Need Bees Removed?
International
Beekeeping Forums
September 19, 2014, 06:21:41 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: ATTENTION ALL NEW MEMBERS
PLEASE READ THIS OR YOUR ACCOUNT MAY BE DELETED - CLICK HERE
 
   Home   Help Search Calendar bee removal Login Register Chat  

Pages: [1] 2  All   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: On buying Top Bar Hives  (Read 3920 times)
bigbearomaha
Guest
« on: October 08, 2009, 08:24:39 AM »

It occurs to me that there are some who are making what is usually an inexpensive, relatively easy to build hive style and getting very carried away.

I have been seeing regular listed prices of $150.00 and upwards to $400.00 for a TBH.  incredible.

 I can speak for my own neck of the woods in the Midwest, if I were to buy all of the parts from a store ( using current prices at Menards locally here as an example now) I can buy all the materials to build a complete, full sized TBH identical in style to the one as shown on Micheal Bushs page and several websites selling such hives, for between $30 and $40.  Add about $20 if  I want to include an observation window.

So, for a rough $50 tops I can build a nice looking and solid, totally usable TBH ( the cost include materials for follower boards)

If  I sell these  (and  I do) say I use a %100 markup over costs,  I can sell the hive, observation window and all, for about $100, or as low as about $60  (with no window) and still make a reasonable sum on it.

Mind you, all of these costs go out the window if I find good secondhand or leftover wood and parts. Then the cost is anywhere from the time it takes to build it to about $30.  I won't sell 'secondhand wood' built hives though.  I keep those for my own use.

So, what is one getting for the $200 to $450 TBH that are being sold online beside someone else is putting it together?  Even then,  I have seen some pretty expensive TBH sold at $300 and more and being shipped as a 'kit' and you still have to assemble it yourself.  Let's not forget to add the cost of shipping on top as well.

Sorry.  To me, that totally defeats one of the main points of working with TBH in the first place, low cost.

Big Bear

Logged
Robo
Technical
Administrator
Galactic Bee
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 6405


Location: Scenic Catskill Mountains - NY

Beekeep On!


WWW
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2009, 08:51:11 AM »

You make some pretty broad assumptions in your claims.

I did see one of these so-called kits first hand at the Treatment Free Bee Conference.  I believe it was the Goldstar brand.  The craftsmanship was far superior to what Michael shows on his page.  Michael was there and I'm sure would agree.  Now is that fanciness needed, absolutely not, it is a personal preference.  At the same conference Sam Comfort had some of his $5 TBHs.  

The bottom line is you get what you pay for.  If you want a cheap hive, build one, if you want a more refined hive, you will pay more.   I also assure you, these folks that are selling them are in it to get paid for the time they are investing in building them.  Now if you want to do it for the love of doing it,  go for it,  I'm sure you will find folks that would buy some.

Also don't forget the overhead cost.   What if one gets damaged or lost in the mail, you have to eat the cost of replacement parts and added shipping.  Even if you have insurance, it can still be a hassle.  It is all the little things that add up.

The Goldstar hive was very nice,  would I spend the money for one?  Absolutely not,  but mainly because I have the tools, skills, and enjoy building things myself.  For those that don't have these skills/desires,  it may be a bargain.
Logged

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison


Scadsobees
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 3198


Location: Jenison, MI

Best use of smileys in a post award.


« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2009, 09:01:57 AM »

Sales, marketing, and buyers willing to pay more. cool

Just like with anything, there are people that will buy the first pretty glamorous thing that is presented on the front of the shelf rather than spend the time to look at the equivalent item for 1/2 the price on the back of the bottom shelf.

I'm a bottom shelf type of guy myself....
Logged

Rick
bigbearomaha
Guest
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2009, 10:26:08 AM »

I am not making "broad assumptions".   I am stating facts based on products listed on internet sales sites, my own first hand experience in pricing materials and ability to build a top bar hive.

By anyone doing any kind of research, say a simple google search on the top bar hive, one of the first facts on most site describing it brings to point the fact that they are inexpensive to build and also not difficult in relation to other styles. Again, not an assumption.

Also,  I did not say Micheals was the de facto hive,  I said in that same design, not same materials or presentation necessarily. There is a spectrum of 'quality' and presentations ranging from scrounged together to top of the line, decorated materials and appearance. but the design itself pretty much is consistent.

As far as any other aspect of shipping a prepared product, shipping insurance is typically incumbent on the buyer, not the shipper unless it's an extra they choose to add in. 


In terms of you get what you pay for,  I would say that might apply to quality some of the time, even a majority of the time, but more often than not, what you are paying for is presentation.

If the buyer is adding a top bar hive to their backyard and they want something that doesn't 'look' homemade' they will look for something more decorative.  However, one cannot simply assume that because something that is low in cost is low in quality or craftsmanship.  I myself would take umbrage in that because  I happen to make what  I feel are very high quality hives that are very durable and sturdy.   I just feel that charging more than 100 percent markup is unnecessary, a choice I make for myself.  My hives are not decorated or made to be 'shown off' but are designed for function, usability and endurance.

I just feel that some of these prices are a bit high considering the objective of this style of hive and are made to take advantage of people who may not be apprised of the history and design intent of the top bar hive.

But, to agree with you on one point, if someone wants to pay that much, it's their choice, I just don't understand it.

Big Bear
Logged
bigbearomaha
Guest
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2009, 10:37:04 AM »

After reading through this,  I get the feeling some may think I am 'bashing' the folks selling these high priced hives.  That's not what I mean to do.   I guess I am making one assumption in that most business  I have worked in or run, 100 percent markup is usually the set price.   I know of folks who sell at much higher than that markup, that's their business, nothing says  I have to buy from them and  I usually don't.

All  I know is,  if someone is paying more than $50 for materials to build a top bar hive,  I guess I have a lot to be thankful for for having decent materials costs where I am.

Big Bear

Logged
Robo
Technical
Administrator
Galactic Bee
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 6405


Location: Scenic Catskill Mountains - NY

Beekeep On!


WWW
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2009, 10:53:35 AM »

I still believe you are over simplifying the costs involved and getting paid for the time you invest, but that is just my opinion. Most of these folks do it as a side business and don't have the time or facilities to run a high volume/low profit margin business.   If there was such a market for the picking, I would think a commercial operation would pick up on this?  But hey, it sounds like there is a good market for you to sell some goods, go for it.
Logged

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison


bigbearomaha
Guest
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2009, 11:10:02 AM »

Actually, heh heh, I am not a volume seller of these either.  Only locally, for those involved with the project I work on or from a craft show here and there.  Any money  I make on these goes back to the project if  I do sell any.

There's no problem with agreeing to disagree.  everyone has their own take on things.   I have really been startled though by some of the prices  I have seen, which is what prompted me to post. 

Then again, I must take into consideration,  I am a 'function first' type where as long as something does what it should, performs as it should,   I personally don't really care how it looks.  Thankfully, my wife is the same way, else she likely wouldn't have me.  heh heh.

Big Bear
Logged
BoBn
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 195

Location: USA


WWW
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2009, 11:31:48 AM »

I can buy all the materials to build a complete, full sized TBH identical in style to the one as shown on Micheal Bushs page and several websites selling such hives, for between $30 and $40.  Add about $20 if  I want to include an observation window.

There are plenty of people that don't have the skills, tools and/or desire to build their own. 

The Goldstar TBHs that I have seen are build like quality furniture. Everything looked like it had been well machined and finish sanded and pre-drilled.   They are top quality.  They are not something that the average woodworker could match.
If you get a chance, inspect one up close.


I build my own hives, using single-planed pine with a rough interior and have built a TBH for ~$35 of wood (1"X12"X12' sides & bottom, 1"X8"X8' cover, 3 2"X4"X8' topbars. 


Sort of OFF TOPIC: I think that a built-in bubble-level would be a nice addition to a TBH

     
Logged

"Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch toward uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one-half the world fools and the other half hypocrites."
--Thomas Jefferson
Robo
Technical
Administrator
Galactic Bee
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 6405


Location: Scenic Catskill Mountains - NY

Beekeep On!


WWW
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2009, 11:34:19 AM »

Bottom line is you and I aren't the folks these TBH sellers are marketing too.  They are after those that don't have to means or will to build there own stuff.   Those are the people willing to pay their price. grin
Logged

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison


Robo
Technical
Administrator
Galactic Bee
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 6405


Location: Scenic Catskill Mountains - NY

Beekeep On!


WWW
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2009, 11:36:18 AM »

The Goldstar TBHs that I have seen are build like quality furniture. Everything looked like it had been well machined and finish sanded and pre-drilled.   They are top quality.  They are not something that the average woodworker could match.
If you get a chance, inspect one up close.


The one I saw I think even had a custom engraved nameplate with serial number rolleyes
Logged

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison


bigbearomaha
Guest
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2009, 11:40:54 AM »

 I am sure those are fine beehives.   I am not doubting the quality of them in any way.  But to me, that is going 'too far'   in my mind, it defeats the whole point of a top bar hive.  

Like I said, if someone is wanting a showpiece for their home home garden area where they  keep bees to help their growing,  I guess something that extravagant is valuable to them.

As far as not being the type of person inclined or able to build a hive on their own, I think there is room in the market, as Robo said, for a variety of hives at various prices and intentions to be available.

my hives aren't 'pretty' in the same sense as those are, but they aren't ugly either.  They are made to keep bees in.  pretty much a simple, straightforward design and presentation.  Not crappy looking, not 'overdoing it' ( in my opinion )

Anyway, I don't sell as a business venture really anyway, so it's not like I am in a place to be 'competitive or anything.

Robo, you are right, you and  , ( after seeing a couple of your videos) are not the type to buy those hives.  I like ot look at them and maybe get an idea or two, but the sticker shock makes my wallet cry.


Big Bear
Logged
Robo
Technical
Administrator
Galactic Bee
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 6405


Location: Scenic Catskill Mountains - NY

Beekeep On!


WWW
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2009, 11:55:06 AM »

Have you seen the H3 hives.   They are perhaps the nicest looking hives I have seen.   But way out of my league.

http://rusticelementbees.com/?p=home
Logged

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison


bigbearomaha
Guest
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2009, 12:05:34 PM »

You are correct sir.  That is some serious beekeeping there.

Wow.

big Bear
Logged
contactme_11
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 344

Location: Springfield, MA


« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2009, 12:49:48 PM »

Bottom line is you and I aren't the folks these TBH sellers are marketing too.  They are after those that don't have to means or will to build there own stuff.   Those are the people willing to pay their price. grin
I think this is a very true statement. I make woodenwares. For myself I don't care how they look as long as they're functional and cheap. However when people ask me to build a some piece of a hive, I buy materials and construct with quality. If I were to actually factor in my time on an hourly basis than I would probably be at a loss. But because I only do my sideline business when I have extra time (evenings, weekends, etc), I still make money. Could other people make their own equipment? Sure! Do they feel they feel their time or abilities are limited? Maybe, so they pay me. Shipping is a killer though.
Logged
Scadsobees
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 3198


Location: Jenison, MI

Best use of smileys in a post award.


« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2009, 01:26:25 PM »

How many people do you see bumming around in beautiful shiny brand new cars?

Most of the time (depending on the economy and rebates and cash for clunkers) don't most of these people know that you can buy a decent used car for a fraction of the cost?

Take a look at houses, so many weirdos buy a terrible expensive fancy house in a fancy neighbor hood on a postage stamp sized lot.

I don't understand it either, but there are people who want that.

Keeping bees isn't all that different.  Some people want to use a tbh, and want the best one that they can get.  And if there are people willing to pay, there will be people willing to make.

Honey is another example.  How many people are willing to pay $15 bucks for a qt at the farmers market when they could pretty easily find the same thing for a lot less if they knew were and how to look.  But if there are people willing to pay, there will be people there to sell it to them.

I wouldn't buy anything like that for that price, but if I knew how to sell it for that, I would.

Rick
Logged

Rick
luvin honey
Super Bee
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 1540

Location: Central WI


« Reply #15 on: October 08, 2009, 02:39:16 PM »

Have you seen the H3 hives.   They are perhaps the nicest looking hives I have seen.   But way out of my league.

http://rusticelementbees.com/?p=home


Oh my.... Where was the price on this one? I'm not a "Cadillac" kind of gal, but I could start lusting for a beehive like that one!

I agree with all of you. OP: So, so true. It's crazy what people will buy for things. OTOH, not everyone has access to tools, wants to make a mess, knows how to make things (even simple TBHs) or wants to.

If you factor in your time, though, it's easy to see how a TBH cost could quickly go up. I considered selling the 2 extras my husband and I had made for somewhere between $200-$300. They are not masterpieces, but they are nice with observation windows. They took a fair amount of time (first time building) and made a LOT of mess.

Anyway, I'm glad people are willing to pay a lot for things they could make/grow themselves. It earns me a nice side income on my eggs, chickens and organic produce! You sure wouldn't catch me paying those prices, though Cheesy
Logged

The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
---Emily Dickinson
Robo
Technical
Administrator
Galactic Bee
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 6405


Location: Scenic Catskill Mountains - NY

Beekeep On!


WWW
« Reply #16 on: October 08, 2009, 03:22:20 PM »

Check out Natalie's H3.



I have no idea what she paid for it,  but going by the prices on the website,  that is over a $700 hive assuming she has a super stashed in the shed somewhere.


Don't get me wrong,  Mike does some fantastic work and they are quite the beautiful hive and he is not making a killing on them when you consider the quality of material and time he invests in each one.   They are just definitely out of my class..... tongue
Logged

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison


luvin honey
Super Bee
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 1540

Location: Central WI


« Reply #17 on: October 08, 2009, 11:49:56 PM »

Yeah, out of my class too! I like the one in your avatar, Robo. It looks like half of a huge barrel on legs. Wouldn't it be wonderful to pull out huge combs like that one on top?!?
Logged

The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
---Emily Dickinson
bigbearomaha
Guest
« Reply #18 on: October 08, 2009, 11:57:16 PM »

Wow.   I must be some kind of backwoods good ole boy.  Those look nice, but  I couldn't see actually having them, low price or not.  interesting to see the different designs though
which goes to prove, bees will live anywhere.

Big Bear
Logged
Irwin
Super Bee
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 2343


Location: Lakeside OR

howdy all


« Reply #19 on: October 09, 2009, 11:10:25 AM »

Check out Natalie's H3.



I have no idea what she paid for it,  but going by the prices on the website,  that is over a $700 hive assuming she has a super stashed in the shed somewhere.


Don't get me wrong,  Mike does some fantastic work and they are quite the beautiful hive and he is not making a killing on them when you consider the quality of material and time he invests in each one.   They are just definitely out of my class..... tongue
Rob I think it was a birthday or Christmas present
Logged

Fight organized crime!  Re-elect no one.
Pages: [1] 2  All   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Beemaster's Beekeeping Ring
Previous | Home | Join | Random | Next
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines | Sitemap Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.339 seconds with 21 queries.

Google visited last this page September 13, 2014, 07:11:13 PM
anything