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I've already ordered some nucs and woodenware for the upcoming season but have been getting some emails from various supply house selling packages. Specifically Mann Lake is doing a "Last Call" on bees promotion and southern packages are $204.95 for packages shipped? Wow, that does seem pricey. I am planning on a jump start in expanding my apiary so I went with Nucs (5 frame) and from my regular supplier with local overwintered stock is way less than that. i had just seen a reply on the Commercial thread about the almond pricing that ended with a "no shortage of bees..," looks like we're gonna bee making new friends here if the east coast demand is that strong.
 

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In my area (Central Illinois) I just bought 3 packages coming from Georgia for $145.00. I thought that was a little high. Over wintered nucs here going for between $175 and $200.
 

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Here we get a package from GA for $120 via our club, one member drives dawn and picks up a huge truck load. Non club price is 127
 

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That is a fair price for a local over-wintered nuc.
NOT a southern package (even if shipped; even if the "Last Call").
I remember Dad telling a story of an older gentleman talking about why his hog population had grown to over 50. He was a small time farmer and like everyone was only growing enough for his family, and a few cattle or hogs to sell each year.

He said, "Well, when they are poor in February, nobody wants them. When the are fat and slick in July, they are too pretty to sell." ;)

I know that getting big numbers would probably cause you to lessen your fondness for any individual hive, and you are correct about the way ppl sell them. That said, I can't imagine selling the ones I've finally overwintered for several times that price. But I'm also not in the business. I'm far too fond of the little boogers. :)
 

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Just purchased 2 saskatraz nucs pick up price for 180 in northern Vt ready for pic up end of May locally I purchased 2 3lb packages for 150 for pick up in Hudson valley ny packages are from Georgia I believe
 

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I get the impression ML did not sell out last year. At least They kept sending their last call email for over a month. So just because some are paying that price does not mean that is the going rate. Strange also that their price for Nucs is about $35 more than package (pick up). Those must be some terrible Nucs or deffinitely underpriced. Or they know their packages are high....
 

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Swarm catching is pretty cheap and they are LOCAL bees and you will have enough bees/larva/eggs to make nucs after 30 - 60 days.
 

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Swarm catching is pretty cheap and they are LOCAL bees and you will have enough bees/larva/eggs to make nucs after 30 - 60 days.
Based on my experience, the vast majority of swarms in my location are NOT local bees.
This is because we do NOT have local bees by and large.
Correct answer - location dependent.

Where I agree - the swarms are cheap to obtain.
 

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I can't help but wonder what the 'bees are expensive' and 'price isn't fair' crowd thinks the price of a 3lb package should at a bee supply business? Remember they have to stay in business and I'm no fan of the company mentioned in the example above.
Just curious what hobbyists think bees are worth.
 

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Had a bit of a chuckle reading this. Just yesterday I made a bunch of 2 kg packages which is just over 4.4 pounds of bees, they were sold for NZ$40 per KG, which equals US$57.33 for the 4.4 pound package, or US$13.02 per pound. Doesn't include a queen though.

Wish I could get the US prices. Of course the difference is freight, holding costs, profit margin for the retailer, and covering losses. Not to mention my packages went straight to a commercial beekeeper who knew what he is doing, rather than possibly new beekeepers who may lose them then want their money back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I can't help but wonder what the 'bees are expensive' and 'price isn't fair' crowd thinks the price of a 3lb package should at a bee supply business? Remember they have to stay in business and I'm no fan of the company mentioned in the example above.
Just curious what hobbyists think bees are worth.
I don't think anyone here wants the people in the business not to make money, without these suppliers we'd be building those dung huts like the beeks in Africa and I'm just not into playing with wildebeest poop. My original post was more related to sticker shock as I had order 5 frame overwintered nucs from a dealer I've bought from before for a lot less than packages. Everything is going up, look at woodenware and more recently, the price of gas. I just thought that $204.99 price was a big jump from last year's price.
 

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Key Data


LabelValue
Last880
Prior Settlement866
52 Week High1004.5
52 Week Low259.8

This is why wooden ware is going up and will probably continue to do so. Prices are for 1K board feet.
Get it while it's cheap.

Alex
 

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I've already ordered some nucs and woodenware for the upcoming season but have been getting some emails from various supply house selling packages. Specifically Mann Lake is doing a "Last Call" on bees promotion and southern packages are $204.95 for packages shipped? Wow, that does seem pricey. I am planning on a jump start in expanding my apiary so I went with Nucs (5 frame) and from my regular supplier with local overwintered stock is way less than that. i had just seen a reply on the Commercial thread about the almond pricing that ended with a "no shortage of bees..," looks like we're gonna bee making new friends here if the east coast demand is that strong.
Mann Lake is always pricey. Dadant sells packages for 189.00 but that includes shipping and insurance.
 

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I bought a sawmill and can cut the lumber to make all my own components now except foundation. When I started keeping bees in the late 1970's a 3# package was around $30 delivered through USPS. After many years OUT of beekeeping I captured a swarm I saw while while weeding the garden a couple years ago. I now have 4 honey producing hives and never bought a one of the bees. I did buy a bee jacket, some oxalic acid and a vaporizer
 

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Unfortunately between the obvious price gouging on packages (over $200, are you kidding me??)- and constant spam e-mails from Mann Lake every day I'm looking at other providers. Like, how in the hell are Mann Lake's package bees so freaking expensive? They're the same package bees everybody else is getting for $130.
 

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Our local packages are about $155 this year. The cheapest ML packages I've seen are $165 shipped (East of Miss.). So that's not too bad. And as a seller of bees I am glad they are selling high, that is good for business, Hafiz....
 

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When I was in Utah the local supplier got all his packages from OHB and I paid about $135-$145. I moved to CA and if I go pick them up at OHB, they are $175. Someone explain that?

Luckily this is CA and bees are big business. I found a commercial supplier that sold them for $110 if I bought in bulk. I'll sell most to club members and other people for a small profit, but still cheaper than anywhere else. I've seen them for as much as $230 here.
 

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I am with Hank. I've got a chainsaw mill and saws. I have cut many logs into boards over the years, and am fortunate to live in the woods. I just cut down a 28" hickory, and have three poplars that must come down. That should keep me in woodenware for the foreseeable future.

Mountain Sweet Honey has packages on sale for 135.
 
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