The price of package bees will rise quite a bit in the 2014 season. Beekeepers can expect the cost of package bees to rise around $15.00 per package.
The reason for this increase is this:
- Bulk honey prices in 55 gallon drums have increased from $1.85 per pound to $2.30 lb. There is speculation that honey prices may hit $3.00 lb by spring. I have noticed higher honey prices in grocery stores. Many bee producers will be running more colonies instead of selling large quantities of bees. An example: A commercial beekeeper running 1000 hives with a 100 lb average will get almost $250,000 for that crop. More if the price rises and if they have a higher yield. To get a higher yield the simple answer is to have more bees.
- The price of bulk bees has gone up by 50% from last year. When package bee suppliers shake bees for packages they weaken their colonies. These weakened colonies will produce less honey as they move to other states for honey production.
- Almond pollination is around $150.00 per hive. Example: A beekeeper with 1000 colonies can expect $150,000 for his pollination contract.
There have already been many calls for package bees and I expect the demand for the package bees to be very strong.
To make sure you get the bees and the delivery date you want, order early. Check overwintering colonies in early February to determine their alive or dead status.