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Rob Stockley

Basic cost of running a hive commercially

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@jamesc or @CraBee I recall one of you throwing out a number recently that was the basic cost of running a hive commercially. I can't find it from my phone right now. Would you or anyone else suggest what the basic cost of running a hive under commercial economies of scale is? 

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Brood boxes over 5 years. Supers over 10 years. Frame refresh four years. Varroa treatments. Queen 2 years. 15% winter losses. Disease 2%. Apiary rego. MPI listing fee. Extraction. Travel. Wages. Plant and equipment.

 

My list is likely too short. Still working on a dollar estimate. 

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Brood boxes 2@$20/5=$8

Supers 2@$20/10=$4

Frames 40@$4/4=$40

Varroa 2@$12×2=$48

Queen 1@$10/2=$5

 

Total so far $105. Add the effect of winter losses and disease +17% and I get $123.

 

Apiary rego is some percentage of something. Bigger per hive the smaller I am. Worst case $15 for one hive in one of a small number of apiaries.

 

MPI listing some percentage of $85 after initial audit. 

 

I'll leave extraction as a variable with honey crop. 

 

Travel and wages. 12 visits of 15min @$25ph is $75 plus some component of travel costs. 

 

Hive tools, smokers, overalls, veils, gloves, hmmmm. Outside my experience. My gear isn't worked very hard so no idea how well it would stand up to daily use. 

 

So excluding the fluffy bits I get $198 plus some component of the others fees. Am I close? Regardless, it ain't cheap. 

 

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1 hour ago, Rob Stockley said:

@jamesc or @CraBee I recall one of you throwing out a number recently that was the basic cost of running a hive commercially. I can't find it from my phone right now.

Found it. Estimate $400 per hive. I'm missing something. 

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Insurance, rates, vehicle repair bills, extraction shed upgrade, site costs and rental, transport of hives around the country, accomadation, food, hive managers salary,  various  computer programs, cell phones, AFB levy, honey testing, water testing ..... but wait, is there more ? Health and safety plans, first aid ,fire extinguisher's for vehicles, road miles .... Staff entertainement(pub tab) .....accounting.....

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22 minutes ago, Rob Stockley said:

Supplemental feeding....

Bees and Staff.....

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You trying to get a rough idea of where your money might be disappearing to.. Rob ? I've had a couple of sessions with my Accountant @ $200.00 per hour  trying to quantify it all.

Then realized the Accountant was learning about beekeeping from me and I was paying him for the knowledge :S.

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Finance repayments, landowner payments, 

 

It's a wonder anyone even starts! 

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10 minutes ago, Over Worker said:

You trying to get a rough idea of where your money might be disappearing to.. Rob ?

No, trying to evaluate one of those backyard beehive rental schemes.

 

The biggest negative is the inefficiency of all those ones and twos scattered about the place.

 

In a good year you'd make a bit of coin. In a bad year carry a significant loss. Meanwhile the scheme owner makes a good return on a modest investment without any exposure to the variability of beekeeping. 

 

On the figures I can't see why anyone would do it. 

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4 minutes ago, Rob Stockley said:

No, trying to evaluate one of those backyard beehive rental schemes.

Oh..ok umm good luck.

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41 minutes ago, Rob Stockley said:

You'd also have to lie to clients to maintain their belief that bees are disappearing and that their monthly rental is helping to save bees from extinction.

A forum member was running something similar don't know what happened to it..

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54 minutes ago, Rob Stockley said:

You'd also have to lie to clients to maintain their belief that bees are disappearing and that their monthly rental is helping to save bees from extinction.

You can up sell them to a nuc or hive though if it all goes well. I’ve just bought one off the crowd that rented a hive to us, and a friend got one at the same time. A very happy customer here!

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17 minutes ago, Over Worker said:

A forum member was running something similar don't know what happened to it..

I think that's @kevin moore

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7 minutes ago, Over Worker said:

The one I was thinking of was in Auckland or North of.

That member was banned permanently for repeated breach of rules among other things. 

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3 hours ago, Rob Stockley said:

Brood boxes 2@$20/5=$8

Supers 2@$20/10=$4

Frames 40@$4/4=$40

Varroa 2@$12×2=$48

Queen 1@$10/2=$5

 

Total so far $105. Add the effect of winter losses and disease +17% and I get $123.

 

Apiary rego is some percentage of something. Bigger per hive the smaller I am. Worst case $15 for one hive in one of a small number of apiaries.

 

MPI listing some percentage of $85 after initial audit. 

 

I'll leave extraction as a variable with honey crop. 

 

Travel and wages. 12 visits of 15min @$25ph is $75 plus some component of travel costs. 

 

Hive tools, smokers, overalls, veils, gloves, hmmmm. Outside my experience. My gear isn't worked very hard so no idea how well it would stand up to daily use. 

 

So excluding the fluffy bits I get $198 plus some component of the others fees. Am I close? Regardless, it ain't cheap. 

 

Are you trying to make us all feel guilty about indulging in such an exppensive hobby :14_relaxed:

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6 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

Are you trying to make us all feel guilty about indulging in such an exppensive hobby :14_relaxed:

 Not at all. Discretionary spend is...well...discretionary :D

 

That is until you enter into contracts and try to turn a profit. 

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19 minutes ago, Rob Stockley said:

That member was banned permanently for repeated breach of rules among other things. 

Was it PBee ?

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4 minutes ago, yesbut said:

Was it PBee ?

I think so...

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5 minutes ago, yesbut said:

Was it PBee ?

i don't think he was banned. i suspect hes somewhat busy.

 

talking of hive rentals, the simple problem with doing rentals is looking after individual hives scattered all over the place is extremely time consuming.

theres no way you could make money off the honey crop off them, hence you have to charge people.

 

i wish more people would rent a hive rather then own them. theres way to many people who own dead outs. one day beeks are going to have to do a clean up and go find and dispose of all the dead outs sitting around in peoples back yards.

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The company we pay for 1 from always has 2 on our site and sometimes as many as 4 - presumably increasing the value of our site for them.

The bonus for a beginner is seeing what is happening when and noting it down or copying on my own (having checked they were happy for me to run my own hive alongside).

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3 hours ago, Rob Stockley said:

Found it. Estimate $400 per hive. I'm missing something. 

 

Wasn't me but roughly $350/hive.  Labour, sugar, diesel / fuel, premises, main costs.

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2 hours ago, Rob Stockley said:

No, trying to evaluate one of those backyard beehive rental schemes.

 

The biggest negative is the inefficiency of all those ones and twos scattered about the place.

 

In a good year you'd make a bit of coin. In a bad year carry a significant loss. Meanwhile the scheme owner makes a good return on a modest investment without any exposure to the variability of beekeeping. 

 

On the figures I can't see why anyone would do it. 

Community service is the main reason I do it.

I charge $350 pre year (which is about what I miss out on for commercial pollination)

They get 12 jars of honey (about 8kg) and I keep the rest, in a good year that can be quite a bit

 

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