Hive buy

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by crazy8days, Oct 6, 2013.

  1. crazy8days

    crazy8days New Member

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    I have the opportunity to buy 4 hives that have supers still on. One has 3 supers the others have 1-2 supers. New queens this year. This gentleman cannot take care of them due to health. He is asking $250ea. I would love to have all 4 but $1000 and the chance of losing them this winter bothers me. Thinking 2 of the strong hives.

    Is this a good price?

    What should I be asking and looking for when I go over to inspect?

    Will be looking to see if he is selling equipment as well.
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I would not pay more than 75.00 in Oct. for the same hive I would pay 250.00 for in April. I would tell him I would help him prepare them for winter and then look to buy them in April.
     

  3. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Tough call. At this time of year. Are the supers full of honey that can be harvested?
    If you can inspect them and they are nice and strong I might do it (if the wooden ware is good).
    At $200 a hive I would bite. It really depends on colony strength and health.
    I know where some hives can be bought right now for $115 each, but the wooden ware is worthless, and the survival is a toss up. I passed. I figured since they would have to be shook out on new equipment anyway, better to buy packages in the spring that are alive for sure (if I wanted to expand any further to begin with).

    Add on after seeing Iddee's post: Up here a colony in spring will fetch $350, so clearly value is relative to location
     
  4. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    What size supers? Full of honey Deeps 400 lb of honey @ $5/lb $2000 worth of honey. Mediums 280 lb @ $5/lb $1400. If the supers are full the honey is worth more than he wants for the hives. have a look and see what they are like. if hes pulled all the honey and the brood boxes are light and will require a lot of feed then leave them there. But you said supers still on and that he can't look after them so he most likely hasn't pulled any honey off yet.
     
  5. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Apis, Please, please, please, come take the honey off my hives, extract it, strain it, bottle it, label it and give me 5.00 per pound.

    Honey on the hive ain't exactly the same value as honey in the jar.
     
  6. pistolpete

    pistolpete New Member

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    Like others have said, buying bees in the fall is like buying a lottery ticket. I personally think that the value of the bees themselves this time of year is roughly the same as what you'd pay for a 4 frame nuc in the spring. Around here that's $150. That's just for the bees, not the woodenware. If you add it up, one deep box full of frames comes to about $40 new, supers almost the same. If all the wood is in as new condition then a hive with two deeps and 2 supers, top and bottom boards and covers would cost roughly $180 to replace. That means is has about a $60 value used. So my valuation on a hive would come to $210.
     
  7. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    I got to second Iddee on this one. Wait until spring.
     
  8. bamabww

    bamabww Active Member

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    That's to much for them in Alabama this time of year. But it's only money. Good luck.
     
  9. crazy8days

    crazy8days New Member

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    I see iddee point. This time of year is a gamble. I'm not sure how to go by getting his hives ready for winter. With honey supers on they need extracted, bottled and sold. If I do it for him what kind of charge to I set? Now I'm wondering if I should pass on it all.
     
  10. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    If you are going to extract the honey for him, that is a game changer. If you buy the hives and extract the honey for yourself to offset costs, that's different.
     
  11. Yote Shooter

    Yote Shooter New Member

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    I've had a similar situation. Not wanting to invest the money! I made a friend. I offered to work the bees as they are. They are about 30 miles away. Some logistics with equipment are a challenge but handled. They remained my new friends bees but since he was unable to WORK them, I did the work. He provided his input and I extracted the "crop". He got a portion of the honey and I got most of it. Everything I took, I provided the jars. He got the enjoyment of still keeping bees and sharing some honey with family. I got the knowledge he shared. Better then that, I had his company and enthusiasm of the hobby. After years of working them and pressing my newer methods of management, he nows calls them my bees. It's treated like an out yard. This last year, we lost a hive and I repackaged, his bees. At some point I will inherit these hive when I lose an aging friend.
    It never hurts to make new friends!
    Tim
     
  12. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    "would love to have all 4 but $1000 and the chance of losing them this winter bothers me." "I see iddee point. This time of year is a gamble. I'm not sure how to go by getting his hives ready for winter. With honey supers on they need extracted, bottled and sold. If I do it for him what kind of charge to I set? Now I'm wondering if I should pass on it all."

    crazy, i would use the honey supers to negotiate with. only you can decide, are they full? harvesting is a great deal of work. maybe negotiate for one strong hive in exchange for the extraction? or something along that lines. like iddee i would hesitate to purchase hives at 250$ this time of year, not knowing anything about them and winter coming soon. keep in mind, with any purchase or money spent, you, yourself would have to get them ready in short order for winter. can it be done? maybe negotiate for the equipment only, yah they have bees in them now, but come spring? maybe negotiate for a spring purchase. lots of maybes and variables....:lol:

    and like tim said, "never hurts to make new friends".well wishes to you, let us know what you decide to do. :grin:
     
  13. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    Keep in mind that these bees have not been looked after so they haven't been treated. At this time of year the only treatment you can use is oxalic acid which will treat the bees but won't help the health of the winter bees that are already born.
     
  14. Ray

    Ray Member

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    I vote for Yote Shooter solution. Give the old far...uhh, Beek, a quarter share and another reason to get up in the morning,
     
  15. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    for myself $250 would be a bit...simply stated a lot of input and a lot of risk lies between here and next spring.

    I do admire YoteShooter's approach.