Cost of Bees are Shooting Skyward!

A couple of weeks ago I bought some equipment from Mann Lake and while conversing with the salesman he told me Mann Lake will be Selling Queens for $30.00 each this year. Thats a rise of $8.00 a queen from last year. I don’t buy my bees or queens from them but thought if the hub-bub is that there is going to be another shortage of bees this year, these price increases will be the tale-tell of it all, me thinks.

Hi Tony, my strategy is to let my bees make their own queens through natural selection. That works really well for me.

That’s nice for you Jeff, but that is a gamble for me. If I do that then I have to wait a few weeks for a queen to be chosen, then another four weeks before her brood are out gathering honey and in the meantime I miss out on the honey flow we gather for selling. It might be nice if it were a hobby, but since it’s not, it’s not feasible for me.

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Yeah, it’s been my full time occupation of late. You need to acquire some nuc boxes you can dedicate to raising your own queens. I use standard size boxes for that purpose. In my climate, they work well. I’m heading off shortly to do some swarm control to make a new colony that I’ll be able to split once the queen cells are started.

We’ve been discussing ourselves that maybe we should start raising queens for ourselves and then sell off any extra. I know darn well we could sell them for a lot less than some of these bigger outfits who are buying them and then re-selling. Companies like Mann Lake don’t raise their own but probably have a contract with someone else who does raise them and then tacks on what they want to turn a huge profit. We think if we do it, we can dedicate a little time to it, but are studying on it. My cost is considerablly lower than my friend. He buys on average 200 queens a year. Mulitply that 30 bucks a pop and you get a rather large bill.

Sounds like a good plan Tony, keeping your costs down is a good idea, I reckon. My only costs in beekeeping are fuel. The wax covers any beekeeping gear I need so all my income from honey & bees is profit.

Take a look here

It’s a lecture I attended at one of our shows. Made sense even to me :sunny:

Suppy and demand.
With a product like the flow hive flooding the market and so many more new bee keepers entering the hobby due to this it was inevitable the cost of everything bee would increase.
Don’t think it’s peaking yet either.

Dee, very interesting lecture ! Little advanced for where I am or want to end up. This fellow is Very Good ! I’ll be more concerned about Queen rearing if I want in a year or so.

That said, I have built several wood 5 frame Nuc boxes n will build more so I can have emergency mini hives for combining to keep strong hives or replacing a winter die-out earlier without having to buy increasingly more n more. But for this first year I’m enjoying the newness of the ride. I’d have liked to start one Nuc brood raising box/hive but not sure this first year returning I need to spread out my resources. Any thots Dee ?!

Got to get to my woodshop n clean up the yard as well because the rain has stopped n getting some sunbreaks … Ta ta n take care ,

It doesn’t have to be complicated. Once you have more than a few colonies you can split the one headed by your best queen and use those queens as your replacements. If they are not needed that year you can overwinter them as nucleus colonies.
Of course you are taking a gamble on the drones your new queens will mate with. In the UK it really is a lottery. I live in a sparsely populated area of Wales yet there are 78 apiaries registered with Beebase within a 10Km radius of mine (that’s just the registered ones, mind. A lot of people don’t bother as it isn’t mandatory)

I seriously doubt the Flow Hive is going to have a major impact on rising cost. These are more attributable to decling bee populations and diseases than anything else. You are right though that this product will bring a lot of brandnew beekeepers, but on the whole I think as many that come will be done with it after a year or two due to several reasons. 1. there is the associated work of actually taking care of bees that will probably bee a shock to some that were only looking for an easy way to obtain honey. 2. Regardless of what people say, the cost is outrageous for a set. For the more serious minded who really want to invest in beekeeping there isn’t anything wrong with using Lang boxes and all in all it’s still the proven and cheapest method despite the nay-nayers on here when it comes to working bee yard for commercial end use. The cost is ridiculously high and so far no commercial info has been provided by the Flow Team, even though they have mentioned several times they are working on something for commercial keepers. 3. As a person who has been self-employed for the better part of 40 years cost is a factor. Period. For the hobbyist buying a Flow Frame set it might be a no-brainer and be a fun hobby, but if the Flow Team plans on counting on the hobbyist only as a profitable market, they haven’t done their research very well and as fads come, so they go as well regardless if it’s the greatest invention in a long time. And before anyone gets up in arms and feels the need to defend Stu and Cedar, please don’t. I am not picking on them or their product, but am just being realistic.