A question about honey prices

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TheFlatline

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Hi folks.

So tomorrow our resident mead freak is making the drive to cook up about 20 gallons of the golden elixir with us, since he found out we could probably lay down about 50 or 60 carboys if we really wanted to get insane with our fermentation room.

I had a question though. The local beekeepers ended up parting with 5 gallons (60 pounds) of honey blossom at 2 bucks a pound. Is this considered a decent price in this day and age?

I'm satisfied with the expenditure. 120 bucks, plus maybe 20-30 bucks in water and nutrients/yeast/whatever, for 20 gallons of mead seem to be pretty good. I was just curious what other people pay for 5 gallons of honey though elsewhere.

I'm just slightly afraid of tomorrow. 20 gallons of mead, plus a 5 gallon batch of irish stout. I think I'm going to be downright sick of brewing for a while after tomorrow.
 

hammacks

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My FIL is a beekeeper. If you were buying in bulk (BYO container) and came to his house, he would probably charge $1.50/lb. So, you may be a little overpriced. Don't feel ripped off though, because it is Fin impossible for apiarist to make money.
 
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$2 a pound is good for cream of the crop honey.

Costco here sells high quality honey for $10/6lb.

I would pay the $2 a pound tho if it was fresh. I did a bit of calling around and the cheapest I have found is midwest apiaries at 1.50/pound.
 

tooomanycolors

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2 bucks a pound is good, esp for those of us without family connections, I found out at my last purchase that the place i get mine from is going to $140/5gallons which is a $40 increase.
 
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TheFlatline

TheFlatline

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$2 a pound is good for cream of the crop honey.

Costco here sells high quality honey for $10/6lb.

I would pay the $2 a pound tho if it was fresh. I did a bit of calling around and the cheapest I have found is midwest apiaries at 1.50/pound.
Costco doesn't carry honey here any more. I checked and was bummed. Hence the 30 minute trip out to the bee keepers.

This stuff is pretty damn fresh I must say. It's all local, taken from the produce fields, and is filtered on site. I guess I could have gotten any of the other honey variants for that price, but the thought of throwing eucalyptus, avocado, or cactus honey (very thick and granular, but not too bad tasting) into my mead just sounded wrong.

It sounds like, at worst, we overpaid by as much as 30 bucks for the bucket. I'll happily eat that in support of my local bee keepers. I'd have been upset if people were saying "oh yeah, I pay about 90 cents a pound for my honey in 5 gallon bulk".

I'm intending on bringing 3-9 pounds of honey back from Hawaii when I go there this November. I think using it as a flavoring agent could give me some wonderful, unusual results.
 

Nurmey

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With the honey bee mystery deaths so high, I don't think you overpaid at all. As I recall, California is one of the states that's been hit the hardest so your guy may have had some high production costs replacing his bees.
 

jahdrummin

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Hey All, just moved from CO to VT, Burlington to be exact...

Want to get a bunch of mead started to supply a few events next summer and began the hunt for a local fresh honey source...

Called one place and told the owner i was new to the area and beginning to do some mead... asked him what he had and told me some fresh maine blueberry honey and $4.00 a pound...

I have never bought bulk honey before so i held off on going down there till i checked with you all to see if this is a fair price? But by reading some of your posts, it seems as if this guy wants to take me for a ride? let me know....

Thanks in advance
 
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Hey All, just moved from CO to VT, Burlington to be exact...

Want to get a bunch of mead started to supply a few events next summer and began the hunt for a local fresh honey source...

Called one place and told the owner i was new to the area and beginning to do some mead... asked him what he had and told me some fresh maine blueberry honey and $4.00 a pound...

I have never bought bulk honey before so i held off on going down there till i checked with you all to see if this is a fair price? But by reading some of your posts, it seems as if this guy wants to take me for a ride? let me know....

Thanks in advance
Maine blueberry honey is a specialty honey, and that is why you are paying $4 a pound. That stuff would be great to back sweeten with. If you want to make some mead you should be able to buy clover honey at the supermarket for around $2 a pound if it is on sale.
That is what I would reccomend if you are just starting to make mead.
Get your base methods and base ingredients down.....then you will know how and if specialty honeys really make a difference for you.
 

z987k

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I have never seen supermarket honey anywhere near the quality as you can get from an apiary. Get it from the beekeeper. Mead is a lot like beer, skimp on the ingredients and you get what you put in.

We paid $80 for 60lbs of 2006 clover and they want $140 for 60lbs of basswood, which is the current varietal the local apiary has.
 

bluespook

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I live in Lancaster, PA, where Dutch Gold has an outlet. If you want good stuff, they've got it...i.e., varietal honey like orange blossom, blueberry, cranberry, etc. In 5 lb bottles it's $15.75, but if you're interested in a 60 lb bucket, it goes for $106. I've checked local farmer's markets and regular honey, good, but not identified as varietal, runs about $4.00 a pound. I once had my own hives and belonged to the local beekeeper's club...will be contacting some of those folks soon to see what's available. BTW, our local Costco has "clover honey" at $10 and change for 5 lbs.
 

CBBaron

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Is $4 expensive? Yes. Is it a rip off? No.
Considering the expense in bee keeping and the time involved $4 a pound is a fairly reasonable price. The beekeep is probably selling most of his honey in small quantities at prices that would be $5-$8 per pound. If he is selling out then there is not much incentive for him to lose that profit by selling to you at $2/#.

Most of the beekeeps that sell at the local farmers market seem to be selling the larger quantities at about $4/# and don't usually have anything for sale larger than a quart. Even when I did find a gallon of wildflower it was $3/#. Your blueberry varietal is going to be more expensive.

If you can find a smaller beekeep that sells out of his home and make friends he may be more likely to sell any extra to you at a smaller price. Also any keeps that sell mostly wholesale could probably sell 5 gal to you for a reasonable price also.

In some areas inexpensive honey is harder to track down than in other locations. But even at $4/# it is worth it. The Costco honey while a great price and decent quality is just not even in the same category as good raw honey. It is heated and filtered to make it store longer without crystallizing. It is also blended to ensure uniform flavor. However that all makes for a mush less interesting and flavorful product.

Craig
 

gratus fermentatio

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If you want good stuff, they've got it...i.e., varietal honey like orange blossom, blueberry, cranberry, etc. In 5 lb bottles it's $15.75, but if you're interested in a 60 lb bucket, it goes for $106./QUOTE]

A 60lb bucket of orange blossom honey for $106.00? HOLY TOLEDO! What a SMOKIN' GOOD DEAL! That's only $1.76/lb. That's what I paid for the lcl. "wildflower (mystery) honey" that's full of knapweed. Shipping would cost me more than the honey is worth, those of you who live near a source such as this are truly fortunate! Regards, GF.
 

Tonedef131

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My local apiaries sell 5 gallon buckets for $100. People drive quite a ways to get this honey and it is used in award winning meads all the time. So I don't know how that is price-wise against the competition, but it is close and good so I always pay it without complaint.
 

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Hi all, I'm new to the forum and I am just learning to make meade.

Couldn't help myself to chime in on this topic as I am a beekeeper.

Beecareful of any store bought honey. It is pasturized; heated above 160 degrees F and flashed chilled. Honey heated above 140 will have had it's delicate sugars burned, compair the taste with local raw honey from a beek. Also it has been blended with cheap foreign honeys; ie: China and Argintina; crashing our shores everyday that has high toxin levels, but allowed by our FDA.

I believe Dutch Gold is only a packer these days buying from honey brokers, not very fresh honey here and still more foreign honey.

Buy the best from a local beekeeper, it's not hard to find one, go to the National Honey Board web page at www.nhb.org and click on the honey locator. There you will find a list of keepers in your area.

Expect to pay $120 for 60# fresh raw wild flower honey. Viratials will be a bit more.
Thanks for your patience.
crazy
 

claphamsa

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Hi all, I'm new to the forum and I am just learning to make meade.

Couldn't help myself to chime in on this topic as I am a beekeeper.

Beecareful of any store bought honey. It is pasturized; heated above 160 degrees F and flashed chilled. Honey heated above 140 will have had it's delicate sugars burned, compair the taste with local raw honey from a beek. Also it has been blended with cheap foreign honeys; ie: China and Argintina; crashing our shores everyday that has high toxin levels, but allowed by our FDA.

I believe Dutch Gold is only a packer these days buying from honey brokers, not very fresh honey here and still more foreign honey.

Buy the best from a local beekeeper, it's not hard to find one, go to the National Honey Board web page at www.nhb.org and click on the honey locator. There you will find a list of keepers in your area.

Expect to pay $120 for 60# fresh raw wild flower honey. Viratials will be a bit more.
Thanks for your patience.
crazy
can u send some to DC?
 

crazy

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Hey I can send honey to DC but the cost of shipping would be very prohibited.

A five gallon pail is approx. 60 lbs and would be around $40 UPS ground to ship a year ago; I'm sure more now. If you live in DC I know a short weekend drive to a small village in Virgina you should find a farmers market with a beekeeper.

Once you find a good reliable beekeeper, treat him right and maybe one day when he has some fresh honey with too high of moisture content you just might beable to get it a dollar a pound or less. I've given it away before.
 

claphamsa

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fyi i searched all the places in MD and VA none listed bulk prices..... dutch gold seems the best by a ton! would love to get to know a local though :(
 

will_cbe

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The lowest price I've paid is 15$ for five lbs.
I received 6 lbs last Christmas. It came from GFS. When I opened it up, I had my reservations, but I used it anyway. Now I have a gallon of bad mead that I'm REALLY hoping improves with age, and another 3 lbs I need to figure out what to do with so that it isn't crap.
 

phissionkorps

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I emailed the closest place around here, and got this response:

8 oz.—$5.15, 12 oz.—$7.60, 24 oz.—$14.90, 40 oz.—$22.15, I only do 6# units on request, they sell for $48.90.
Ouch!

He didn't specify what kind of honey it was, besides raw and unfiltered.
 

sully

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i paid the same (32 somolians) for 12 lbs of california wild flower from the lhbs. there orange blossom honey is rediculously priced though, at least i think so they want like 47$ for it.
 

phissionkorps

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Damn....You could order from online Brew stores and pay shipping for that kind of price.
No joke. I told him I could get 12# of basswood, CA orange blossom, or white sage honey, shipped, from NB for $43 (wildflower shipped for $38). I told him I wanted to go local but getting half as much for $15 more isn't worth it. Maybe he'll cut me some kind of deal, maybe not.
 
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TheFlatline

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I think a fertile queen and colony run like 20-30 thousand dollars if memory serves.
 

CBBaron

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I think a fertile queen and colony run like 20-30 thousand dollars if memory serves.
Not sure where you are getting your prices from but a nucleus hive (nuc) is about $70 and a starter kit for the hive and equipment is under $300.

Even an established hive is probably worth no more than a few hundred dollars. If beekeeps could get thousands for their hives most would sell out in seconds.

I thought seriously about starting my own hive but I have yet to convince my wife. She wants nothing to do with stinging insects no matter what the circumstances.

Craig
 

crazy

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Well keeping bees is a commitment and you won't get rich but there is something satifying about harvesting your own honey.

You can get a nice established hive in the spring for about $300 and you could expect to collect 60 lbs of surplus honey on average. Hmm you say, $300 divided by 60 = $5 / lb. and now you just have to figure out how to get this hive to overwinter so you can get honey from it next year.
You know, $3 per pound bulk is sounding like a deal.

Crazy
 

CBBaron

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Well keeping bees is a commitment and you won't get rich but there is something satifying about harvesting your own honey.

You can get a nice established hive in the spring for about $300 and you could expect to collect 60 lbs of surplus honey on average. Hmm you say, $300 divided by 60 = $5 / lb. and now you just have to figure out how to get this hive to overwinter so you can get honey from it next year.
You know, $3 per pound bulk is sounding like a deal.

Crazy
When I was doing some researching on keeping bees I quickly realized that this was not a way to get cheap honey. Same as home brewing is not a cheap way to get beer.

However if my situation allowed it I still would get a couple hives. I think keeping bees may be even more rewarding than brewing.

Craig
 
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TheFlatline

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Not sure where you are getting your prices from but a nucleus hive (nuc) is about $70 and a starter kit for the hive and equipment is under $300.

Even an established hive is probably worth no more than a few hundred dollars. If beekeeps could get thousands for their hives most would sell out in seconds.

I thought seriously about starting my own hive but I have yet to convince my wife. She wants nothing to do with stinging insects no matter what the circumstances.

Craig
Obviously I got my prices from someone who had their head stuck firmly up their behind. Wish I could remember who to smack for being that bullshiat.
 

ChshreCat

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The co-op near here has fresh local honey for $3.30/lb. Not as low as some of the prices I've seen on here, but still good. They currently have blackberry and fireweed honey.
 

Freezeblade

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I just got 1 gallon of Mesquite honey for $11 from my recent trip to Mexico. It was in this big market/bizzare type thing, they were also selling 5 gallon buckets, but I didn't check the prices. That's the best price I've ever paid.
 

Canonoch

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Greetings all I'm new here and I've brewed my first batch of mead this year. I've been looking into honey around here in SW Oregon and prices run about $3.30-$3.50 a pound. In which a local bee keeper would sell me 15lbs (5qts) for 50 bucks and it wasn't that long ago $1.50/lbs was normal. So if I were to find honey under $3/lbs and if I had the money to buy I would. I plan on building some bee hives over the winter and I'm looking into a NUC for about $90 I'm hoping within 5 year my honey cost will be lower while enjoying the extra benifits from having hives of my own
 

gratus fermentatio

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I just got 1 gallon of Mesquite honey for $11 from my recent trip to Mexico. It was in this big market/bizzare type thing, they were also selling 5 gallon buckets, but I didn't check the prices. That's the best price I've ever paid.
I think I'd stock up on that smokin good deal. BTW, ever tasted acacia honey? I've only recently tasted it for the 1st time & all I can say is "OH YEAH!" It's lighter, thinner, and a more delicate flavour/aroma, but it's soooo floral & tasty... I've decided that I'll not make any more mead until I can make it with acacia honey. After I've done so, then I'll start making mead with other honeys again. Regards, GF.
 
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