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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Berkey, OH, USA
    Posts
    1,489

    Default Flood damage question

    I took 6 strong hives to a vegetable farmer 10 days ago. $85/ hive pollination fee. This was the 10 th year. Saturday we got a huge downpour, the creek rose very fast, and now all the hives are at least halfway underwater. I just talked to the farmer and he told me all but one acre of his farm is underwater.
    I did not yet send him the pollination invoice.
    Another farmer for whom I pollinate strawberries told me this guy gets a lot of money from the govt and has had flood claims before, although I never had a loss there before.
    Should I send the farmer a bill for the lost hives or is it my risk?
    Should I send him a bill for the pollination fees?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Randolph, New York
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Flood damage question

    Quote Originally Posted by BerkeyDavid View Post
    I took 6 strong hives to a vegetable farmer 10 days ago. $85/ hive pollination fee. This was the 10 th year. Saturday we got a huge downpour, the creek rose very fast, and now all the hives are at least halfway underwater. I just talked to the farmer and he told me all but one acre of his farm is underwater.
    I did not yet send him the pollination invoice.
    Another farmer for whom I pollinate strawberries told me this guy gets a lot of money from the govt and has had flood claims before, although I never had a loss there before.
    Should I send the farmer a bill for the lost hives or is it my risk?
    Should I send him a bill for the pollination fees?
    Wow. Sorry for your loss. That's a tough one. Do you have any sort of contract written up? Perhaps more of a gentleman's agreement huh? In the future you might consider something in writing to address these sorts of "acts of God" where everything is spelled out in case this sort of thing occurs. But back to your immediate question. Unless a formal contract was signed you're probably out of luck in terms of recouping your hive costs. However, for all anyone knows the bees did pollinate before the rains came so it seems to me you ought to be able to get the $510 (or at least negotiate a portion of it with him). I'm no lawyer though. Just trying to be fair. In other words, I don't think you should eat all the costs - at least from an ethical point of view. Is it worth going to small claims court over this? Let us know how you make out.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    erie, pa
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Flood damage question

    You are entitled to your fee in my opinion. regardless weather the bees pollenated anything or not. But unless you have flood insurance you are out of luck on the hive damage unless you have a contract that states he is responsible to ensure safety of the hives. Now If FEMA compensates him for the damaged hives thinking they are there and are his then you are entitled to compensation.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    5,244

    Default Re: Flood damage question

    Collect the pollination fee if you can. Hopefully you had top entrances. If you did your bees should have survived. I have fished hives out of spring melt flooding and most colonies rode it out in the area over the water. Farmers do get agricultural payments and don't hold that against them! You are the one electing the people who give it to them. Kind of petty blaming the farmers.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Berkey, OH, USA
    Posts
    1,489

    Default Re: Flood damage question

    OK thanks for advice. No written contract, just handshake. Yes I did have top entrances. But also had Q excluder. From what I can see from about 1/2 mile away water is probably over the Q excluder. As soon as I can get back there I will. Probably be a few days yet. I am not blaming the farmer, what I was thinking is that if I billed him for the lost hives he could include it in his claim. Vance G any special advice for dealing with waterlogged hive?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Flood damage question

    Dave if you want I have some queens in Nucs. Ones you find out what you have. That and you want to get out earlier I do have a small boat at the house.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    5,244

    Default Re: Flood damage question

    I would just replace as many of they brood combs as you can if you have spares to dole out and let the bees take care of it. They work nights too you know. Open air drying would be a good thing but every wasp and hornet in the free world is going to be on the combs. Bees won't touch them with a flow on. Lots of light would help keep the wax moths down. SHB I do not have to worry about and know nothing. Talk with your farmer about the insurance claim. Good luck.

    Quote Originally Posted by BerkeyDavid View Post
    OK thanks for advice. No written contract, just handshake. Yes I did have top entrances. But also had Q excluder. From what I can see from about 1/2 mile away water is probably over the Q excluder. As soon as I can get back there I will. Probably be a few days yet. I am not blaming the farmer, what I was thinking is that if I billed him for the lost hives he could include it in his claim. Vance G any special advice for dealing with waterlogged hive?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Ohio
    Posts
    935

    Wink Re: Flood damage question

    WAY TO MUCH RAIN!
    In my pollination contracts it states if the hives are damaged on the farm, then the farmer own them at the price $500 for each hive damaged. In all the years of pollinating I've only had 11 hives that the framer had to buy. Those were in high grass along the field and the framer chopped them up with his mower. YA. not one or two, but 11 hives.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Forsyth, Missouri
    Posts
    289

    Default Re: Flood damage question

    David

    A member of our club had 10 hives washed away in the flooding we had 2 weeks ago.
    He found 6 in tack and alive that got caught in a fence.
    The last I heard 4 were back to laying and the other two were so full of mud they did not do as well.
    Let's hope your queens got through some how and they make it out alive.
    Zone 6b 1400'

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,997

    Default Re: Flood damage question

    Send the bill. Not sure why not unless the questions below help convince you that you didn't uphold your end of the contract.


    Was your contract to pollinate the crop or to supply the hives? Does he pay you double when the crop is superior?

    If the rain had been bad enough to keep them from flying but not wash them away would you bill 'em anyways?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Forsyth, Missouri
    Posts
    289

    Default Re: Flood damage question

    David
    How are the bee's?
    Zone 6b 1400'

  12. #12

    Default Re: Flood damage question

    He made out ok. Lost one queen. Bottom boxes trashed as far as frames. Farmer payed for the queen he raised. And send a bill and he would turn it into the gov for the Insurance.
    David one of his buddy's from around the corner

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Deep Brook, NS, Canada
    Posts
    158

    Default Re: Flood damage question

    I think you should talk to the farmer and see if he's going to submit a claim for insurance. He may be willing to include your payment as part of his loss.
    I would also check with your local bee inspector. They quite often have compensation programs for agricultural losses like this.

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