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Monday 20 September 2004
Selected Topics | HoneyBeeWorld Forum | For Sale | Write me
Today's events in 2003  2002  2001  2000

The only thing wrong with immortality is that it tends to go on forever. -- Herb Caen

We returned to Sudbury in the morning and began setting up Mom's washer and drier.

Allen,

I haven't talked to you in a while.  Just thought maybe you would be curious to know about the auction on Saturday. 

The supers went for $13.50 each (1764 available).  Bees sold as double brood chamber colonies:1650 available -- about 1400 sold for $71.00!!  Buyer from North Dakota.  Bees will be going to California. Very soon. 

Some hives were in very poor shape.  A group of us went around and looked at them before the sale and thought maybe 50% would make it through winter.  Was tempted to bid, however I thought I would have one more chance but the last guy took the works.  That's how an auction goes. 

Did not like the style of selling.  The hives were in about 8 locations.  We only had time to check 5 locations.  We went to one location to sell all of them.  Apparently the hives were #'d on the front from 1 to 1650.  We did not know this, or realize this at the time of inspection,  so we did not know the #'s of the hives we inspected.

When they bid, the first guy took 12 so he got #'s 1-12, the next guy took 20, he got #'s13-33, the next bidder took 100, he got #'s 34-104 and so on. 

I am not comfortable buying the ones I did not look at.  If the # thing was explained before the sale, we would have taken note of the #'s and bid on those locations.  Oh well.  The buyer will take them where he can get some feed in them and build them up in the next 60 days have them ready for the almonds and get his money back in 6-8 months.  Good deal.

Anyways, just thought I would let you know.  I hope any auction in the future is not done in this same style.  I would rather them sell each location.  Hope you are enjoying your early winter, I mean the rest of summer.

Take care.

K.N.


Thanks for the report.  The prices were very low, but that was to be expected.  Fall is usually not a good time to sell. 

Beekeepers have not yet sold their crop and, also, they have no idea of the prospects for the coming season.  There is no pressure to buy, and financing for expansion has usually not been obtained this early. 

Moreover, the early word on the street were that the hives were weak, and in doubtful condition for wintering.  If I recall correctly, the supers all had cleats, so that pretty well rules out interest on the part of 95% of Alberta commercial beekeepers.  Things went pretty well the way I expected, and I also expect that by next Spring, prices will be back up ...unless the price of honey keeps dropping.   I'm waiting to hear what the attendance was, and what happened with the loaders and trucks.  I expect the Swinger went high, trucks low.

The problem with auctions is that to do well, there have to be lots of eager buyers competing.  The seller is committed to sell but the buyers are not committed to buy, and need to be coaxed.  Beekeepers are spread out thinly around the country, so it is hard to get them motivated.

I recall talking to one beekeeper who sold out a long time back, and he said that he did an awful lot of missionary work lining up buyers, and setting up lots in advance of the auction.  He got very good prices, but he earned them.  He is the only one who did get good prices, in my recollection.  I considered selling by auction, but, after attending a few, decided that expecting the buyers to be ready on one day -- and one day only -- was far too risky.  It took me three full years to match buyers with all the various items I sold.

I gather there were lots of lookers, but few buyers at this auction.  Most people I talked to were not ready to buy, except to scoop up bargains or a few choice items like the Swinger. I know that there must have been a few motivated buyers, and therefore, I wonder what the first few lots of hives went for -- before they ran out of serious interest?  That would give a better idea what the hives were really worth.

My advice, folks?  If you plan to have an auction, figure on phoning everyone you know in advance, and giving tours.  Hire a salesman if you have to, and work hard for three months in advance.  Then pray for a sunny day -- and good honey prices.

Write me, folks, with your thoughts and observations, and I'll share the details.


This came in later...

If my memory serves me correctly, the first 20 hives or so went for $115 and the rest went for $90 or something close to that.  They only opened the bidding 3 times.

This, along with previous comments, may also indicate that beekeepers are not experienced auction buyers.  Auction buying requires a lot more advance work than most of us assume, since firm buying decisions must be made in advance when large sums of money are involved.  As a result of insufficient preparation, most beekeepers wind up being spectators, and only minor bidders.  At auctions I've attended, usually only a few are prepared to bid. The rest may think they are, but when the action starts, they find they are not. Also, at recent auctions, very little advance promotion has been done.

Selling the hives from anywhere except where they are located is, IMO, a mistake.  People have to be on-site and looking at what they are buying.

If realistic prices are to be had in bee auctions, it seems to me that that the seller -- or agents -- must promote the items on offer and provide convincing histories and test results, as well as guided tours in the days leading up to the sale.  Those who show up on auction day and have not carefully inspected the goods will only pay prices based on the most pessimistic appraisal, and are easily swayed by the gossip and rumours that circulate, often started by competing buyers.  The funny thing is that some start a rumour to scare off others, but end up believing their own stories when they hear others repeat them back.  Buyers are like cattle and react emotionally when they are on the spot.

Calgary Weather: Monday : Sunny. Low 1. High 12.  / Tonight : Cloudy periods. 30 percent chance of showers early this evening. Clearing this evening. Low zero with frost. / Normals for the period : Low 3. High 16.


Tuesday 21 September 2004
Selected Topics | HoneyBeeWorld Forum | For Sale | Write me
Today's events in 2003  2002  2001  2000

Never have children, only grandchildren.
-- Gore Vidal

Calgary Weather: Today : Sunny with cloudy periods. Fog patches early this morning. High 19. UV index 4 or moderate. / Tonight : A few clouds. Wind south 20 km/h becoming light this evening. Low 6.  / Normals for the period : Low 2. High 16.


Wednesday 22 September 2004
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Today's events in 2003  2002  2001  2000

"When you come to a fork in the road, take it." - Yogi Berra

Calgary Weather: Today : A mix of sun and cloud. Wind west 20 km/h becoming southeast 20 near noon. High 19. UV index 4 or moderate. / Tonight : Cloudy periods. Wind southeast 20 km/h becoming light this evening. Low 3 with risk of frost. / Normals for the period : Low 2. High 16.


Thursday 23 September 2004
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Today's events in 2003  2002  2001  2000

Misery no longer loves company. Nowadays it insists on it.  -- Russell Baker

By noon, we were itching to hit the road and drove north on Road 35 to Clarabelle (where I once worked underground as a miner), then north on 144 to Timmins.  Neither El nor I had been up that way.  Our plan was to follow the north leg of the Trans-Canada -- Highway 11 west.

We drove as far as Longlac and got the last hotel room in town

Calgary Weather: Today : Sunny. High 20. UV index 4 or moderate. /Tonight : A few clouds. Low 4. / Monday : Sunny. Low 5. High 18.


Friday 24 September 2004
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Today's events in 2003  2002  2001  2000

Reality is the leading cause of stress amongst those in touch with it. -- Jane Wagner, and Lily Tomlin

We awoke to a dull morning, checked out, and drove west, arriving at Fort Frances in late afternoon.  We took a hotel on the lakeshore for the night.

Calgary Weather: Friday : Sunny. High 21. / Normals for the period : Low 2. High 16.


Saturday 25 September 2004
Selected Topics | HoneyBeeWorld Forum | For Sale | Write me
Today's events in 2003  2002  2001  2000

I can't understand why a person will take a year to write a novel when he can easily buy one for a few dollars. -- Fred Allen

We arrived at Cheryl's around noon, after a leisurely drive up through Sioux narrows, where we stopped to look at houseboats.

Calgary Weather: Today : A mix of sun and cloud. High 21. UV index 4 or moderate. / Tonight : Cloudy periods. Clearing overnight. Wind becoming north 20 km/h near midnight. Low 4. / Normals for the period : Low 2. High 15.


Sunday 26 September 2004
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Today's events in 2003  2002  2001  2000

There are two motives for reading a book: one, that you enjoy it; the other, that you can boast about it. -- Bertrand Russell

Cheryl, El, and I spent the day at Rushing River Park, near Kenora.

 

Calgary Weather:  Sunday : Sunny. High 16.


Monday 27 September 2004
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Today's events in 2003  2002  2001  2000

Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public. -- H. L. Mencken

We bade Cheryl farewell around seven and drove west, stopping in Winkler to look at the coal-fired furnaces sold there. 

We ended the day in Regina. 

Monday : Sunny. Low 6. High 20.

 


Tuesday 28 September 2004
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Today's events in 2003  2002  2001  2000

The cat could very well be man's best friend but would never stoop to admitting it. -- Doug Larson

We arrived home around three, after shopping for groceries in Three Hills.  The cats were ecstatic to see us.

Tuesday : Sunny. Low 8. High 14.


Wednesday 29 September 2004
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Today's events in 2003  2002  2001  2000

People who get nostalgic about childhood were obviously never children. -- Calvin and Hobbes

Calgary Weather: Today : Cloudy. A few showers beginning this morning. High 9. / Tonight : Cloudy periods. Low 2. / Normals for the period : Low 2. High 16.


Thursday 30 September 2004
Selected Topics | HoneyBeeWorld Forum | For Sale | Write me
Today's events in 2003  2002  2001  2000

Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves. -- Dorothy Parker

Thursday : Sunny with cloudy periods. Wind becoming north 30 km/h late in the morning. High 10.

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