This blog explains how I keep bees. It works for me, it might not work for you. Use my methods at your own risk. Always wear protective clothing and use a smoker when working bees.

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Monday, January 6, 2020

Why did package bees take a jump in price for 2020

There was a price increase in package bees for 2020. This increase has to do with labor law in California. Workers for the bee industry are considered farm workers.
 The law on overtime rules changed for 2020. The law used to state,  that farm workers got time and a half after 60 hours of work. The new law for 2020 now has farm workers in California getting time and a half after 40 hours.
 During the package bee season, package bee producers are working their crews, 10 - 12 hours a day. Usually seven days a week for six to eight weeks.
 So last year, the crews of workers were getting premium time for 10 hours a week in a 70 hour work week.
  Now in 2020 the workers working a 70 hour work week, are getting premium time for 30 hours a week.
 The package bee producers had two choices to make over this change in labor law. Either your crews work normal hours and reduce the amount of package bees you sell or, increase the price of the package bees and sell the same quantity of package bees.
 The labor market for available workers is very tight at the moment. It is hard to get qualified people who want to put on a full pair of coveralls in 90 degree plus weather. Open up boxes of stinging insects, shake them into small boxes and send them to another state. Working all day, 70 hours a week, rain or shine.