Welcome, Guest

Author Topic: How to compete in the market  (Read 297 times)

Offline yes2matt

  • House Bee
  • **
  • Posts: 301
  • Gender: Male
  • Newbee in an urban setting, starting small.
How to compete in the market
« on: April 14, 2019, 08:15:45 am »
This might sound a little gripey. But really I am asking for some direction. Sometimes just encouragement
is what we need. I have a very small apiary but I'm dreaming bigger and
starting to test the waters with nuc/Q sales. I'm personally
competitively motivated, I don't need to be "the best" but I want to be
"among the best" or at least to hang with the top folks.

Look at this picture of a nuc that a dude in the next county over raised
and sold (I'm confident he raised the Q and all of it, he's the real
deal)>


It's beautiful and boiling over with bees and I've seen the insides of
his colonies before and he raises Qs which will lay a double-10-deep
"wall to wall board to board" ... And it was available for pickup this
weekend with 150 others.

Now I've got nucs available for pickup next weekend. But they won't look
like that, unless I steal a couple frames of brood and a couple shakes
of bees from a production hive. Which I will do, but I feel like I'm
really squeezing my apiary to make that happen, and I'm probably going
to lose the nuc $$ in honey.

How do I compete with this dude and the others like him? I've overheard
him say that he goes back and forth between Amitraz and formic acid year
to year to keep his mite infestations low, and he's got stimulative
sugar on them after winter solstice, and pollen patties if he thinks
they need them (which he does, of course, if he's got deposits on nucs).

I'm a county over raising Qs on nectar and honey, no pollen sub, and def
no icaricides. My colonies are smaller in late summer because they're
hauling half their brood out the front door, so they're starting smaller
and they're building up later because they're waiting for red maples. 
So if I'm going to sell nucs in spring, they're either going to be
smaller, or later, which cuts down the sales price, or they're going to
strip my apiary, which increases my actual costs.   Of course they'll be
"treatment free" which has some value but I don't want people to go away
less than excited with their nuc because it wasn't like the other ones
they saw.  Ya know?

And I want to sell people a top-quality product that is as good as any
available, and I want to command a top price for that product. and to
feel that it's fair that I get top price because the product is that good.

So my first instinct is to just gripe, and my second instinct is to be a better beekeeper, and third is to ask for help. 

Offline sawdstmakr

  • Global Moderator
  • Universal Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 10684
  • Gender: Male
Re: How to compete in the market
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2019, 08:38:16 am »
Matt,
I think his main ingredient is feeding them before the flow to get them built up early. I used to think that sugar water made them weaker due to it not having all of the vitamins and minerals that nectar has. I?m not so sure after watching a lot of other beeks do it and building up their hives every winter and having their hives busting at the seams at the start of the flow.
I have no feed on my hives right now because we have a strong early pre flow. A large commercial Beek friend just placed his hives in my area and every hive is 2 deeps with a 1/2 gallon of sugar water on it.
You might want to try feeding but bee sure to reduce your opens a lot to stop the robbing. I also have sever problems with ants when I try to feed the bees.
Jim Altmiller

Online iddee

  • Galactic Bee
  • ******
  • Posts: 9487
  • Gender: Male
Re: How to compete in the market
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2019, 09:14:01 am »
I would not want to sell that nuc to a new beek. It either has swarm cells in it or will within a week. I want to sell a strong, healthy 4 frame nuc with an empty or nearly empty frame for her to lay in. I don't think a customer would be happy with a nuc that swarmed the first 2 weeks.
"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

*Shel Silverstein*

Offline cao

  • Queen Bee
  • ****
  • Posts: 1233
  • Gender: Male
Re: How to compete in the market
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2019, 11:30:20 am »
I would agree with iddee.  That nuc may look good to you but it could be overwhelming to a new beekeeper.  The best part of a nuc is that there is less bees and you can see what's going on.  It's a good opportunity for learning.



Offline yes2matt

  • House Bee
  • **
  • Posts: 301
  • Gender: Male
  • Newbee in an urban setting, starting small.
Re: How to compete in the market
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2019, 02:04:56 pm »
I would not want to sell that nuc to a new beek. It either has swarm cells in it or will within a week. I want to sell a strong, healthy 4 frame nuc with an empty or nearly empty frame for her to lay in. I don't think a customer would be happy with a nuc that swarmed the first 2 weeks.

This is a good perspective.  Also, the line of bees is dependent upon icaricides most likely and in fall maybe a sad situation.  So I will relax a bit.