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bobba 

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The problem is the answer to your question is "It depends". If you wait for the spring sales then it will depend on how many attend the sale, how many hives are for sale and what they are (full hives, nucs or just bees on frames), what the quantity (number of active frames) and their temperament. There's also location to think about, here in rural Wales the prices will be lower than in or near bigger cities as there's more cash, and dare I say it more people looking for the 'hobby beekeeper' lifestyle.

A typical sale that I've attended (going back 10 years or so) would produce results in the £100-200 range for bees on frames up to approx. £350 for a full hive with all the wood work but there are so many factors involved it's hard to say.

Next year of course covid will affect the metrics, there will probably be more buyers, but also a glut of equipment and bees so prices may be lower.

Other sales may be to a beginner at your local association with a couple of seasons mentoring thrown in.
Thanks, I had a feeling there would not be an exact answer.

And what are theses "spring sales" you speak of, is it something BKA's normally organize?
 
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I too am a garden keeper with 4 hives. Luckily no stinting problems here.

I was thinking of down scaling back to 2 or 3 hives next year.

I had not considered the possibility of selling a hive. What is the going rate for a hive in the spring? And is there much demand?
The cost of replacing the hive and frames (less a % depending on condition) + £150 for
a nucleus or £250 for a full colony. Very achievable prices in spring... I've seen them sell for more ...
 

Erichalfbee 

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I sold six colonies on 14x12 in April last year for £250 each.
 

Arfermo 

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I sell honey on the 'Nextdoor' website (Google for it). Others offer stuff that you might not even realise has any value. I got a lovely French wasp trap there for nothing yesterday. better than anything I have ever seen elsewhere.
 

Pembroke 

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Thanks, I had a feeling there would not be an exact answer.

And what are theses "spring sales" you speak of, is it something BKA's normally organize?
Yes, sales are usually setup by local BKA's the ones near me take the form of auctions. There are two local to me for instance one week after the other around about April time. This give the bees time to come through the winter and be established for the coming season but not yet in full flow.

Assuming your location is correct here's one I found in your local area, or rather it would have been without Covid.

 
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Yes, sales are usually setup by local BKA's the ones near me take the form of auctions. There are two local to me for instance one week after the other around about April time. This give the bees time to come through the winter and be established for the coming season but not yet in full flow.

Assuming your location is correct here's one I found in your local area, or rather it would have been without Covid.

Yes .. I normally go .. There are usually a few colonies of bees for sale ... it's a well attended event and a great opportunity to meet up with other beekeepers - they do a good piece of cake and a bacon roll as well. The price that the bees go for varies from year to year .. you can set a reserve if you wish.. The bees are inspected by a Bee Inspector prior to being sold so people are confident about what they are bidding on - clearly they have to be disease free and there will be a brief report on the colony available.

They have to be delivered the night before the auction .. there's usually about 300 lots of various beekeeping kit and associated items auctioned .. some bargains and some you think will never sell go for ridiculous amounts of money. I picked up an old style Workmate (the one you could hardly lift !) for a fiver at the last one and a friend bought a lovely solar wax melter - hand made in mahogany for £75 ... both bargains.
 

ShinySideUp 

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I sell honey on the 'Nextdoor' website (Google for it). Others offer stuff that you might not even realise has any value. I got a lovely French wasp trap there for nothing yesterday. better than anything I have ever seen elsewhere.
I would never use the 'nextdoor' website as I don't trust it. Some time ago I got an offer in a letter (yes, the post, really) and it purported to come from a neighbour, it had a second class stamp on it. I might have thought it was from some local society trying get a neighbourhood thing going had it not apparently been sent from the woman I most hate in this world! She hates me just as much and would certainly not do anything so magnanimous that would help me...we wouldn't p*** in each others mouths if our respective lungs were on fire. No, shan't be going there for anything.
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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I picked up an old style Workmate (the one you could hardly lift !) for a fiver at the last one
They were fantastic bits of kit, when they first came out in the late 70's we travelled miles to find a Woolworths with one in stock as a Christmas present for my father. He, being a master carpenter looked a bit askance at it but from that day on it became as an essential bit of kit as his steel square, it had so many uses, after he died it came to me but unfortunately the cast frame sheared back at the turn of the century. I missed it so much I finally trawled ebay and found one for twenty quid on sale in Orpington and just by chance I was paying off in Gravesend at the time. Wonderful bit of kit!
 
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Erichalfbee 

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They were fantastic bits of kit, when they first came out in the late 70's we travelled miles to find a Woolworths with one in stock as a Christmas present for my father. He, being a master carpenter looked a bit askance at it but from that day on it became as an essential bit of kit as his steel square, it had so many uses, after he died it came to me but unfortunately the vast frame sheared back at the turn of the century. I missed it so much I finally trawled ebay and found one for twenty quid on sale in Orpington and just by chance I was paying off in Gravesend at the time. Wonderful bit of kit!
Stan still has one, inherited from his father.
 
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They were fantastic bits of kit, when they first came out in the late 70's we travelled miles to find a Woolworths with one in stock as a Christmas present for my father. He, being a master carpenter looked a bit askance at it but from that day on it became as an essential bit of kit as his steel square, it had so many uses, after he died it came to me but unfortunately the cast frame sheared back at the turn of the century. I missed it so much I finally trawled ebay and found one for twenty quid on sale in Orpington and just by chance I was paying off in Gravesend at the time. Wonderful bit of kit!
Yes ... I still have my old aluminium one but there is a piece of the casting that is snapped ...The one I bought at the auction is the original Steel framed one ... it's been well used but it is fine and it has the second set of feet to raise it up. Both of them were built to last .. the current ones with plastic parts and thin pressed metal frames are a total waste of money.
 

bobba 

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Thanks as always for the replies. I will definitely go to a sale at the next opportunity. I will probably just go check one out first, rather than rocking up with a hive for sale and no clue how things work.

I have to see if all my hives make it through the winter first anyway, and may decide to run with 4 after all.

I knew people sold nucs and swarms, but was never sure if a trade in full colonies existed. Its handy to know should I ever decide to downsize.

I am still waiting to inherit my dads Workmate, its older than me. Dad has used it so much over the years and still uses it regularly to saw logs. They are just solid and simple, built to last.

"They don't make them like they used to...." <---- The scary thing is, that's what I remember my Nan saying 30 years ago. And here we are saying it now.

I do wonder when people first started saying that?
 

Newbeeneil 

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Yes ... I still have my old aluminium one but there is a piece of the casting that is snapped ...The one I bought at the auction is the original Steel framed one ... it's been well used but it is fine and it has the second set of feet to raise it up. Both of them were built to last .. the current ones with plastic parts and thin pressed metal frames are a total waste of money.
I've still got mine from the 70s, 😀 I saw one on freecycle recently and was very tempted to become a two Workmate owner.....
 

ShinySideUp 

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I picked up an old style Workmate (the one you could hardly lift !) for a fiver
I have one I bought in the 70's. Solid and dependable it was made of steel with a very sturdy plywood platform. I fancied a new one and turned the old one into a stand for my chop saw; a job it still does very well. The new one I bought is an all-singing, all-dancing piece of kit that is actually a shadow of it's predecessor ☹. It's top is made of bamboo, the frame is made of a thin steel that is so sharp you could use it as a reasonable machete. The clips that hold it upright are as substantial as mist and as for using it as something I could stand on to decorate a ceiling...I think not unless I wanted trip to the hospital. It is so sad that companies use cost-cutting desires to sell pieces of crap that are only loosely connected to the wonderful products they used to sell. I manage with my new one and it does it's job up to a point but I wouldn't buy another one unless the standard harked back to the original -- a most unlikely event.
 
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I have one I bought in the 70's. Solid and dependable it was made of steel with a very sturdy plywood platform. I fancied a new one and turned the old one into a stand for my chop saw; a job it still does very well. The new one I bought is an all-singing, all-dancing piece of kit that is actually a shadow of it's predecessor ☹. It's top is made of bamboo, the frame is made of a thin steel that is so sharp you could use it as a reasonable machete. The clips that hold it upright are as substantial as mist and as for using it as something I could stand on to decorate a ceiling...I think not unless I wanted trip to the hospital. It is so sad that companies use cost-cutting desires to sell pieces of crap that are only loosely connected to the wonderful products they used to sell. I manage with my new one and it does it's job up to a point but I wouldn't buy another one unless the standard harked back to the original -- a most unlikely event.
I bought one of the new(er) but not all singing and all dancing ones when I started renovating my mums house and a second (lighter) workmate I thought would be useful. You are so right in everything you have said ... total pile of carp. I was very disappointed... I cut my fingers on the thin razor steel edges everytime I shut it up and in the end the plastic handles on the vice jaws broke (not that the vie would hold anything outside of a banana !) and the catch that supposedly locked it in the up position kept bending out of shape so it would not lock. It went in the skip at the end of the project - and I hate wasting things - there wasn't a single bit of the thing that was worth keeping. My £5 auction one will outlast me ...My son aleady has his eye on it ...
 

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