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I have 20 hives and want to stay right there. However, I know I need to go into winter with more hives than that to have 20 hives left when spring arrives. After making splits, I will probably go into winter with about 32 to 35 hives of varying size and strength. Next spring, when I sell the excess hives above 20 (providing there are some), what do most people want to buy? I run almost all medium supers - so most of these hives will be two or three medium supers in size when I get ready to sell them. But, I know a lot of folks just want to buy nucs because they are considerably less expensive than buying hives two or three supers in size. Do most folks want hives with deeps on the lower two hive bodies? If nucs, including the nuc box, goes for $100 in my area - what would you sell a hive of 2 or 3 mediums in size. Should I split the excess hives into multiple nucs and sell them - even though it would be later in the spring before they are ready? How is the best way to sell?
 

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I would sell nucs by the frame numbers, let the customer bring their own boxes to move your frames into. 15-20 per frame and 15-20 for the queen, into the customers box. Pick up only, naturally, doing it this way.
 

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From my experience this year one thing you should consider is how much Comb do you want to sell? Then go from there. If you have over wintered nucs that you are able to sell early there will probably be plenty of demand as long as the price is fair.
 

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Everyone around here seems to want 5 frame deep nucs, they go for 125- 150. Most people do not ask, they just assume they are deeps. I like the idea of folks bringing there own hive and moving the frames into there own equipment.
 

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Having people bring their own equipment to install into is a pain in the b*** and looks like you are cheap. Demand is increasing for medium nucs. Either make up some inexpensive wooden nuc boxes and collect a deposit on them or find commercially available waxed cardboard ones.
 

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I sold my medium nucs this year in shop built wooden boxes (customers kept) which allowed me to have them ready to go on pickup day - bee tight, shrink wrapped and screened with health certificates and suggestion sheets attached. I think people really appreciated it - especially the ones that hauled them in their cars. A couple of people have already asked to be put on the list for next year.

Still if I could get a quality medium box like the jester ones I would sure consider it. Transferring into their equipment sounds like a pain in the backside though - and a possible way to bring disease in.

I'll say this though - unless something goes horribly wrong I will certainly sell nucs again next year.
 

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I would gladly pay $200.00 per nuc the way David LaFerney sell his nucs. My next purchase will be overwintered nucs or established splits. Sell them like David or find some good cardboard boxes. Some buyers, like myself, do not have a truck and the bees will have to be transported in a car, or in my case, an SUV. Also, I am willing to drive a couple of hundred miles for pickup, and I think most people are.
 

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I recently bought a 5 frame split with a queen added. I drove there in the evening, we set his frames in my equipment on the stand where the split was going and waited about an hr until dark and then I closed them up and off we went. there were a few straglers that showed up after we buttoned them up so when we pulled it off the stand we sat it down about 20 ft out in the yard and brushed them off, they went to where the hives were on the stand and I loaded them up in the SUV and drove home. It went smooth as silk. Would I have preferred they came in a box, sure, but for $5 a frame + $20 for a queen, I was more than happy to swap frames and wait an hour.
 

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I have purchased nucs by having the frames and queen transfered into my boxes. I transfered five frames with queens into my 8 frame boxes, which I had three frames of foundation in to take up the space. I got to see the condition of each frame and the queen which is a big plus in my book. The person who sold them to me had the nucs already made up in his home yard, so the transfer went quickly and easily. I do have a truck, so that made it easy, but I could just have easily picked them up in my jeep cherokee, as I had 1/8 mesh screen stapled in place over the entrances. I picked these up in the morning and brought them home and set on stands and removed the screens from the front entrances, worked very well for me.
 

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SwampCat
Why don't you just keep 20 hives and replace those that die over the Winter, or whenever? Instead of having 36 expecting 16 to die so you will have 20 come Spring?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
SwampCatZ
Why don't you just keep 20 hives and replace those that die over the Winter, or whenever? Instead of having 36 expecting 16 to die so you will have 20 come Spring?
I only expect three or four to die, leaving me a dozen or so hives that i dont want. Just figured i could pick up a little extra money selling some bees to help cover the cost of everything else.
 

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As a customer I prefer to install in my equipment at there location. That way you and the seller can look at each frame as it is moved over. I appreciate the seller that takes the time to go over each frame, finding the queen, brood pattern etc. I just close up the entrance with screen and ratchet strap around the hive and carry to the new location in the back of my suv. I have a truck, but for me a suv is easier. It seems to work great to me, if and when I get into selling nucs I thought that's the way I would try it.
 

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I would sell nucs by the frame numbers, let the customer bring their own boxes to move your frames into.
The only trouble with that is - what about the people who are just starting out and don't have their own equipment.

Plus, it sounds like a pain to move the bees into the customer's box once they get there and then have to wait to get them sealed up. If you can't make hives yourself, get a woodworker to make them for you - they should be able to make them cheaper than you can buy them. Charge enough to cover the cost of the box, top, and bottom (plus some), the cost of the frames and foundation (plus some), and for the bees.

You could even have 8 frame or 10 frame boxes made up and turn them into a nuc with a piece of plywood inside - empty frames and foundation for the side that doesn't have the bees and drawn frames in that once the nuc is big enough, the piece of plywood is pulled out to turn it into a regular sized hive.
 

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Personally I would sell them in modified Dcoates boxes. Modified to be medium if that's what you wish, and modified to have a telescoping lid instead of migratory and modified to have a hole drilled in the bottom front with a closure disc on there, I also do a vent hole below hand hold in the back. then night before pick up I'd put 2 screws in the side of the lid, 1 front 1 back and put the disc on vent. Hey wait that is what I do, everything except the medium thing. I just build the value of the nuc box into the price of the nuc. Lots less headache on pickup day. NO fear that a box is going to come open in a car on the way home. They are rock solid, not like one of those waxed cardboard or plastic nucs that if you have it squeezed too tight or something bees spill out.
 

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As a first year beek. I am glad that I purchased my nucs. the way I did. went and tranfered nucs. from his boxes to mine. and did a thorough inspection of the nuc. as well. any and all questions were answered . If you didn't like anything about the nuc. you picked another one.
Many others in the state bought nucs. that they weren't able to inspect. and their were problems with a small number of nucs. The supplier is trying to make it right with those buyers. But it would have saved them time,money and a lot of bad publicity across the state if they could have identified problem nucs. before they changed hands. rather then after.
Takes more time upfront to inspect and transfer frames upon delivery. but I think that would be made up in time,money ,effort , and reputation saved down the road.
 

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Split the hives in June or July and sell the extras in the spring when they are the most valuable. I think M Palmer is doing this. I think he is a very smart man. You don't do crap in the winter and you cash in in the spring.
 
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