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Author Topic: Hive make-up and package bees  (Read 3829 times)
Angi_H
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« Reply #20 on: December 01, 2007, 01:42:25 AM »

I have started up a CSA and it really dosent take any more time. You can deliver for a fee or let them pick up when they can. But they pay ahead for monthly items or pay months in advance for a certain period of time. I have the chicken, duck, quail eggs as well as heirloom veggies and orgainc raised poutry to sale with my packages and want to add honey as well as the bennifits of pollination. I would really look into it. Here in Ca no sales tax on Food. And Honey at farmers markets here go for 6.00 lb.


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alfred
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« Reply #21 on: December 01, 2007, 09:05:11 AM »

I live in Colorado and there is sales tax on food for sure. I think that the state taxes it and each municipality also taxes not sure on how that works. I do know that you need a business licence/sales tax liscence to sell anything retail. I plan to sell out side of the city off of my truck bed if I ever have enough to sell. This would avoid dealing with the city and also dealing with location rental. I also think that I would do internet sales and avoid tax altogether when shipping out side of Colorado. 

In Colorado all of the info that you need to know on this is available at the department of revenue:
http://www.revenue.state.co.us/main/wrap.asp?incl=sitemap
you also want to register a trade name if you want to use a brand name rather than your own name. Maybe even do an LLC for some liability protection.

The part that I am unsure of as of yet is health department and labeling requirements.   Do I have to have my bottling and processing area and equiptment inspected and approved by the local health officials? And what sort of nutritional info and other label requirements are there? I know that with some products there are very specific rules about how things are labeled and what words and terms one can use and even the reletive size of type for things on a label.... In another string there was a discussion of what was raw honey. I know that when it comes to labeling that there are usually specific legal criteria for using terms like raw or organic or pure. I haven't done any research on any of this yet. I haven't had enough honey to worry about it all yet.
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MrILoveTheAnts
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« Reply #22 on: December 01, 2007, 12:11:57 PM »

The general rules I go by are: 1lb of bees = either 4000 small bees or 3000 large bees. A full frames worth of wax takes about 3 weeks for the  bees to produce, Of course this varies if the bees are more focused on producing comb. And compare that with a worker bee taking 4 weeks (21 days) to hatch.
So you're not going to get any newborn bees until after the first week. I have personally done 2 frame splits that, 20 days later, resulted in a loan queen bee marching around 2 full frames of capped cells and maybe a hand full of workers. I had to keep a close eye on that hive so they weren't targeted by wax moths which they had been beforehand. Day 22 though everything changed as most of those cells hatched and everything went up form there.

Why are you keeping your hives so far away? I think I'd be afraid of skunks or bears getting into them.

Are you taking advantage of the benefits beehives can offer? Vegetable garden? Fruit trees?
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Hopeful
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« Reply #23 on: December 01, 2007, 06:25:00 PM »

Mr. Ants,

I have 12 hives at home on my own property. These will go on a 500 acre organic farm owned by a friend who wants pollinization.


JP,

AS to competing with mass produced garbage honey. This is Oklahoma, and there is very little or no health consciousness here. It is one of the most obese states in the union ("This here's cattle country"). People attend "all you can eat restaurants" such as (and I am not making this up) "The Pigout Palace"  and "The Catfish Roundup" and at home live on potato chips and beer. Of course there are exceptions, but this appears to be the rule, as many of us have tried to put on health clinics to no avail, attended only by little old ladies looking to get out for an evening. Maybe if we put a giant screen television with an OU Sooners football game on and give them healthy snacks and raw honey hey will have positive references.....if the Sooners win.

I have local beeks offering to sell me raw honey for a buck and a half a pound. No joke! This will be a marketing challenge.
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« Reply #24 on: December 01, 2007, 07:54:30 PM »

I have local beeks offering to sell me raw honey for a buck and a half a pound. No joke! This will be a marketing challenge.

Why on earth are you trying to break into a market that doesn't exist??   Sounds like a recipe for failure.
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rdy-b
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« Reply #25 on: December 01, 2007, 09:38:10 PM »

Everybody that I know that has been successful at honey sales -got into bees for the love of keeping bees -people see these things - when you are selling your product you are selling more of who you are and your love of the bees-the money and success just come as a bonus-love of money is not what will make you a great beekeeper -But you dont really talk about being a good beekeeper -there is no money to speak of in keeping bees it is more of self expression and a way to see life clearer-there is and always will be wholesale honey( which should be around$1 dollar a pound )but people will be willing to pay you what your time and efforts are worth if they know and believe that the honey they are buying came from a better place -without short cuts taking for the most the fastest  cool RDY-B
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Hopeful
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« Reply #26 on: December 01, 2007, 11:09:08 PM »

>>>>Why on earth are you trying to break into a market that doesn't exist??   Sounds like a recipe for failure.<<<<<

It is definely a small market, for sure. That is a good thing when you are a small time beeperson. However, There is also no doubt that I have truned down enough offers to buy my honey that I cold have sold it all the first week if I wanted to sell at $1.50 lb in the 5gal bucket. I am looking for a niche market, not a major one. I am also counting on a couple of other factors:

1- The cheap land in Oklahoma is bringing many people from other states who are more health conscious.
2- The state is tired of the poor reputation about its health, especially in the areas of heart disease and diabetes. Oklahoma wants to grow up. They just havent yet. The media and the government are trying to effect change in the poor health habits of Oklahomans, which they know is driving up health care costs and are a burden on the consumers.

My plan is to be larger when the market grows, but to stay within my realistic budget until then. I agree that I should sell my honey higher. It is a bit problematic that others selling raw honey have no marketing or people skills and sell themselves short on price.

rdy-B,
Sorry if it sounds like I'm a bleep and only in it for a buck. But that is only a partial reality of the situation. I like the bees, the challenge, and the health benefits of both honey and beekeeping itself. My actual trade is classic car restoration and teaching body shop at a private school. That is very unhealthy work, and will certainly lead to an early grave. I also write religious books, but there is no money in that, so it is really more of non-profit a ministry. So when I looked at alternative carreer and farming oppties beekeeping just sort of "happened". My wife wanted to get into bees, so I bought her a hive last Christmas. It turns out she is allergic to bees, and since I am not, I decided to give it a go. A guy had a bee farm for sale for a song, so I jumped at it. It is possible that I might eventually write a book about how I have done absolutely everything wrong that a beek can do wrong.

Now that I have said all that,  How long should I keep bees in a nuc before transplanting them to a ten frame hive? An if I use the frames from the nuc is that going to be a problem with my plastic frames?
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MrILoveTheAnts
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« Reply #27 on: December 01, 2007, 11:20:47 PM »

Hives in a Nuc, I would say once they start building on the last frame you should be safe to upgrade them. (Nuc's are the 5 frame boxes right?) Generally when they're 80% full on anything you give them more room. Also remember to rotate frames since they don't alway build out the lower edges to the side frames.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #28 on: December 01, 2007, 11:24:40 PM »

Now that I have said all that,  How long should I keep bees in a nuc before transplanting them to a ten frame hive? An if I use the frames from the nuc is that going to be a problem with my plastic frames?

How long do you want to keep them there?  You can transfer them anytime after they become "established."  
Mixing wood with plastic will work if: 1. plastic is the only thing they're given, 2. air out or mask the plastic odor (vanilla in sugar syrup spray), 3. you keep tearing out the "wierd" comb until they get it right, 4. you have a high pain tolerence.

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rdy-b
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« Reply #29 on: December 02, 2007, 12:39:18 AM »

IF its a nuc you bought (four or five frames ) they should be transfered right-away so they can build up -If it is a nuc you are nurturing from a split or divide or as simple as two frames of brood& bees and a queen-they must have built up sufficient to fill the nuc box-there are some keepers that use five frame nucs for there regular boxes (not recommended for you ) yes you can mix and match your frames and there will be times you will have to use what ever is handy it is ok  more to be reveald  Smiley RDY-B
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alfred
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« Reply #30 on: December 02, 2007, 10:19:29 AM »

   Market and price are an interesting thing. When I read this about the price of honey it reminds me of my own business. I am a massage therapist. I have the same issues in the market for my services. There are many who charge much less for their services than me in this area. It drives down the price. Most of them are not as well educated and/or are not full time professionals and can afford to charge less. I work hard to maintain and improve my skills and I work full time at my profession. It shows in my work.

   But many customers are unsophisticated about massage therapy, much like those who will buy 1 a pound honey 'product' in the store and don't understand why any one would buy honey for any more than that. Many never get massage just as many never buy any honey good or bad. Therefore I cater to those who have 'seen the light' as it were and appreciate the difference between what I call a "Swedish rub down' massage and very good therapeutic bodywork. I also work hard at educating the public about the value of good massage therapy and the differences between good and not so good bodywork. By doing these things I have set myself up as a 'Premium' massage therapist.

    I used to live in Boulder Colorado the 'new age center of the universe' and it was easy to sell my premium product there. I now live in Loveland Colorado which is an amazingly different market. But I have stuck to my principals and not succumbed to under selling myself and over time I have created a market for my services. I have written articles for the local paper and a local health publication. I offer educational seminars. I am also involved in educating other therapists in order to raise the bar for the entire profession. I take care to always do great work with people and constantly work at learning and improving my own skills. Once folks have tried my massage therapy they are no longer interested in a Swedish rub down.

    As a general rule I find that the more that I charge for my services, within certain limits, the more they are appreciated and taken seriously. I think that the same thing will apply to the marketing of Honey. People who are in the know will have no problem paying more for a premium product. This of course assumes that you have taken care to assure that it is premium, quality first always. Others will come around with a little educating about, and tasting, your product and why it is more desirable. Over time you can create brand recognition which will set your product apart from others. Some people still won't be interested and never will and that is ok because the ones that do 'get it' will line up to buy every drop you have at whatever price you charge for it.

Alfred
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JP
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« Reply #31 on: December 02, 2007, 10:24:33 AM »

> Now that I have said all that,  How long should I keep bees in a nuc before transplanting them to a ten frame hive? And if I use the frames from the nuc is that going to be a problem with my plastic frames?

Since we're in winter now you wouldn't transfer them now, so they can winter adequately, unless you were Brendhan and lived where he does. Any other time 90% drawn in a nuc is when I would transfer.


Mixing and matching may cause some resistance issues but like it has been mentioned, leave your plastic frames out so they can weather a little bit, to help remove that plastic smell.
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Cindi
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« Reply #32 on: December 02, 2007, 10:54:47 AM »

Alfred, well said.  Quality products......priceless.

Off topic a little, bear with me, but must speak my thoughts.  I operated a greenhouse nursery on my property for about 14 years.  I had top quality plants, with tons of TLC, propogated myself from seeds and cuttings.  Excellent product and it shined through.  BUT...along came the huge nurseries that were a lost leader at places like Home Depot, and so on.  Their prices were so low compared to mine, that eventually, about 50% of my clients finally went to their inferior products.  The smart ones remained and had beautiful gardens, thanks to the quality that I produced here.  I finally became tired of the tons of work, with very little monetary return and it became work instead of pleasure.  So I retired the operation (never looking back).  I achieved incredible skill and knowledge of greenhouse plant propogation, I still have my greenhouse, along with the furnace and all the growing lights and benches.  I still grow my own beautiful plants.   I am grateful for this opportunity in my life to become excellent at what I do in this regard.  If it were not for those clients that loved my product, I would not be where I am with horticulture as I am now.  Not to say that I am the best, but I possess a skill that took me many, many years of research and study to hone.  I know what you are speaking of, Alfred.  Have a wonderful and beautiful day, love our life we live.  Cindi
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Hopeful
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« Reply #33 on: December 02, 2007, 12:48:33 PM »

Thanks for the "bleep" whomever did that. Smiley I did not realize that was a dirty word until I saw the bleep.

Yes, rdy-, If I have nucs it will be bought ones to save time in building a colony. The idea would be to increase the odds of getting a honey harvest the first year in my new hives. From what I see, nobody is selling bees right now anywhere, so I guess I'll wait until spring.


Alfred,
Well said, and that is my plan. The website for the apiary includes the health benefits of pollen, whch includes depression, headaches,  prostate health and many other practical and applicable benefits. I am also considering adding a pollen harvest ion addition to the honey. But I know the traps are not cheap, at least not the good ones. Being a Seventh-day Adventist (extremely health-conscious people), I have a "captive " market aready, even though my religion is not that popular in Oklahoma. The local SDA health food store has already filled the shelves with my honey and they are selling fast. They found out that the other "raw" honey they were selling had been heated to 150, so they replaced it with my product. We also sold 60 pounds to a SDA cafeteria and they ran out in two weeks. I have had several requests for pollen and even some for royal jelly. But as I undrstand it, royal jelly is not a viable option for American beekeeers due to the specialized nature and many hours of work involved.
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