Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 20 of 32 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,220 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My son is considering sending one semi load of bees to the almonds next year - assuming he can get the right contract. I know that he has had conversations with the couple of guys that we do know that do send bees to CA - he has a few horror stories now. I was trying to help him come up with a plan to get the bees ready for the trip and wonder what type of suggestions guys might have that do go to the Almonds. My ideas look like this.

1.. Bring all the pallets in from the yards about Oct 1.
2. Place them in circles of 25 pallets (100 hives). Syrup truck would park in middle with hose as radius of circle. He would have about 5 circles to feed.
3. Oct 1 feed one big Patty - keep feeders full of syrup till they will take no more - about Nov 15 here in Eastern NC.
4. Nov 1 feed another patty - Dec and Jan try to feed a patty each month.

Anyway these are my thoughts on getting the bee numbers and brood up to the kind of numbers that would be required in CA and I would appreciate any comments or suggestions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,488 Posts
As soon as you pull supers off in the fall do a mite treatment. You have weak bees going into winter and it doesn't matter what you feed them, your numbers won't get up. Line up a trucker who knows how to transport bees. From NC it is going to be a long trip. When I say trucker who knows bees, that is someone who carries a hose and water to wet them down to keep them from over heating if something happens, won't stop for 5 hrs to gamble in Vegas during the middle of the day, etc. There are some good ones out there but they get booked quick. Be honest in your grading BEFORE they go to almonds. No use sending three frame hives thinking they will pass for eight. You will pay shipping both ways on a hive that earns you nothing. As prices go up for almonds the grading gets tougher, which I don't blame them.

Just a few suggestions. Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,220 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your comments Alpha6... we will treat for mits in Oct and again in Jan. We will also do a round of fumagillan starting in late Oct.

I've also suggested to my son that we do a pressure wash of the pallets in January (warm days still happen then).

We'll most likely listen carefully to the trucking recommendations of the two guys that we know who are currently doing this. We know its an important thing.

I suspect an even more important thing may be the Broker. We are wondering when might be an appropriate time of year to start looking for a good broker Sept? Oct?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
911 Posts
I feel that Oct is too late to treat for mites by that time all you winter bees have been damaged, in Mi before they go to Fl we treat as we pull honey (quicker to do it while you threre than make anouther trip back to the yard)
so id like to have every thing treated by the first week of sept, but we also knocked them down before we supered in june, i hit the mites hard.
Nick
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
333 Posts
I would go back to a basic question, why even send them in the first place? What is the resoning? Quick cash? What about long to gains or losses.

Right off the top it a 2500 mile trip ( 4 days each way) @ 2.75 per mile = 6,875 their and Back. Total $13,750 or $ 33.70 per hive ( 408 load)

Next you will loose and 5 % during shipping and possibly another 5 to 15 % loose prior to pollination in CA.

Example Ship 408 hives , get paid for 90% (367)

Total Revenue 367 X 140 = 51,380

Total Expenses $ 13,750 Shipping

2,448 unloading and placement ( 6.00 per hive )

3,082 Broker fee ( 6% on placed hives, or 8.40 per hives

Ca gross revenue $ 32,100 or $ 78.68 per hive based on Above assumptions, better or worse depending on acctual grading of hives.

Next: What additional resourses will you spend in North Carolina prior to shipping to CA?

ie. if you kept hives in NC would you feed the bees as much sugar & protien?, probably not Let use an example of 10 lbs syrup @ .35 per lbs + $3.50 and 5 lbs of pollen sub @ 1.00 per lbs = 5.00. For a total of $8.50 per hive per feeding not including cost of labor.

Then multiply this by # of feedingds, ie Oct., Nov. Dec. Jan. ( Yes here in ca we feed 4 to 6 time over winter)

Let use 4 winter feedings X $8.50 = 34.00 per hive X 500 hives ( will have to have more ready incase of looses) = $ 17,000 feed bill

Net Revenue 32,100 less 17,000 = 15,100 or $ 37.01 per hive net revenue.

Now, the question to ask is this the best use for my resourses or do I have another way to use my assets ( Bee Hives ) to generate profits?


NOTE: you have to get past the lure of a $51,000 check in March 2011 ( if that when it shows up) and analyses the TOTAL situation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,220 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I would go back to a basic question, why even send them in the first place? What is the resoning? Quick cash? What about long to gains or losses.
Larry - It is good to look at your figures as they look a lot like the kind of figures we have been putting together. Another complication for us is if we can get back to NC in time for the Blueberry pollination - something that occurs right here in our backyard. Of course we do know one NC guy who took 2 loads to CA and then made it back (barely) for the blueberrys and left in early June for the Maine Blueberrys.... haven't seen him to find out what type of shape his bees were in by July.

Your figures are confirmation of what we are dealing with... thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,819 Posts
why even send them in the first place?
Spoken like a CA, almond pollinating beekeeper.
Looking at LSPender's numbers it would appear that the biggest differences between the CA based and outside beekeepers is the shipping expenses and colony losses. All that other stuff you have to do regardless.
There’s an east coast, southern beekeeper who has sent bees to almonds for a number of years. Each year he gets hives back loaded with bees. Then he shakes packages from them. This year he was one of the few package producers in this part of the country who was able to deliver packages on schedule. I wouldn't be surprised if he would send bees to almonds and only broke even, just to get the early season huge bee populations.
The long and short….there may be other economic considerations to take into account.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
146 Posts
I agree with the numbers, LSPender! BUT!
Almond Growers need the hives out here, infact they need 1.4 million of them.
We here in Calif. can rent our hives out at the same price as the out of staters and make a extra $30.00 a hive profit.
If the out of stater took a closer look at their true costs they wouldn't be under cutting each other. they need to charge $175.00 for what we make at 145.00.
Does anyone really do any cost accounting and know what their break even point is?
i don't know how guys from out of state can make money coming out here for less the 140-145, yet growers tell me they pay 125. ???
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
977 Posts
Sounds like LSP doesnt want to share in the profit :lookout: :D so lets see I bring 1000 hives from Oregon 125.00 per and I wont make any money ?????
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
333 Posts
My goal is for all to be profitable, I will be testing holding back a 100 hives from pollination to see what can be done in Feb & march with splts for honey production. If calculations are correct each hive at the end of Jan can be turned into 5 to 7 honey producers. I,ll know more next spring.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,591 Posts
Alot of simple math going on in this thread.

Bees should/must be cost runs on a yearly basis. When feeding, med ect... the cost must be applied by the year NOT by the move.

example, I feed heavy amounts in the fall/winter, the cost's are divided up between the almonds, bulk bees sales & summer pollination & honey crop.

Had i choose not to feed heavy sub,there would be less, pollination,bulk bees & less production of honey. I don't charge it ALL (cost of sub) to almond pollination just because that's the first crop.

Bees should be run on an ROI or CAP RATE.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
146 Posts
What are YOUR Annual Hive Costs!!: waiting:

Help me out Here…Let’s take a look at the “numbers” and everyone out there can give me their input.
There is no question that each profit center (pollination, honey, selling queens, colonies, wax, pollen…) should be evaluated on a cost vs. benefit approach and the fixed costs are shared with the revenue it produces.
The cost of choosing one revenue option over another involves two main factors, what are the variable costs and what are the opportunity costs. Variable costs being the additional cost (freight) (processing the honey, or wax) associated with that particular profit center (almond pollination) (selling honey/wax or bees…).
Opportunity cost is the value of the next most profitable option you forgone to do whatever it is that you did i.e. go to Calif. For the Almond pollination and make $125.00 vs. staying home and getting a jump on the honey flow, build up hives…whatever and make $50.
Let’s assume:
That I have 1,000 hives, these hives cost us $150.00 each, healthy bees, new queens, new frames the whole works.
ANNUAL COST PER HIVE
Depreciation $30 ****
Feed $24 6 feedings X 5 lbs X $.80
Small tools/supplies $6 $500 X 12 months / 1,000 hives
Meds $8 3 applications at $4 / 1,000 hives
Vehicle rent/lease $4 $350 X 12 months / 1,000 hives
Insurance $2 $200 X 12 / 1,000
Vehicle Fuel $3 15,000miles/15mpg X $3/1,000
Labor $48 2 X $24,000/1,000 (your's or emp)
Payroll Taxes $6 12% of Labor
Repairs/Maintenance $3 $250 X 12 /1,000
Office/Comp. Supplies $1 $100 per month
Utilities/Phone $4 $350 per month
Fees/permits/dues $1 $1,000 per year
Equip. Rent/Lease $5 $400 per year
Colony Loss $11 30% per year replace cost = $35
Re-Queening $5 replace 50%yr less replaced Colony
Stolen/broken hives $5 replace 5% of 1,000 X $50
Freight $8 $2 per hive X 4 local moves
Rent $12 100 acres X $1,000 per month (land)
Medical Insurance $7 Your Family $600 X 12

Total Cost $193 Just to break even! :cry:

**** Depreciation: = $30 per year, allocating the cost of hives over their useful lives is 5years (also think about it as the Pay Back Period and Return on Investment).
Should be more like 3 years but I want to show the best case.

Now add your cost to travel out side you area,
How much profit you want to make before taxes.
Cost to process Honey, Wax pollen...
Assume 10% of your hives will be less then 8 frames... :ws
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
651 Posts
In most casses you have to travel outside your state to make a profit , every state is different of course but they all have there derth time. I come to Wi for the summer and spend winter and spring in Fl. Even after trucking and living expenses I make more profit by coming up here rather than staying in Fl all summer.

As far as going to CA for almonds, at least its a guaranteed check unlike a honey crop. As far as expenses go they are going to be there wether the hive sits there or travels .
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
141 Posts
I think I'd be looking to reduce those expenses by at least $100 per hive.

Many are allowable expenses for tax purposes but not actual expenses i.e depreciation, drawing a wage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,473 Posts
Steve, I don't see a penny in there for warehouse, honey house, truck shop.

In fact, those are conservative cost projections, in my opinion. Always seems to cost more than it seems.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,591 Posts
What are YOUR Annual Hive Costs!!: waiting:

**** Depreciation: = $30 per year, allocating the cost of hives over their useful lives is 5years (also think about it as the Pay Back Period and Return on Investment).
Should be more like 3 years but I want to show the best case.
Are you kidding here, life of a hive is three-five years. lol... this thread get funner by the minute.
 
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
Top