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3rd year beekeeper. I started with 2 packages, bought 2 more the next season and currently have 5 colonies lost one early on in winter. I have treated for mites provided adequate stores and hope all overwinter. I am concerned for 1 colony but as of now they are still alive yet small. I am looking to avoid “buying bees” every year. This will be my first time starting with overwintered nucs and am curious as to there production. I agree the price is steep, one of the most expensive I’ve found, the convenience of driving 1 mile for pick up swayed me to pull the the trigger. Inflation in bees as well I guess. Living in the northeast ain’t cheap and in NY taboot isn’t getting any cheaper lol.
With 5 hives why are you buying nucs? How fast are you wanting to expand your apiary? You have the resources to potentially double your hive count early in the season before or just as swarming starts with splits. Then another hive or two could be started mid summer by pulling extra resources from everything to make a couple nucs. $540 buys a good bit of equipment and queens if you are afraid to let your bees raise them. The old queens are going to fly away in a swarm so you may as well pull them and put them to work for you.
 

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I have traveled over a thousand miles to South West Ontario to pick up bees of a known quality, drop some off at my sons in Eastern Ontario and return home to Northern Ontario. I didnt quibble about the price of the bees. The breeder in question never has the lowest prices and always sells out. Hmmm!
 

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I have traveled over a thousand miles to South West Ontario to pick up bees of a known quality, drop some off at my sons in Eastern Ontario and return home to Northern Ontario. I didnt quibble about the price of the bees. The breeder in question never has the lowest prices and always sells out. Hmmm!
just re read what I posted and I sound like I was whining about driving to get quality bees. Haha didn’t mean to sound like a whiner! Hahaha
 

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just re read what I posted and I sound like I was whining about driving to get quality bees. Haha didn’t mean to sound like a whiner! Hahaha
It certainly wasnt pointed at you:). I think sometimes we put too much effort into getting best price instead of best value, though I can see someone who is buying large quantities of nucs or packages for pollination etc., being highly motivated by the price tag. Up here in the north we get used to paying a big price for bees. Last year a single deep in pretty ratty woodenware was going for $300. Nucs $225 and up. This year they will be higher almost for certain.
 

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5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
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One of the bigger suppliers in Wisconsin is at 148 dollars for a 3 lb package, and 175 for a 5 frame nuc. . Still waiting on prices from the other supplier.

Crazy Roland
for how many?
picked up or shipped?

GG
 

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Has anyone got a handle on spring nuc and package prices yet? It is getting to be time to lock down supplies for the spring. The last two seasons have knocked the crap out of my numbers and I may be in the market this spring.
I put mine up for 200 and they sold within 3 days. Better than last year
 

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BetterBee has posted prices for Nucs and packages...packages may be the way to go as they are noticably less expensive...around $200.00 or less.
 

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Someone usually drives to Chattanooga with a truck load of packages from south GA. I saw someone advertise packages (Italian) today for $130, but I think they were in Woodstock GA, not far from ATL.

I know 2 older guys around here that are considering going up from 175-185 to 200 this year on nucs. I sold several at 225 last year. I did a few where the first was 225 and additional nucs were 200. But I had the Russian thing going and that definitely had some novelty to it. I think they are superior to anything I've had, but there's still a bit of marketing involved.

If mine do well I plan to sell 2 rounds at the above prices, with a few overwintered and a few with certified RHBA queens, each for 25 over the normal price (so probably 250).

I really need to go up on queens a bit. I have a crazy good source of leads but with the percentage I pay him (he didn't ask) makes it only marginally profitable.

I think sometimes we put too much effort into getting best price instead of best value...
Years ago I had an uncle who borrowed a bull from my other uncle. I forget the exact price that was paid for the bull, but it was astronomical for where I was sitting. Dad (their brother) explained that a cattle farmer only raises 6-7 generations of cows throughout his lifetime. He said, "Doesn't it make sense to get the best genetics you can possibly afford?" - Never forgot that one.
 

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Has anyone got a handle on spring nuc and package prices yet? It is getting to be time to lock down supplies for the spring. The last two seasons have knocked the crap out of my numbers and I may be in the market this spring.
I ordered 2 pkgs from Barnyard bees...$165 each plus shipping
 

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In the central Minnesota area, I'm seeing nuc's listed for $165 to $200. None of them specifically say they were over wintered and pick up dates are in May. Most all of them state they always sell out which I would have to agree with. I tried getting nuc's last minute the past two years and couldn't find anything local until closer to summer.
 

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In the central Minnesota area, I'm seeing nuc's listed for $165 to $200. None of them specifically say they were over wintered and pick up dates are in May. Most all of them state they always sell out which I would have to agree with. I tried getting nuc's last minute the past two years and couldn't find anything local until closer to summer.
Most beeks in our area sell local nucs (not overwintered) from splits done in mid-late April. If they have some extra drawn comb and feed then 1 good round of brood blows the sides out pretty fast.

Last year there were multiple cool/wet snaps until almost May. One older beek I know said, “Next year I’m going to tell people don’t even call me until May.” So customers waited later, all the while queens were not making it back. For those who had taken deposits it was tense.

I don’t see a world where I’ll take a deposit largely for this reason. Of course it’s not much different from promising a pickup date, then moving it. Once you commit to a customer, you’re committed. And yes, when the weather breaks in June/July you can just about grab a few eggs and a handful of bees and eventually a nuc will form, so by mid June they are plentiful and no one is asking. I ended up selling several (in one block) at a significant discount in mid-Aug as I didn’t want to winter them and someone else wanted to be in a position to make honey this year.
 

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Mann Lake's packages have become the most expensive I've seen. I don't know why anybody would order from them when there are multiple cheaper options.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Mann Lake's packages have become the most expensive I've seen. I don't know why anybody would order from them when there are multiple cheaper options.
People tend to trust the big well known businesses and there is someone to take the call when they want to know where the bees are! Commercial beeks are often slow on communications, especially when bees are going to be late due to mishap or weather. Every year hundreds of newbees wander into the beekeeping sport and that allows ML and others to charge what often seems exorbitant amounts for livestock. The supplier side of the fence is no rose garden! Selling what I didn't yet have on a date certain taught me I did not want to be in the business.
 

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2 (10 frame) langstroth hives (first year)
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I ordered 2 pkgs from Barnyard bees...$165 each plus shipping
Just as a price comparison. I ordered from these guys late last year (May 16, 2021). No complaints: Shipping was on time, few dead bees, queen made it, still some feed in the can.

2021 Packages (Gentle Stock Packaged Bees) - 1 Package with Marked Queen (3 LBS)1$145.00
Subtotal:$145.00
Shipping:$23.40 via USPS - Priority Mail
Tax:$0.00
Payment method:Credit Card
Total:$168.40
 
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