View Full Version : homeowner wants 1 pound honey per month, per hive. - fair or unreasonable?

03-06-2011, 02:20 AM
pretty good location, to place hives, next to lots of palmetto, and just a few fruit trees.
They said the last beekeeper had about 20 hives and moved out.

Thier reasoning, is that is about 25% average honey yield per hive.

03-06-2011, 02:37 AM
They are too greedy. No wonder the last beekeeper moved out.

BTW their fruit trees will be of little benefit to your bees. Your bees though will be of great benefit to their fruit trees.

And also, based on your figures and a little maths, the last beekeeper got 48 lb's honey per hive per year? That's pretty dismal, it might be a poor location.

My suggestion - I'm not sure if the fruit trees etc are on the same property. But are there crops in the area that will need bee pollinating? If so, the owners will want to ensure their profits and probably fall over themselves to have some bees on their property. Do what i did when I was a commercial beekeeper, just track the property owner down, knock on their door and offer to put some bees on the property. You will likely be well recieved, especially if their crop is how they make their living.

Leave the other greedy guy out in the cold. What he wants is way off the chart.

What did I pay in rent to put hives somewhere? Nothing. If it was a type of place that got little benefit from our bees we would drop in a jar of honey once a year as a courtesy, there might be 50 hives there. But most properties get some benefit from the bees, just make sure the owner understands that.

03-06-2011, 02:49 AM
I wouldnt do it, all its worth is a hand shake and a bottle of honey at harvest time! If there is already demands now i would hate to see how it would be later on!

03-06-2011, 05:33 AM
I wouldnt do it, all its worth is a hand shake and a bottle of honey at harvest time! If there is already demands now i would hate to see how it would be later on!

I second this vote!

03-06-2011, 06:21 AM
Tell them standard yard rent rates are X. If that's not enuf, their neighbor down the road will take you on. Might work.

Is this in a citrus grove? If yes, no honey need be given because they are already benefiting from your bees being there.

03-06-2011, 06:23 AM
And what happens the year you don't get much of a honey crop (due to weather, disease, whatever)? I have 15 hives, but not all produce surplus honey each year. At his rates - I would owe 180lbs of honey/year. In the past, during drought years, I haven't even broken 200lbs total - so, I would have been investing all the time and money and then he would get all the honey?

Think also how this will affect your management decisions: you owe X amount of honey to this guy, but it has been a poor year. Now, instead of making sure that your bees have plenty of surplus for the winter/dearth - you are thinking about taking much more because you need to keep this landowner happy.

Thanks but no thanks.

Also, do you want to do splits, make queens or raise nucs on his place? Is he going to count all of those 'non-honey making' activities in the total owed?

Better yet - suggest that the landowner PAY YOU - say, $125/hive for pollinating the fruit trees during the months of bloom!

After all, beekeepers don't give the almond growers in CA or the apple farmers in WA a pound of honey/hive/month - those beekeepers get PAID!

B Reeves
03-06-2011, 06:24 AM
If it is close to were you live it might be worth it in time travel, but I know you can find other sites for free, if that amount is 25% of the year total, they are asking too much! offer them one quart at the end of the year and be prepared to walk away, and that is not a good site in quantity of honey, you can do better

03-06-2011, 06:27 AM
My thoughts also as to why the other beek moved out!!!
Ok so 20# a month for 20 hives & the land owner is selling this honey for let's say even at $5.00 per pound. Me thinks that workies out to around $1200 for this great location for this person. That price is right up there with what the crazies are renting farm ground for here in Nebr. He has to have a neighbor I would think.

jim lyon
03-06-2011, 06:54 AM
Only if he agrees to pay part of the feed costs on the months that they didnt produce. I had a landowner ask me a number of years ago to put bees on his property, after chatting a bit he mentioned that he kicked the last guy off because he counted 40 hives after he had only "spoken for" 30 hives. Wow, couldn't get away from there fast enough.

03-06-2011, 07:31 AM
Either a lb of honey per hive per year OR a lb of honey per month total doesn't sound too unreasonable to me, but a lb of honey per hive PER month is outrageous.

03-06-2011, 09:03 AM
TOo much. We are more in the area of 5 to 6, 3 lb jars per year a commercial location.


03-06-2011, 09:42 AM
sounds like the land owner has never worked with bees before. I had a guy say he would split the honey with me if I'd put bees in his orchard, he didn't understand why I laughed. Then I told him that I'd typically charge $80 per hive per season to place my hives in an orchard. The honey just pays to get the bees through the winter. Maybe a jar of honey per hive, per season would be reasonable if they agreed to help set the hives out and then help harvest...

03-06-2011, 10:02 AM
As revealed, most people are completely ignorant about how bees work, and the vagaries of keeping bees. You'll find a better place.

03-06-2011, 10:03 AM
Pass on it........

03-06-2011, 10:13 AM
When I was looking for places to put hives I had one person who had taken over a small (20 acre) organic farm, they turned it all over to cows and sheep and then asked me how much I would pay them in rent ! I told them I did not pay anything and thanks but no thanks.
I have three other small outyards and they are more than happy just to have them on the property, I do make sure they are well taken care of once the harvest is in. But no way would I agree in advance to that much, my usual answer is something along the lines of "If we get a harvest, you will get some great tasting honey" I never quote an amount and so far have had n complaints. On average I hand out between 5 - 10 LBs to each land owner

03-06-2011, 10:20 AM
I wouldn't even call the guy back. I have people lined up waiting for my bees to be placed on their properties. Right up front I tell them I pay rent of a lb of honey per hive per season. Some even say they don't want the honey but I insist and suggest they give it away to friends and family. I am expanding every year and finding yards is the least of my problems.

03-06-2011, 10:44 AM
Good to know the mob has infiltrated the bee business in your area. Keep them in your neck of the woods as I really don't need offers like that here. Usually those " Have I got a deal to good for you to pass up" revelations turn out to be the opposite. Keep us posted. Bet these folks want additional rent some time later down the line. Ever been married to someone who wanted everything and gave nothing. Sign up for this yard and you will be married to them and it wont be a honeymoon.

03-06-2011, 01:58 PM
like everyone else says, i would pass as well. i really do not have enough money to purchase to supplies to install hives on everyones place who has been interested. word of mouth is great!! ask around the area for better locations. keep in mind, bees travel up to 2 miles. maybe there is a better location in the area, if so, the bees may still hit that guys property and he would never know!

03-06-2011, 02:12 PM
Reminds me a bit of folks who phone and say "I've got a beehive in my tree, 60 feet up. If you remove them for me, you can have the bees, long as I get the honey"

Yeah right!

Ted Kretschmann
03-06-2011, 02:16 PM
A gallon of honey a year, given right before Christmas, is the traditional yard rent in the Southeastern USA. I would go next door to another landowner and set up a yard and forget the greedy person. TK

Island Apiaries
03-06-2011, 04:10 PM
I agree with everyone else. They are asking WAY too much. My usual deal is 10% of the harvest. I make sure they understand that this is farming and there are good years and bad years. If they don't like it and the area is a good place to put hives, then most often their neighbors will be happy to have you.

Rohe Bee Ranch
03-06-2011, 04:13 PM
They are too greedy. In my experience it is best to stay away from these type of land owners. It will end badly for you.

03-06-2011, 04:41 PM
I agree with everyone else. Highway robbery.

I once had a beekeeper want 1/2 my honey for extracting it for me and he thought that was fair as well. I told him I thought that was outrageous. Turned out to be a bad year and he didnt get any honey at all.

03-06-2011, 04:45 PM
30 to 60 lbs per year yard rent. But mostly 30 lbs or less. Often a half gallon jug or two and a cpl of bears or crystalized jars.

A can of honey per year used to be the norm here in The North Country, years ago. And a hive was worth a can of honey then too.

03-06-2011, 07:24 PM
Agree with Ted K. We have citrus growers asking for bees and we give them a gallon of honey. If they want more after consuming that gallon I'll gladly give them more. The bees are only in the groves for 3-4 weeks. A good palmetto/gallberry location is the same yard rent, one gallon. Knock on some doors; down here most old timer landowners will be happy to let you on their property and be grateful for a years supply of honey.

03-07-2011, 01:40 AM
Steve, tell the guy to go pound dirt!!
Find a location very close to him and work out a deal and have the bees go do their thing.

Mike Gillmore
03-07-2011, 05:43 AM
Agree with everyone else ... forget it. Find another property owner who is more appreciative.

Curious though, how did you happen to run into this land owner?
And the first question I would have is ... if it's such a great location, why did the last beekeeper leave?

03-07-2011, 06:18 AM
Last beekeeper abandonded some of his hives after the last big hurricane.
He is the one who set the high standard.
I asked "what do you expect", they said "a pound of honey per hive", but when I got home and saw thier business card and thought about what was said, I asked do you mean "per year" or "per month".
I am going to work with them, they saw this thread.

Their macadamia is blooming, (only a few trees) it is like passing thru the Maui airport. They have a few acres of tropical fruit trees, from last botanist owner, and a small starting business with it. They say the honey, is part of their visitors experience to the property.

craigslist add produced a couple good locations

beehive location wanted, will exchange for honey - $10
Date: 2011-01-25, 2:52AM EST
Reply to: sale-kmcn8-2178794390@craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]

Want location, with about 20 feet in front of hives, maybe a fence.
Neighbors should not be in plain view.
Looking for a spot for 2 hives, I will offer honey at least a few pounds a year in exchange.
The hive and bees will remain my property.
They make a good garden object, I have 4 locations now, the residents seem very cool with them .
Some are at a house, some at a businees with fenced yard.
954 564 xxxx
coastal park has mangrove and significant seagrape plantings, - tasty.
palm nursery, has steady maintenance flow.


03-07-2011, 07:51 AM
Tell them the other "guy" was way off. If they saw this thread, then they should be ready to re-negotiate.

Does not sound like it was their original greed, but the other guy really lowered the value of the honey crop.

I see this all the time in plumbing...we have a slang term for it.

03-07-2011, 08:30 AM
Things like this will bring the end to the Bee Business IMHO
Guys who keep nipping it a bit at a time
then start paying(not giving as a Thank you)
too keep bees on a Bloom just doesn't sound good
I am new too bees also, BUT I won't cut/ clip anyone
for my few hives.


03-07-2011, 09:25 AM
what i would do is take your business to his neighbors house - off them 3-4 quarts a year -

he will be left with no honey and you will still get the crop that you desearve as a beekeeper -