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Discussion Starter #1
I have had some feedback from other bee breeders that my prices for nucs and queens were too low. I was going to charge $70 for a 4 frame nuc and $20 for a queen. For some background, I think that these bees are very good and worth a premium price. The bees are mite resistant, haven't treated for mites since 2003. Nucs with overwintered queens usually have 4 frames of big brood. Nucs with young queens come later and are not as strong but should produce a surplus and overwinter very well. I am considering going to $80 for a nuc and $25 for a queen. Located in upstate Central New York, prices might be higher in New England.
 

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Quantity is of course a consideration.

But if they are deeps then $70 is a bit cheap. Not a
give away though.

As to queens........... $20 is fair. It depends on the
breed and mating situation to me.
 

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The queen price is around the standard, and the nuc price is fair, but you could probably get another $10 or $20 without too many people balking. You can get a full 10-frame single around here for around $100. On the other end of the scale B Weaver just introduced their 2 frame nuc for $140. Yes, I said 2-frame. I wonder if this even qualifies as a nuc! They have a new website and a "movie" (advertisement) aimed at a target audience from the Houston/Dallas area. It is shameless. Click on "Is beekeeping for you?"

http://www.beeweaver.com/Videos.html
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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The packages of recent years have been very poor. They run $75 here and only about one in two does very well at all. About half of them either dwindle or end up moving next door. So for every established package, it costs about $150. And then the queen is not from acclimatized stock. So in my opinion, it's a bargin to buy a strong nuc (like five deep frames or eight medium frames) for $150 and a little more wouldn't be out of line. I think that is competitive with the packages and less "iffy".

Then if you have small cell nucs...
 

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I agree with the other guys $80 minumum. Queen price is pretty good I think.
 

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Last year 5 frame nuc prices around here were running $65 to $85 depending on if they are deeps or mediums. Queens are $20.
 

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The area where I live is expensive although local nuc prices are very reasonable.
$75-$125
A respectable breeder who writes articles for the magazines was charging $90 last year. "BYOB" thats Bring You're Own Box, not bottle
 

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How many of y'all are willing to order them from Mike?

Mike, are you claiming some sort of better viability of these Northern raised Nucs and Queens? How many years have your queens survived in your colonies? Do you have queens in your hives that you know are 1,2, or 3 years old?

How early are your queens available? Earlier than Mike Palmers?

Peter borst says good things about you. I wish you would have been at the ESHPA Fall Mtng. I would love to hear about you operation and ways of managment.
 

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Depends on the NUC size...if it's 5 frames, 3 with brood, pollen and honey and two drawn frames.....$100, however if you order in bulk, it will be less and also depends on type of bee.....mutts are $100. With that said, they are northern bees and are not transported to the south, nor are they coming from migratory hives.
 

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Depends on the NUC size...if it's 5 frames, 3 with brood, pollen and honey and two drawn frames and laying queen.....$100, however if you order in bulk, it will be less and also depends on type of bee.....mutts are $100. With that said, they are northern bees and are not transported to the south, nor are they coming from migratory hives. Oh, and the frames come in the cardboard box designed for NUC's, you pick up...
 

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Yeah, I had this ,discussion w/ a guy today. Since my bees spend 6 months in NY and 6 months in SC are they NY bees that winter in SC or are they SC bees that summer in NY?

And what about those queens that i bought from Mike Palmer? Now that they are in SC, does that devalue them? Or their daughters queens?
 

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I think you should at least base your nuc price on the cost of packaged bees in your area. John says they are $65 in Virginia. Mike, in your area of New York, the prices are closer to $75 or $80. And at that price everybody complains about how terrible the bees are and half don't make the summer...let alone the winter.

To the base price of $75, you have to add the cost of the frames. No, actually you have to add the price of the frames and the combs and the brood. How much is a nice frame of brood worth? $10? So now you're up to $115. And what about that micro-brewed queen that you toiled and fretted and used all your beekeeping knowledge to grow? Isn't she worth more than that southern queen raised so far away? How much more? $5? $10?

Do you see why I think good early spring nucs are worth $120? Mine usually make a hundred pounds. Two supers would more than pay for the extra cost...heck...it'd pay for the whole schmere.
 

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Why look at what it has cost to produce the nuc, but rather what income can be generated from it. Will it out perform a 3lb package? A 4 lb package? Is a package or nuc, that is 10 dollars more than than the competitions, really more expensive, if it can be split on June 1, and the competitions can not?

Roland
 

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Discussion Starter #18
In regards to the queens, I'm trying to select from hives that have made it through at least two winters. The earliest that I could produce any queens would probably be May 25 unless I had a spring like 2009. In 2009 Spring came 10 days earlier but I didn't take advantage of it by grafting any earlier. I start grafting on May 1. There's not much point in putting queen cells out if the drones are not ready. If a beehive knows how to supercede without swarming, then that's a very excellent trait. I need to start marking and clipping my queens in order to keep track of this. My breeder #1 is going into its third winter and is suspiciously strong.
I can see how my early nucs are actually worth more than later nucs. They could easily be split as soon as some queens are available.
I appreciate everyone's input on this.
Nosema ceranae is still the wild card. My bee inspector found a high nosema spore count in half of my yards. The bees look very healthy now. I managed to get fumagillin syrup on my hives that have baby nuc frames. I haven't got any fumagillin syrup on the hives with standard deep frames. So far I haven't seen much discussion of nosema on Beesource.
 

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I recently received a USDA Specialty Crop Grant through NYS Ag & Markets. The very long title of the grant is A Demonstration of the Feasibility of a Northeast-based Honeybee Production Industry While Meeting the Challenge of the Newest Disease to Hit New York State Honeybees. Under the grant, I am supposed to produce 150 nucs and 600 queens per year for three years. These bees will be available at 1/2 the normal price. In return beekeepers that work with me will have to cooperate in having their bees inspected and will have to keep track of their bees for the sake of selecting breeder queens that are resistant to nosema ceranae. My bees are already resistant to varroa.
the quote above is from mikes first post. If the grant is to show resistence to nosema ceranae, why would you be feeing fumidil, how would this help find resistence? If we purchase the nucs are we to also feed fumidil?

mike syracuse
 

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I can see how my early nucs are actually worth more than later nucs. They could easily be split as soon as some queens are available.
I appreciate everyone's input on this.
are the early nucs the ones that you overwinter? are these going to be for sale and if so what time frame would these be available?

mike syracuse
 
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