Jump to content
tommy dave

beehive price tracking

Recommended Posts

i keep an occasional eye on the prices that hives are being sold for on trade-me. I wish i had been tracking this the last few years, i think it would tell a very interesting story. Anyone have some data-points?

Recently saw a batch of what looked like decent strong 3-box hives sell for $300 apiece, a lot less than the $1000 apiece people were talking about a couple of springs ago - yes, i know this is seasonal, but still found it interesting:

https://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Listing.aspx?id=1537667075&archive=1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last autumn, after a bad honey season/drought, many did splits to provide income in the spring, and with very few exceptions, that kept prices down. Some beeks are really, really slow to learn - one who year on year worked the new beeks market, had runs of both FD and 3/4 nucs passed in on Trademe through 8 sales processes, eventually slightly dropping the price without result. This autumn will likely be the same. I am delighted as I am so over people selling vast numbers of nucs and then all the beekeeping groups are expected to put in the time to mentor the buyer through the learning process. In our group, nubeeks got $200 nucs, mentoring and most got a swarm for the cost of the petrol to collect. Back to  how it was when I started.

  • Like 5
  • Agree 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

TBH I feel $300 for a 3/4 box is a fair price. It is what I sell for to club members. $350 with base,mat and lid. 

I make all the components my self and I am happy with covering my costs with a little bit for some beers ???

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/18/2018 at 2:44 PM, Doughy said:

TBH I feel $300 for a 3/4 box is a fair price. It is what I sell for to club members. $350 with base,mat and lid. 

I make all the components my self and I am happy with covering my costs with a little bit for some beers ???

To test the viability of this price, try filling an order of 50-100 hives

Suddenly you will find that the challenges are so great that the cost per hive skyrockets
 

  • Agree 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not so sure about that. Right now I am advertising some nice tidy 2 box hives on TM for $600 apiece, can do up to 200 hives although I didn't state quantity. Very little interest so far but 2 or 3 years ago the phone would have been ringing off the hook.

 

Here's the link https://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Listing.aspx?id=1534786835

 

I'm very suprised at Tommy's link showing 3 box hives selling at $300, not long ago people were paying more than that for a nuc.

 

Time for me to stop selling bees and focus on honey I think.

Edited by Alastair
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thinking some more about it, probably most of us knew this day was coming. There's a lot of hives out there and a lot of new beekeepers, who now can't get the honey prices they thought they were going to get. Could be a shake out over the next few years and a depression in hive prices, with bees selling for little more than the cost of making them.

 

I could be wrong but I see it as a possible outcome.

Edited by Alastair
  • Agree 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with you @Alastair, there will probably be hundreds of semi commercial and commercial beekeepers unable to sell their crop this year.

All of the new beekeepers who have piled in on the Manuka boom have never seen low prices a lot of them have borrowed money and bought everything including new utes and all their beehives. Add to that payments to landowners for honey that may now be worth next to not much and you have a very serious problem about to explode. 

What do you do with 500 beehives that no longer bring in enough income to pay the bills ?

  • Agree 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, agree a time of consolidation perhaps. 

That said, lots of hives means a need for lots of replacement bees-  If hive loss was anywhere between 10-20% over winter/spring- Some will fix there own others will want to buy nucs/queens to speed/help things along. Or they take the losses and reduce hive numbers and focus on profitable aspects to business.  

Who knows really, but I noticed those hives sold as well.  Cheap- and wrong time of year to buy hives- more liability/work until next cashflow. 

  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, frazzledfozzle said:

I agree with you @Alastair, there will probably be hundreds of semi commercial and commercial beekeepers unable to sell their crop this year.

All of the new beekeepers who have piled in on the Manuka boom have never seen low prices a lot of them have borrowed money and bought everything including new utes and all their beehives. Add to that payments to landowners for honey that may now be worth next to not much and you have a very serious problem about to explode. 

What do you do with 500 beehives that no longer bring in enough income to pay the bills ?

 

Not sure it will be so dire. And yes, for the ones who managed through low honey prices will survive, if they want to.    Though, I could be very disappointed if I WERE taking home 1k a hive and now get a lot less-  even if you managed through leaner times.  Imagine the bosses going back on the tools! Ha. Loads of lean time operators now employ and manage from a desk.  There is/was soooo much waste of resources occurring through the boom time.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow that bubble burst really quick.

It seemed that there was only two years of good money and an actual supply of Manuka honey available .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Staying positive, open minded, adaptable and not over committing I recon 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is a terrible time of the year to sell bees.  A buyer is going to have to take them through Autumn and Winter before getting any upside.  Even worse you run the risk of buying a hive that has come out of Summer with high varroa loads, and it may just dwindle away due to the viruses etc. The other thing is you make a capital outlay now, and there is no prospect of income for at least eight months if you split a nuc off or longer for honey.  That's why prices are what they are.

 

I had a query in Spring from an existing customer for 300 nucs.  I couldn't do it for them then on next to no notice, but referred them onto someone I knew who could.  They paid good prices for those nucs.  When buying larger quantities there are often higher prices involved as the buyer only has to deal with one seller.

  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, frazzledfozzle said:

I agree with you @Alastair, there will probably be hundreds of semi commercial and commercial beekeepers unable to sell their crop this year.

All of the new beekeepers who have piled in on the Manuka boom have never seen low prices a lot of them have borrowed money and bought everything including new utes and all their beehives. Add to that payments to landowners for honey that may now be worth next to not much and you have a very serious problem about to explode. 

What do you do with 500 beehives that no longer bring in enough income to pay the bills ?

Keep bringing them on down south for carrot pollination ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I've got two 3/4 nucs to give away.

  • Haha 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Alastair said:

Not so sure about that. Right now I am advertising some nice tidy 2 box hives on TM for $600 apiece, can do up to 200 hives although I didn't state quantity. Very little interest so far but 2 or 3 years ago the phone would have been ringing off the hook.

 

Here's the link https://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Listing.aspx?id=1534786835

 

I'm very suprised at Tommy's link showing 3 box hives selling at $300, not long ago people were paying more than that for a nuc.

 

Time for me to stop selling bees and focus on honey I think.

The point here is that the value of a hive is not governed by the willingness of the consumer to pay.

It is more likely that the new buyers cannot afford to own hives
$600 is a reasonable price for a two box hive considering that if well treated etc it will become two hives in spring.

I gave up selling hives mid season.
Im curious about the future of Propolis as James is talking about.

The next Manuka type boom might well be the expansion of the international Properlis trade

Propolis from treatment free hives might go well and it will be high yielding Propolis sites that are sort after.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎18‎/‎02‎/‎2018 at 8:56 AM, tommy dave said:

Recently saw a batch of what looked like decent strong 3-box hives sell for $300 apiece

This is a good price. A  local chap was selling 2-box hives last year for $500 each, and that was just for the 2 boxes (which some were of not ideal condition), 9 frames of bees (with old comb) - the buyer had to supply their own floors, inner covers and lids.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IMHO, part of the generally lower priced spring nucs was that last years low honey crop meant that many small/medium commercials did vast numbers of autumn splits ready for early spring market to fund treatments etc in spring. Now, many will be doing the same again. Perhaps the industry will in time go back to the idea that you were ready to handle 100 hives when you had split the original nuc or swarm you stared with to that level. Right now, people starting their first year with 1000 hives thinking there are good staff to be employed is causing chaos and overcrowding in my AFB red zoned (not mine) neck of the woods.

  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is already a large operation in the NI that closed up its NZ business of beekeeping and their hives will be over wintered then likely sold off in spring. So there is over 1000 colonies to flood the market, or they may already be sold to a large SI beekeeping venture...don’t know, just reading between the lines of what I’ve heard recently. Hive prices have peaked. Start businesses will be becoming self sufficient with their own stock increases.

Do you reckon one more bad-average season will see more businesses get out of the industry?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Im keen to see Comvita's share price in May.

One of my concerns going forward is the weather

Ive been around Taupo and involved in weather related/ dependent activities for long enough to have noted the cyclic or at least changing weather patterns.

 

  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, dansar said:

There is already a large operation in the NI that closed up its NZ business of beekeeping and their hives will be over wintered then likely sold off in spring. So there is over 1000 colonies to flood the market, or they may already be sold to a large SI beekeeping venture...don’t know, just reading between the lines of what I’ve heard recently. Hive prices have peaked. Start businesses will be becoming self sufficient with their own stock increases.

Do you reckon one more bad-average season will see more businesses get out of the industry?

The future is a fickle thing and its tricky to make predictions based on current thinking.
In five years we could all be roasted or we could be riding the largest Beekeeping wave in history.
That wave may not even be based on Honey as a food, it may be Pharmaceutical, who knows?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nothing new under the sun here people, we see this boom-bust-boom-bust change in all industries if you stick around long enough.

Things are still good for this industry but there will be changes, and those that want to be involved will adapt.

It always amazes me the slowness in which we humans will change, take varroa for an example, when it arrived and the beeks pre-varroa where all up-ity about how to learn and change to treating hives, beeks post-varroa know no difference so just get on with it and expand their knowledge from that as a starting point.

And so will be the same with any changes that come to this industry.

There will always be those pre-event and post-event beeks that look at the same event with different eyes and thoughts of good or bad.

But in either case pre-post you should be looking at it with a business mind if it is your intention and then make sound business decisions.

 

  • Agree 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

10 billion people going to be inhabiting Earth within 40 years.  Everyone going to eat. 

They might even buy our brood to eat!

If a business opportunity presented,  insects for food could be a great investment.  Also uses a heck of a lot less resources compared to producing animal based protein.  I have eaten fried crickets in Indonesia, no worries. It's all in the brain. 

 

  • Agree 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The next focus should be on promoting some other honeys. Kanuka has a lot going for it, and beech dew is pretty unique. To name a couple.

 

NZ already has a good name in the world honey market, golden opportunity to develop more honeys than just manuka.

 

In Canada the commercial beekeepers are getting in some cases less than $2 per pound for good quality honey. That's were we could end up if we do not continue to innovate.

  • Agree 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Lindaloo26 said:

10 billion people going to be inhabiting Earth within 40 years.  Everyone going to eat. 

They might even buy our brood to eat!

If a business opportunity presented,  insects for food could be a great investment.  Also uses a heck of a lot less resources compared to producing animal based protein.  I have eaten fried crickets in Indonesia, no worries. It's all in the brain. 

 

Yes
A one  Kg packet of dry bees, Queen included, $200
Six pack salted Queens (mated) $100, Virgins cost extra.
Drones for lead in pencil, special deal $2000Kg

Edited by Philbee
  • Haha 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Lindaloo26 said:

10 billion people going to be inhabiting Earth within 40 years.  Everyone going to eat. 

They might even buy our brood to eat!

If a business opportunity presented,  insects for food could be a great investment.  Also uses a heck of a lot less resources compared to producing animal based protein.  I have eaten fried crickets in Indonesia, no worries. It's all in the brain. 

 

My brain would block my body from eating crickets .

Unless I was on survivor and there was a million dollars in it.

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...