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mikethebee 

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J M Clegg Quote from BBKA April nucs 2009 without queens...

Don’t think you have upset me in anyway it’s the opposite I have found your post most amusing!
As you said;
Like many young entrepreneurs I never go to sleep without an idea popping into my head!
---- It’s called day dreaming.

You cannot blame Mike for upset. He has a need for 245 queens in April for Nuclei at £130 each. That‘s a not far off £32,000 of orders so you can see it is important to him. It would be important to me too if it was my business.

LETS be serious Mr Clegg, how much in overheads do you think it would cost to produce 245 nucs FROM SCRATCH? after all two cabbages are better than one

LABOUR. wage 1 man per week for 36weeks.
245 x5 frame hoffman frames. assembled
245 x5 wired foundation assembled
Nuc boxes 245 QUEENS 245
FOOD syrup mixing feeding.
Fondant feeding.
Supplements.
Varroa treatment.
Diesel/transport
Rent @36weeks.
Office phone heat electric - w/shop rates etc.
Hiveboxes.
Don’t count on any honey harvest, you will have sold your bees.
Then you have the experience.

all the best mike
 

admin 

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Cheaper than Thornes who are taking orders for 2009 5 frame Nucs at ?170.00
 

Finman 

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I think that capital cost of store houses are big in prpfessional level.

If you are going to be professional, you need much land and storehouses.

How much you must sell to get money back.
 

artibaton 

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in my experience of the textiles trade (lots of very woolly knitters) where i import and export alpaca yarn, many of my customers, who are all shopkeepers btw, seem to think that:

a. the yarn falls from the animal and neatly blows itself onto a spinning machine that is powered by unpaid oompa loompahs.

b. said yarn then fashions itself into a perfect glider form and throws itself from the andes landing neatly in the bay of our warehouse

c. more oompah loompahs cast the magic that dyes, weighs, bags and boxes the yarn

d. the couriers generously come and give their services for free.

thereforethe plummeting pound shouldnt be affecting us as everything is freeeeee.

on the other hand, once these things are explained you can usually expect more understanding from most of them.

also when we started we also underestimated the costs of our overheads and were setting our prices too low. once we raised them to a level more commensurate with a luxury blend we sold far more. I believe that this is simply cause underpriced goods arent really trusted by retailers on the "there must be something wrong with it" and "you get what you pay for" basis

mike i reckon the problem for beeks in this country is that whether we like it or not, many of us keep an eye on what is happening in the states. there there are large numbers of commercial beeks with huge numbers of colonies, to support this there must be a large number of queen breeders and so supply there has managed to push the prices down. especially as many now seem to be selling whole colonies after the almond pollination to avoid over wintering. Here we have very limited supplies and so (rightly) you can charge a slight premium. Until someone else gets off their arse and does something about it i would ignore the armchair rhetoric.

NOW THAT WAS A LOT OF WAFFLE:hat:

*actually i really like most of my customers, at least those that pay*
 

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Thats a very good post Artibaton.

I think many forget just what goes in to putting a lid and label on a jar of pure Honey.
 

Chris B 

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You don't need to justify your prices Mike.
Let me ask you can you produce enough nucs to meet the demand?
If not you are possibly UNDERCHARGING.

I wouldn't like to guess at your overheads, except I bet the biggest is labour. And the market isn't exactly flooded with able-bodied fast-working experienced beekeepers for hire either. Do you train your own or have you managed to find people okay?
 

Mission 

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If you don't make a lot of money from it then why do it? Of course you have overheads but then again don't all businesses? As good as Mikes reputation is he has to expect that others will come along and try compete. If an idea is good enough someone else will want to try get in on the action, it's just capitalism at work!

The thread on the other forum makes very interesting reading.
 

Mission 

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hahahahah very good!! I should have seen that one coming lol
 

admin 

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Bit naughty of me Mission but I could not resist.

Does mike have any real competition ?

Say over 500 Nucs a year.
 

Chris B 

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Nobody produces 500 a year, though I thought Mike was making more.

Thornes use multiple third parties for theirs.

Competition comes in other forms i.e. beeks producing 1 or 2 or 20 and supplying "under the radar" and impossible to quantify.

But really competition is meaningless if the total of ALL suppliers can't match the demand.
 

Mission 

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Well if nobody produces the quantities needed to be called competitive then why is Mike getting so defensive? From the interesting posts (Sorry admin - lol) that started the whole discussion the main points were, the need for european queens and the possibility of someone eventually being able to provide U.K queens.

I think there was one moot point about there being money to be made and that seems to have been what Mike has picked up on. Who is really bothered about that or what it costs to make a nuc? Availability and the choice of queen is actually more importand - In my humble opinion anyways.
 

admin 

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I think money is the last thing that Mike is talking about.

The way I read some of it is that you have Mike saying he HAS to have Queens by a certain date,next year not in ten years + time,then you have a couple of wannabe academics saying that it should be possible to produce early uk Queens in theory.and that seems to be one part of the problem.

Mikes a practical man trying to run a business while others seem to find it easy to sit at the computer talking about the perfect uk early raised Queen that should be possible on paper..

Maybe Mike can help explain it.
 

jimbeekeeper 

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Without this becoming a BAYER style discussion, you have to look on the possible bright side!

If Mike is producing all these nucs then surely the interest in beekeeping is growing, which can only be a good thing? Unless there are many very poor keepers that keep killing off their queens!

If the first case is true, then surely as more people take up beekeeping, the number of hives increases allowing for more queens (colonies) to be home grown?

No one can and should be Knocking Mike, he is is just supplying a demand. I see no one else jumping to the challenge!

As so often is the case theory and reality will never meet, and while the thinkers think the do'ers do.
 

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Good post Jim,you summed it up very well.
 

Hivemaker. 

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Getting queens mated at all in any numbers is hard enough in this country,let alone getting them mated in early april. fubar plan.But there are some Einstiens who think they can get them to fly out and mate.I think the cost would be around twenty eight pounds seventeen shillings and sixpence.
 
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Polyanwood 

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I reckon the price of British reared queens might be more than that if demand is so high and supply so limited...if they cost ?28 to raise, then surely they will cost at least ?38 to buy!
 

jimbeekeeper 

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Its all just down to supply and demand.

You can make it what you want, just look at oil prices, crude price goes down so OPEC cuts production, so oil goes back up...simple:patriot:
 
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