuc sales; specifically transportation/boxes?

    i have 40 plywood nucs i made and painted. I make up the nucs in these then put them into cardboard nuc boxes to sell the bees in.
    It takes too long to make and paint my wooden nuc boxes to want to sell them.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,972

    Default Re: finding efficiency with nuc sales; specifically transportation/boxes?

    I do not sell the box or loan it. When a customer picks up their bees, they bring their own hive. We transfer the bees into their box on site. This model works for me as I do not sell that many nucs. I would use cardboard nuc boxes and add the cost into the price if I got above say 30 or 40 per year.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA, USA
    Posts
    418

    Default Re: finding efficiency with nuc sales; specifically transportation/boxes?

    I used ProNucs last year for some of my small number of nuc sales. They could return the pronuc and get their $15 back, or keep it. For a beginner, it was a useful item (1) as a quiet box during inspections and (2) incase they needed a temporary nuc due to split or swarm while they were rushing to the bee store to get more equipment.
    8 years, 8 hives

  14. #13

    Default

    Ratchet straps work just fine for moving and transporting hives. Last fall we purchased 14 complete hives 10 frame double deeps with 2 supers. We put a ratchet strap around the hive and used a 2 man hive carrier to move the hives to the trailer and secured them for transport. We transported over an hour away some interstate but mostly county roads nothing moved.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Bordeaux, Aquitaine, France
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: finding efficiency with nuc sales; specifically transportation/boxes?

    We use cardboard nuc boxes. No backwards and forwards, damage or lost boxes. Just drop off and not worry about them.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Ridgeville, SC, USA
    Posts
    561

    Default

    I have 160 nuc boxes I make nucs in nd grow them in. Couple days before pick up I box them up in cardboard jester boxes. Then I can reuse my wooden box again. My customers like the light weight cardboard boxes and they keep the bees inside pretty well. They take them home nd etc beside new hive location and pull yellow plug. Let them fly till they transfer in their new home. Works well for me. I tried growing few in them but the bees chewed the entrance hole bigger chewed a hole in the floor.

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