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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Claremont, NH, USA
    Posts
    783

    Default Question on cost to remove a swarm

    I don't know if this should go in the 'Bee Removal' forum, but that doesn't seem to be set up for this kind of question. Here goes.

    Background: As posted earlier, my sister has a large swarm at her house up in a cedar tree. Swarm is approx. 25 feet up and the tree is readily accessible from the driveway. they are going to cut it down, so don't care if branches are removed to make capture easier.

    Update: My brother-in-law did some Googling and found a beek in New York State, about 25 miles away. He called, spoke with the guy and was told that the charge would be 50 cents a mile, which seems reasonable, and $100 per hour to remove the bees with an estimate of 'several hours' of work. This was going to cost out to be over $500 to remove a swarm from a tree.

    Question: I know that extractions and cut outs are expensive, given all the hard work involved for what often amounts to a queenless bunch of bees and a honey and sting covered extractor (person, not machine). But, I thought most beeks welcomed the chance to capture a swarm, especially a big one. I know being up in the tree makes it more difficult, but $500?

    Does that seem reasonable?

    Additional info: In defense of the guy they contacted, when they told him I also kept bees and would be done for their 4th of July party this weekend, he suggested they get a big box, tape it up with a small entrance, add some lemongrass oil from a local health food store, set it up on a table or chair near the swarm and try to capture it for me. Which is what they are trying to do right now. I thought that was pretty decent of him.

    Bill
    “If you want to gather honey, don't kick over the beehive.” - Dale Carnegie

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Lee\'s Summit, MO
    Posts
    1,300

    Default Re: Question on cost to remove a swarm

    At first glance I'd price it like that if I didn't really want the job.
    Ninja, is not in the dictionary. Well played Ninja's, well played...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    syracuse n.y.
    Posts
    1,880

    Default Re: Question on cost to remove a swarm

    my partner starts at $800, he doesn't want to do them, as the bee culture article said this month all the time and mileage its cheaper to make your own hives, and less work and you know what your have, and I have to agree.

    mike

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Mason County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    173

    Default Re: Question on cost to remove a swarm

    $100 an hour is reasonable in most parts of the country. Mileage varies depending on the prices of fuel. Anytime one removes a swarm or a colony, they are just tossing the dice. You never know until the job is done, or mostly done, what you are getting....maybe a great swarm, maybe a queen and then maybe nothing that you want to take home....as in diseased, etc.

    Removals from locations high up are dangerous and one cannot be too careful.
    Safety equipment can fail and then down you go....much can go wrong and in most cases, it is not worth the risk.

    Do not get me wrong, as it can be done and I have been there firsthand. A good swarm close to the ground in May or early June is worth more, as long as they are healthy and have a good queen. Otherwise, it is just a toss of the dice.

    One never knows if the swarms or colonies are going to stay put after you get them home....they are free creatures and can come and go as they please....it is not worth it to do a lot of work and then have the bees leave.

    Brenda

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    knoxville, tn
    Posts
    646

    Default Re: Question on cost to remove a swarm

    I would pick up a swarm with in 20 miles of me for nothing, as long as they are 25' or less.

    cut outs are a different story.

    G3

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: Question on cost to remove a swarm

    Am I isane or ?? if its a swarm in a cedar tree, leave them alone, thell be gone in a dayor two......

    you did say swarm and cedar, swarms are homless bees and cedars about never have cavities in them...

    Or do you mean a actual hive??

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Loganville, GA
    Posts
    2,172

    Default Re: Question on cost to remove a swarm

    Correction, Cedars do often rot out from the ground up through the center. Leaving nothing but a shell of a tree living.
    "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." Winston Churchill

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Santa Clara CA
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: Question on cost to remove a swarm

    > I thought most beeks welcomed the chance to capture a swarm, especially a big one.

    Why do you want to get rid of the swarm? That high up they certainly are not going to bother anybody.

    25' is a bloody long way to fall, it's called deadly in many situations, as it was for the beek who made the news earlier this year.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30318246/

    WESTMINSTER, S.C. - A 52 year-old Westminster man was killed in a
    fall from a tree at his home Monday evening.

    Douglas Eugene Lee, reported to be an experienced bee handler,
    climbed more than 20 feet up a pine tree to retrieve a swarm of honey
    bees when he fell at about 7:30 p.m...Lee was known to have heart
    problems, but an autopsy found that he died as a result of injuries
    suffered in the fall that caused internal trauma and bleeding.

    Swarms stay in position for as little as a couple of hours to 3 days. You want this guy to drive 25 miles and discover it has flown away?

    Can't comment on the "several hours" of work but agree with the other comment that if you were silly enough to pay him $500 he was willing to come over and get them.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Tulsa, OK
    Posts
    3,435

    Default Re: Question on cost to remove a swarm

    Are you folks talking about removing bees from inside a tree or a real swarm? Around here, people gobble up actual swarms that are not too high for free and compete to get them for free.

    Cutouts and removals from inside trees are different, of course.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: Question on cost to remove a swarm

    Quote Originally Posted by Bizzybee View Post
    Correction, Cedars do often rot out from the ground up through the center. Leaving nothing but a shell of a tree living.
    most be some wierd type of cedar, wetern red, and normal red cedar hearts do not rot. the soft white wood will, unfortunatly the term cedar is thrown out a lot...... might be talking about 2 different trees here...

    I personaly have logged several hundred acres of red cedar for use in animial bedding (the stuff you buy at wal mart) and never seen a hollow that the bees would use... but it is possible...

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Claremont, NH, USA
    Posts
    783

    Default Re: Question on cost to remove a swarm

    Thanks for all the input. This is a swarm exposed on a branch on a cedar tree. The concern is not about the swarm, I explained to my sister that they will move on in a few days. The concern is that Murphy is a live and well and that the bees will move into some concealed opening in their old house or garage, creating a real problem. Pic of the swarm:


    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...rfordSwarm.jpg


    Again, thanks, It was very interesting learning all the different opinions.

    Bill
    “If you want to gather honey, don't kick over the beehive.” - Dale Carnegie

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Covington, Ga, USA
    Posts
    1,549

    Default Re: Question on cost to remove a swarm

    Man that is a rather nice size swarm.....

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Newport, New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    241

    Default Re: Question on cost to remove a swarm

    Sometimes a swarm gets caught in a spell of rainy weather for too long and starts building comb. Then they will stay there until the winter weather does them in.

    I wish that I lived closer. 25 feet is not bad. I have a 40' extension ladder and lots of good rope.

    But sometimes, a swarm can be located way out in the extremities of a tree making it almost impossible to get a ladder nearby.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,366

    Default Re: Question on cost to remove a swarm

    I do them free if it's on my way and I don't need a ladder. Everything else is negotiable.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,122

    Default Re: Question on cost to remove a swarm

    If it was in my area & lower, I'd do it for free.
    Dan

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
    Posts
    1,398

    Default Re: Question on cost to remove a swarm

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    Am I isane or ?? if its a swarm in a cedar tree, leave them alone, thell be gone in a dayor two......

    you did say swarm and cedar, swarms are homless bees and cedars about never have cavities in them...

    Or do you mean a actual hive??

    No so!!! I got a call about a bee swarm in a huge cedar tree. The tree had a very large cavity in it and the bees were in it pretty deep. Didn't have the time to trap them as the owner wanted them gone yesterday.

    Guess they killed the bees.
    De Colores,
    Ken

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    beckley, west virginia usa
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: Question on cost to remove a swarm

    I never charge anything to remove a swarm or do a cut out. Maybe if it not in my area i might just ask for a little gas money like 10 or 20 bucks maybe i am stupid but i always just jump at the thought of free bees and maybe saving a colony from getting sprayed by pesticides.

    It can be hard work but i don't look at it like that i just like getting the chance to play with a few bees. no matter how many cut outs i have done no two have been the same each one is like a seperate adventure to me.

    But like i said maybe i am just crazy

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Bristol,MA,USA
    Posts
    720

    Default Re: Question on cost to remove a swarm

    Got one out of a red cedar just the other day. 25' high and prime swarm. Took a very long strong nylon string and tied a heavy socket (like in socket wrench) to its end and sent it in the direction of the branch. Got it after several throws. Allowed the socket to bring the other side of the string down. Put the Garden Way cart with an empty hive, old frames and lemongrass oil just under the branch (regardless of the other branches), yanked about every 5 min. for a few times and got it and still have it. Worth a try. OMTCW

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Douglasville,Ga.
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: Question on cost to remove a swarm

    Quote Originally Posted by donniethebeeman View Post
    I never charge anything to remove a swarm or do a cut out. Maybe if it not in my area i might just ask for a little gas money like 10 or 20 bucks maybe i am stupid but i always just jump at the thought of free bees and maybe saving a colony from getting sprayed by pesticides.

    It can be hard work but i don't look at it like that i just like getting the chance to play with a few bees. no matter how many cut outs i have done no two have been the same each one is like a seperate adventure to me.

    But like i said maybe i am just crazy
    Maybe... My two adventures this spring were $650 and $250 respectively. One was in a porch pillar and the other was in the void over a bay window. I kept the bees and comb, and the clients arranged for someone to put the mess back together...
    -Visualize Whirled Peas-

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    beckley, west virginia usa
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: Question on cost to remove a swarm

    Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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