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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
In my opinion the big "secret" story is the New Geat Depression has begun - lawmakers just aren't willing to admit it.

So have you seen effects of the economy in your beekeeping business? (pollination, sales, etc)

Mike
 

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i find that most new beekeepers willing to start-up hive(s) will not invest anymore if their hives die,abscond or dwindle and dont make it till spring- they quit and sell their boxes.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Is this deferent than a few years ago?
Are people finding honey, bees, queen sales down? Pollination contracts being dropped? Etc.?

Mike
 

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"...Is this deferent than a few years ago..."
in my experience,yes. 4-5 years ago people might have been reluctant to keep buying packages while they learned, now it is rare that they will even consider it. people are as a whole more willing now to try and hive a swarm, though.
 

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Business is good. Possibly better than this time last year. But I never really know if a particular month is good or bad until about a year late. It's really the whole year that counts. Not one month. But sales are healthy, even though I lost 5 grocery stores as customers. They changed ownership.
 

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i find that most new beekeepers willing to start-up hive(s) will not invest anymore if their hives die,abscond or dwindle and dont make it till spring- they quit and sell their boxes.

Due to the economy or to dead bees two or three springs in a row?
 

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Is this deferent than a few years ago?
Are people finding honey, bees, queen sales down? Pollination contracts being dropped? Etc.?

Mike

I'm not. More nucs sales. A cpl due to BB's failure to provide bees to a cpl of their customers.

A queen producer friend of mine jsut started a business producing queens for sale. Previously he had just sold cells to whomever was willing to go pick them up.

Haven't lost any pollination contracts. There is some competition out tere for them.
 

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Due to the economy or to dead bees two or three springs in a row?
dosent have to be 2. i think most throw in the towel after the first one. i cant say why- maybe the economy, maybe more trouble to care for than they thought(if you remember when, its a pretty steep learning curve). some seem completely surprised they have to do ANYTHING to keep'em alive(i suspect these have only knowledge gained from OLD books), but of the sellers i find, most only had bees 1 season.
 

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The manager of our FL Dadant store says that he has never seen this many new beeks buying bees and equipment. We have to call before heading up there to make sure he has the stuff we need, especially woodenware. Reason why? So many news stories on the plight of the bees; many folks getting into it to help "save the bees." During our orange flow we had a yard in a grove west of Vero Beach, right on a busy 4 lane highway. While out there one day adding supers I had 2 cars stop and ask about buying bees and equipment. Gave the above reason; "Helping the bees." And yes, I will help them all I can!
 

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"...Beekeeping isn't for the faint hearted..."
or the uninformed, no mater how well intentioned.
 

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i notice i have a lot more time to devote to bee keeping. i mean lots more. to much really. it isn't supposed to be my full time job though. i just sold out of last years honey selling it retail to the nearest town and at a couple farmers markets. orders are still coming in. i could be making 20 more splits right now from my hives but i don't have the money to spend on queens and feel like i would be wasting my time having them raise their own (lot's seem to get mated poorly which it takes me until fall to be sure thats whats going on etc...). i would be putting more money into the whole operation right now if i had it to spend.trail crew starts on thursday! 2 months of camping and davis-bacon wages. i still get out of the woods every nine or ten days to check on bees, and the wife will be checking them as well. justin
 

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NO observable effect from the economy, but we are pursuing converting our 1977 1 ton Grumman from a 350 gas to diesel(2.4 l 6 cyl. with RTO 6610 trans).
Found a supplier of rough cut pine for inner cover, roofs, etc. Anything to cut costs.

Roland
 

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If there's a upside to all of this you can count on being able to pick up a lot of really nice basic equipment in the next couple years that was barely if ever used.....
 

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Well being a carpenter I no longer have a space to make my own equipment. Got rid of the shop. That hurt. Hate buying something I could make. Doubled my hives from three to seven and probably would go to ten if I had the money for boxes and queens. Everything I have bought this year has been with "honey money" No money spent except from what I got from the girls. Dont have it to spend. So there you go,come on sourwood. Maybe some more equipment over the winter. Peace Dave
 

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My sales of honey seem to be shifting balance a little with more people coming to the house to buy honey and not quite as many sales out at the farm. Candles and hand salves haven't gone down at all. Despite the economy, the movement to eat more locally seems to be growing, and I think people are becoming more aware of a connection between their food and who produces it.
 

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My honey sales continue to expand, in part from my continued presence at the farmer's markets and a generous news reporter who featured me on the noon-time news (it must have been a really slow news day).

Consumers are looking for value, and in this recessionary time, they also feel the obsession to "get back to basics." They want more nutrition for their dollar and honey is perceived to be more natural and a better purchase.

In a nutshell, the recession has been a blessing for my sales.

Grant
Jackson, MO www.maxhoney.homestead.com
 

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I agree with Grant, i have 60 hives, thirty five produced honey this year, the rest are nuc's, splits and new hives i've started this summer. I am going to have to expaned my operation to keep up with the demaned of local honey. The thirty five hives produce 25 five gal. buckets of honey, i've sold 15 of them and have turned down some big orders so i'll have enough honey to sell at the Fair Grove Festival the last weekend of this month ( i've already paid $75.00 for a booth) or i would have been sold out by now:thumbsup:.Like grant, this has been one of my better years for honey sales. Jack

PS I don't sell by the 5 gal bucket, i bottle and package (comb honey) my honey and sell from home and the Farmers Market.
 

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The ecomony is really hurting our FL packers who buy the bulk honey. Contacted 2 of them this week and neither is buying...they are unable to get their loans from the banks they have been doing business with for 20 plus years....no money...no purchase....Im sitting on honey I need to sell
 
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