View Full Version : Starting a Honeybee Removal Service
I am looking for information on starting a Bee Removal Service in my area. I have removed bees from a couple of houses last year and captured swarms. I have a bee vacuum (plans from Barry's Bee Page) and have used it very successfully. I feel that I have the expertise to do this service, I just don't know what to charge. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again.
01-24-2000, 12:49 AM
Are you a beekeeper?
I would suggest that you learn the trade if not. It's ashame to always kill them. They are worth money alive. Many times you can remove them alive and use them yourself to make honey elsewhere and get paid for the removal.
Give it some thought-Anybody can kill things but it takes skill and true talent to keep them alive..
Whatever you decide I wish you the best.
Regards, Harris Hives
01-24-2000, 03:41 AM
DBAK, Barry asked me to help with your question on charging for bee-removals:
On early season 'average' removals, I charge $110-$165 taking 1-3 hours; 1-2 story removals (ONLY). Ladder removals from the 3'rd story become tricky in fifty different ways - all of them bad, so charge plenty if you take on one of these jobs.
Most pesticide outfits charge $75-$150 for killing pests. Once killed, the homeowner is only forestalling their bee troubles. Bees will return to nearly every unoccupied hive once swarm season arrives. If the homeowners are lucky, a new swarm will arrive before the mid-summer heat melts the old hive into their house.
Killing bees does NOT help the homeowner and they need to be informed of the troubles that lay ahead with pesticide. Respectible pesticide outfits will contact bee-removal outfits if the hive looks like it can be safely removed (and if you've made it known to them you're interested in pulling out bees!). Most of my bee-removal calls are from pesticide outfits.
It's also illegal to kill bees since they're protected in the U.S. - though I've never heard of any possible enforcement.
For reference, other bee-removal outfits charge several times what I do above ($600-$800 or $75/hr - from 2 other sources). For the charge, I'll open the hive, save the bees (bee-vac), cut (& keep!) ALL the comb & remove same - the homeowners are 100% responsible for putting back the damage.
Try to respect their homes by pulling out nails before ripping apart woodwork. Make sure there's no misunderstanding on who's doing what to the house - what you're cutting, breaking, & what they have to do once the bees are gone (& when). I had the pleasure of one homeowner whom expected me to vacuum up every bee flying in the air - days afterward.
Also - if the homeowner has used a case of wasp spray at the front of the hive, pass on the job. You'll end up with sick bees and contaminated equipment. If people procrastinate or 'shop' for price, let them handle their own troubles.
My pricing is based on helping out bees, homeowners, my apiary needs and timing. Late season bee-removals may yeild a few hundred pounds of great honey, but it's hard, sticky, messy work pulling out those chunks - and the bees certainly won't survive without combining with existing hives.
Risk is another factor to examine CAREFULLY when pricing bee-removals. $20 in bees isn't worth opening up a 30,000 lb. half-dead Cottonwood tree.
Also, charge for swarm removals - $20-$30, which pays for the gas & the '3 out of 4' that move on before you get there.
The reward for this type of hard work is more than money. You're helping to keep our bee gene-pool intact in whatever small way.
Post back to us with your opinions of the BeeVac!
Matthew Westall - Earthling Bees,
[QUOTE]Originally posted by DBAK:
[B]I am looking for information on starting a Bee Removal Service in my area. I have
....\\....to your feeder"
..........Castle Rock, CO
04-03-2013, 05:20 PM
i am thinking bout doing swarm removal any tips
04-03-2013, 05:27 PM
Yeah, put an ads on CL in your area and see what they have. Or search on CL in your area and
see what do you have. This is a fun project all summer long.
04-03-2013, 10:28 PM
Our bee club forwards a lot of emails soliciting bee removal. There is no shortage of demand for sure and very few people that want to do this type of work in this area. In the emails most people think the bees are worth whatever the amount of work it takes to remove them ie they do not want to pay anything. I would advise a written agreement that simply states the cost & what the scope of your work will & will not include. Check out Beewrangler.com. She would probably provide you with some good information along with what EarthlingBee has outlined. Good Luck
I charge $35 for swarms, covers gas, but I sometimes remove swarms for free if I am in need of bees. I usually grab 4-6 swarms for free a year then start charging.
For cutouts I charge $125 an hr. I have a contract that explains what I am doing and what to expect. I will not start until they sign it. i also charge a $35 counsel fee, I tell them up front that I need to look at the job in person, and that it cost $35 just to show up. Do not go by what people say, make sure you know what you are getting into.
If I can help people I do, but some jobs for me are just to complicated and time consuming.
04-04-2013, 12:40 AM
Look into your local laws too, you may need to be licensed or bonded/insured.
04-04-2013, 06:56 AM
i like the calls where they ask how much you are gonna pay them for the bees after you remove them.i got a call yesterday where the lady said she was on a fixed income,didn't want to kill them.could i give her a break.she gave me directions&described it as....grain silos in side yard,turn on paver driveway and follow back to 2story house.give her a call because she doesn't live in this house,she'll have to drive up from the beach to meet me.guess she lives on a $10k month fixed income.
04-04-2013, 07:42 AM
People who win the lottery can take payments monthly. I guess you could classify that as a fixed income. lol