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Leahy, R. B. (ed.) / The progressive bee-keeper
Vol. XI [XIII], No. 11 (Nov., 1903)

[Articles and opinions pertaining to beekeeping],   pp. [293]-299


Page 297

'P1-i i; Fi~O(~W~oi V f~fH~L ~[ Eli.
SELLING HONEY.
S. E. MILLER.
As I have frequently written on the
above subject, some of the readers may
think I am a crank on this particular
subject, but I believe there is no one
point pertaining to bee-keeping that
offers a greater opportunity for educat-
ing the average bee-keeper to make
the most out of his labor than to teach
him how to secure the best price for
his honey after he has secured a crop.
Almost every subject from hives,
fixtures, manipultating spring manage
ment, swarming, how to secure the
greatest yields and everything else
reasonable and unreasonable on down
to wintering is threshed over each
year in the various bee journals, but
we seldom see a really good article
calculated to teach the bee-keeper
how to dispose of his crop to the best
advantage after he has succeeded in
securing it.
I tbink it is every man's duty to se-
cure the highest market price for his
labor, and with the bee keeper his
toney crop represents his labor.
To take advantage of one who is in a
position where he cannot help himself
and charge him an exorbitant price for
sone slight service rendered is down-
right mean, but to secure the highest
price for our labor on the market,
where it comes in competition with
the labor of others, is our duty to our-
,elves. our wives and children.
For the past few months I have
becn shipping fancy comb honey to a
retail merchant in a certain city and
receiving 16e per lb. for it wholesale
or in 100 lb. lots, and I flattered my-
self that I had a very nice market, but
a few weeks ago I received a letter
from a friend living in the same city
in which he informed me that a bee-
keeper from another place had been
there offering his comb honey at 15e
petr lb. retail. Now the merchant to
whom I sell probably gets 20c or more
per section at retail. Here, you see,
is a difference of twenty-five percent.
The question is this: If the man who
is selling his honey at fifteen cents has
a large enough crop to cut any figure,
how long can the merchant to whom I
am selling maintain the retail price at
twenty-cents, and therefore how long
will I be able to sell to him at sixteen
cents? A slang phrase of the present
day is to say of a man that "he looks
like thirty cents." Now the man to
whom I have refered to above looks
very much to me like fifteen cents. No
doubt, however, if I was personally
acquainted with him I would find him
to be a very good and agreeable man.
But he needs educating- -he needs to
be taught that he can get sixteen
cents per lb. for his comb honey with-
out the trouble of retailing it (pro-
vided he has a first-class article) easier
perhaps than he is now receiving fif-
teen cents. If I had the time and
means to spare probably it would pay
me well to hunt this man down and buy
his entire crop to keep him from inter-
fearing my market. As it is I can only
hope that his crop will be exausted be-
fore he breaks the market. If this
man was as well educated in the selling
of his crop as he probably is in the
production of it lie would have ascer-
tained the price at which honey was
selling in that particular place before
he put a price on his product, Of
course I have no mote right to that
particular market than lie has but I
only wish he was well enough educated
in the selling of his product to keep
from running the price down. Here
is where co-operation would be a good
thing. If that man and I belonged to
an organization we would likely have
some understanding about prices. I
am glad to see bee-keepers working
the smaller cities, towns and villages,
and I certainly believe that if every
city, town and village in the United
States was thoroughly canvassid by


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