Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
535 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok. Maybe should have put this question in the commercial forum, but I thought I might get a wider range of opinions here. If a person had the resources like decent bees, equipment, and some capital; if he had a website, was willing to ship, and was reasonably priced, and had the time, how many nucs do you all think said bee keeper could sell in a season? 100? 200? More? Just wondering.

Thanks for the responses.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Ive never seen a beekeeper that shipped nuts, Ive never heard the exact reason why other than too dangerous for the bees. Im guessing that the queen walking around a hive that it getting bounced around would be part of the reason.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,095 Posts
Ok..... if he had a website, was willing to ship, and was reasonably priced, and had the time, how many nucs do you all think said bee keeper could sell in a season?
What is reasonably priced? Prices this year seem to range between $100 for huge lots to $170.00 for one or two.

http://www.jesterbee.com/Beesales.html to http://www.highlandbees.com/bee-packages-and-nucs.html

Ours are priced in between.......

Ship nucs........... by commercial services like the post office or UPS? NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can you say the word "BAKED"

Haul them yourself to distributors.... Hundreds.....

How far you will need to travel? ..... Depends on your location.

Equipment to do so safely........ Big money. Enough where you need to sell close to a thousand a year.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,729 Posts
haul them up to new england this year and I would think you could sell more than you can produce.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34,542 Posts
I can sell more than I care to. I have had probably a dozen phone calls wondering if I will have nucs to sell. I won't.

If anyone can make nucs good enough to sell, what is there to lose if you don't sell all of them? Use them yourself. Super them up if you don't have extra bottom boards and hive bodies. Put two five frame nucs side by side facing opposite directions, throw an excluder on them and stack honey supers on them. Then you will have nucs to run thru the winter too.

Nucs are quick money at a time of year when there may not be any other income source, like pollination. But that doesn't mean that selling nucs is the best thing to do w/ them. If they are good enough to sell, they should make you a crop of honey just as easily as the next guy. And maybe easier.

So price your nucs accordingly. How much honey can you make off of that nuc? How much can you sell that honey for? What would it cost you to make that crop and sell it? Figure that out and see if you can't bump that number up a little, or a lot, and still sell that nuc. If you don't have some people walking away you aren't charging enough. This is marketing nucs, like marketing honey.

I know a guy who always has everything for sale. Michael Palmer knows who I'm talking about. His prices are set so he will make money whether he sells everything or only a few of everything. He doesn't care whether he sells anything or not because he knows how to make money from his beesness. Sometimes it takes that kind of a mindset to make it in business.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,977 Posts
In TN you could easily sell a couple hundred... If you trucked them up north you could sell 1000s.

Shipping is a really bad idea. Live Bees (except caged queens) are restricted to surface shipping only so they will spend a week or more in the mail. With a nuc under such conditions it is highly likely that combs will get busted up and or melt down. (if it is 80 degrees out when you ship, it will be 120 deg in the box of the mail truck) They also have to be inspected and certified healthy to ship just like for transporting across State lines. Also some postal zones are restricted from bee shipments so you would need to know the regulations in order to prevent getting shipments returned to you as undeliverable. Generally postage will put the price beyond what most people would be willing to pay for a box of bees.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
535 Posts
I just hope when the snow melts I have enough bees to have some nucs to sell.
I haven't advertised yet because I don't know if I'll be a seller or a buyer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
535 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the responses. It has given me a lot to think about. On the shipping question, I just put that in there because fat bee man in GA ships nucs, but doesn't ship packages??? I m not sure I understand that either. Thanks especially to sqkcrk, that was some good advice on a business plan.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
Put an add on Craigs list now for this spring, see what kind of response you get locally. Around here they sell as fast as the hit the market. Although the Hippi's up in Santa Cruz always want to trade for beads, trinkets or peyote???
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
Ive never seen a beekeeper that shipped nuts, Ive never heard the exact reason why other than too dangerous for the bees. Im guessing that the queen walking around a hive that it getting bounced around would be part of the reason.
www.pigeonmountaintrading.com sells and ships Nucs. I asked about it when I had to e-mail them about an order last year. They claim to have a high success rate, and cage the queen for the trip.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,295 Posts
In my area (if you make quality nucs), you can sell every one you can make up. I would also say, a one man operation can only handle about 200 brood hives for making nucs, (135 is a more reasonable number). After that, it is all work and NO play. (BEEN THERE, DONE THAT). You can get people to help with the equipment, pay them piece meal, and free you up to do the bee/nuc work.

If for some reason they didn't sell as nucs, place a second chamber and sell them as a starter hive.

If you still had hives left, super them and sell as complete hives with supers already installed.

If all else fails, keep them for pollination, or for honey production.

After a couple of years you will know how many you can make and sell in your area.

In my area, a nuc or complete hive, placed on Craigs List will sell in just a few days. Tremendous demand.

You are not that far from me, (65 miles), If you want to PM me with your info I can likely send you customers. I am sold out and cutting back this year, and retiring next year. I can send you customers.

cchoganjr.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34,542 Posts
Are spring nucs brought through the winter in that five frame configuration or how?

dan
Some people may do that. More people are. Following something like Michael Palmer does. But, most spring nucs are made in the spring from overwintered colonies, using new queens or queen cells.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
371 Posts
Matt,

one thing i havent seen anyone suggest is brokering nucs for a larger operation or purchasing a larger amount and reselling at an inflated cost. I know of a few people that do the later and seem to make some decent money at it, as long as you know the person you are buying the nucs from and make sure that they are all good saleable nucs.
Brokering could also make you some decent money, selling each nuc for a larger operation and collecting a commission on a per nuc basis.
Either option would give you a chance to build a customer base, put some money in your pocket, and would give you a good idea at what your local demand is. I would bet that a person would have no problem selling 100-200 nucs in the spring in any given area, except maybe california after almond pollination.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,977 Posts
www.pigeonmountaintrading.com sells and ships Nucs. I asked about it when I had to e-mail them about an order last year. They claim to have a high success rate, and cage the queen for the trip.
Caging a queen in a nuc regardless of means of transport is the only sure way to guarantee that she doesn't get crushed in transit. Any nuc that I would consider sale worthy would be prohibitively costly to ship due to weight. The nuc would end up costing $250.00 or more with in the end. I really don't see many people paying that for what is essentially a package of bees dumped in a nuc box like what PMT sells.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
723 Posts
I sell 20-40 nucs every year. I run 25-30 hives. 15 for making nucs and 10-15 for honey. I could sell 100 if I had the time. This year, I am getting $105 for 4 frame nucs into your own equipment with 4 frame exchange(no foundation). Last year, I sold 5 frame nucs for $120-$135 and you kept the plywood box that I built. While the boxes only cost me $4-$5 to build, it wasn't worth the sweat equity. That's why I went back to 4 frame nucs. This way, I can go back to feeding via an inbox frame feeder in a 5 frame nuc boxfor quicker build up on the 2 new frames. 4 frame nucs also allow me to start with 2 frames and build to 4 instead of 3 frames to 5. Not as difficult to build the "mother hive" back up when I only take 4 frames instead of 6.

There is also a commercial beekeeper south of Birmingham, AL between Bham and Auburn, AL that sells $300+ nucs a year. Alabama Bee Company. He also runs 1800+/- hives a year.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top