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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Yellowstone, Montana, USA
    Posts
    26

    Default What to pay for yard rent?

    I am a new beekeeper only been keeping bees for 4-5 years. I am slowly getting bigger and last year was contacted by someone that wanted me to put bees on their land in exchange for honey. I have never done this before and don't know what the "going rate" is. I had 9 hives on their land last year and got a good crop of honey. I paid her 2 gallons in honey, but she wanted more, like 5 gallons.

    What are you commercial guys paying for bee yards? If you exchange honey for rent, what is a fair amount? Per hive? I know ideally I should find someone that needs pollination and let them pay me, but in Montana, there are not many places like that.

    If I had 50 hives per location, maybe 5 gallons of honey is fair. I don't know. Looking for advice...........I don't want to cheat her or myself.

    Thanks!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    moravia,ny
    Posts
    1,224

    Default Re: What to pay for yard rent?

    we give 24 12oz bears for average rent. 60# seems high to me. my son get less than 100 dollars per acre for land rent and this is clear farm land. most bees are on scrub or usless land. sounds like she wants to be your partner without the work.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,673

    Default Re: What to pay for yard rent?

    I agree. Sixty lbs per yard is high, unless it is a really good location. I think your two gallons was about right if not generous. I don't pay per colony, but per yard.

    What is your negotiating position? You don't have to keep bees there, do you? And she invited you to keep bees there for a fee. She must not have expresed what she was hoping for before hand. Figure out what you think is reasonable and negotiate from there.

    Does she garden? She is already getting benefit from your bees being there.
    Mark Berninghausen To combat Ebola, please consider supporting http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Palm Bay, FL, USA
    Posts
    2,297

    Default Re: What to pay for yard rent?

    One half to one gallon per yard is normal. Some want a little more but usually can't even eat a gallon over a years' time. Last year a couple of our grove owners wanted 2 dozen 1 lb bottles each for Xmas gifts; no problem there, and we actually gave them 30 jars each. 5 gallons for 9 hives is way over common courtesy; she's probably selling your honey. I'd pay her and move my bees out of that yard and wish her a happy life! Most landowners let us keep bees on their property without expectation of rewards, and are happy with whatever we bring them. BTW, in 50 years messing with bees I've never had to "pay" for yard rent. Too many freebies with decent folks to do that. Think FIMO, forget it move on!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Hampton CT
    Posts
    360

    Default Re: What to pay for yard rent?

    I pay 1 case of 2lb jars for rent for a yard with 10 -12 hives. If they want more than that I would move the bees. We provide a free pollination service to all people within a two mile radius of our yards so one case to the land owner is enough.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
    Posts
    787

    Default Re: What to pay for yard rent?

    I give my landowner a quart. I currently have 5 hives on his property and have had as many as 8 or 9 there. He's very happy to get the quart and did not ask for it. If he had, I would begin looking to move the bees. If he'd wanted more that that, I'd have moved them immediately. -james

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    dadeville, alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,163

    Default Re: What to pay for yard rent?

    around a gallon per bee yard is fair. I have around 40 colonies average per yard. TED
    ALABAMA BEE COMPANY-A member of the Sioux Honey association -*Sweetening a golden tommorrow*

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,403

    Default Re: What to pay for yard rent?

    Wow, five gallons of honey for rent.........5 gallons = about 60 pounds of honey @ $7 a pound = $430 for yard rent. Even at $5 a pound thats $300 for yard rent. Seems REALLY steep to me!!

    I have one lady in town that was extatic that I was going to give her some honey at all!! I told her I was going to give her a case and she was absolutely tickled!! She never made no mention of WANTING honey at all, she just likes bees!

    I would ask around and perhaps find somewhere else to put your bee's, or explain to her how much it costs to keep bees, how much equipment is, gas prices and thats not without your time factored in, if you want to that is!
    Coyote Creek Bees

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,732

    Default Re: What to pay for yard rent?

    I am a cheap German like frugal Ted, 5 quarts a year.

    Crazy Roland

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,308

    Default Re: What to pay for yard rent?

    I'm cheaper yet, 4 quarts a year. Whether or not the bees make honey there that year. And if they have some honey left over, I offer to give them some in bears in case they want to give it away... makes for very good relations with the landowner, and they don't mind me appearing at all hours of the day or night (when I move bees for instance.)
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,870

    Default Re: What to pay for yard rent?

    Depending on what I am using the yard fors depends on what I pay the folks. However my payments range anywhere from leaving colonies on their property for them to rob honey from to as low as 1lbs per colony. Generally they get over a gallon of honey from me.

    If I had 9 or 10 colonies on someones yard and they asked for 5 gallons of honey I wouldn't say much to them. I would just remove those colonies and look elsewhere, as they have unrealistic expectations and will probably become an issue for you in the future. Most the farmers I put hives on to run for honey could care less about the honey, they are just happy to have the bees on their land and the honey is a sweet bonus.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Yellowstone, Montana, USA
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: What to pay for yard rent?

    Thanks for all the info. No I did not ask to put the hives there and I don't need to be there. I don't do this commercially, and I didn't want to cheat her. We will have an open discussion and if she wants more than 1 pound per hive this coming season, I guess my bees won't be on her farm.

    Thanks again to all who responded!!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,870

    Default Re: What to pay for yard rent?

    I think you are making the right choice. I had to have another beekeeper extract my honey one year so I was asking around who would be willing to do it. It ended up costing me 15% of my crop which I believe is a little steep but one guy wanted 50% of my honey just to extract it. I quickly told him I appreciate it and didn't further discuss it with him.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,456

    Default Re: What to pay for yard rent?

    Personally I think it is a mistake to even talk to the landowner about how many hives you plan on having in a yard only that you need a very small area in an out of the way place with good access. If they ask about numbers just be vague and say that it would vary not only from year to year but at different times of the year. If that isn't good enough pick a high number and say that would be a rough average. What ever you may feel is a fair amount I do think should be applied equally to all locations, people do talk and compare notes. We usually give half rent if the location isn't utilized that year and double rent if we use it as a holding yard.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Outagamie County, Wisconsin USA
    Posts
    925

    Default Re: What to pay for yard rent?

    losloboid,

    Not that you have to say and I hope you don't mind, but how many gallons did you get from the bees? Does she have a garden, etc. that she benefits from pollination from your bees? I don't know if she knows the work, expense and risk (of loss) with beekeeping.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Fox Lake, Illinois
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: What to pay for yard rent?

    I keep my bees on about 30 acres and the land owner contacted me to keep my bees there for tax purpose, good deal for both of us

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    3,072

    Default Re: What to pay for yard rent?

    I am looking at possibly placing hives on other peoples land in the future. So I have thought this issue over a fair bit. I am also pretty hard nosed when it comes to business so this does not apply if I have a friend that wanted a hive or anything like that. this is simply looking at the numbers and my business experience and saying what is what for me.

    I can purchase a hive fro roughly $300. I can build one btu I consider it the same cost. I just paid that cost in a different way. I then add $125 worth of bees and an estimated $50 a year in care. This does not even include my time. At the end of one year I have what will amount to a hive that might survive winter. has a bunch of drawn frames in it. propolis bees that are full of venom, wax, and maybe enough honey for only the bees. I have seen figures as high as $1500 on the value of this object. So in short I have started with nothing and covered the entire expense in every way of producing a $1500 item. An item that may very well produce some of that value in the form of income in the following year. probably could result in some of that income even in the first year. Suppose I made a split and sold a nuc for example. Produced a few queens from the hive etc. All of these earning area a result of my knowledge work and investment. The land owner on the other hand has provided a spot of land. I will say for the purpose of this train of thought they allow me to fence in 1/8th of an acre. I provide the fence and the labor. again the full expense is on me. travel to manage the hives is also fully my expense.

    So what is the value of the 1/8th acre. I know I can buy 5 aces of land and a home for less than $50,000 around here. Just land would be less than $25,000 right now. so lets say the land is worth $10,000 an acre just to be safe. So we have the land owners $1250 worth of land compared to my approx $1500 contribution. This does not include any travel. any time or any fence yet. But you can already see how in my mind it is ridiculous to think I am going to pay a land owner even more to keep hives on their property. Just how fast do I really want to be bankrupt. I have looked at this much further here at home than I will go into here on this thread. but in the end the very best share I see a land owner will end up with even when profits do come in is about 10%. this is factoring in all costs, labor, travel etc. They contribute at best 10% of the investment. Now if you place more than one hive on that 8th of an acre. the land owners contribution dwindles to almost nothing. 10 hives for example woudl cut there percent of the investment to 1%. 1% of ten hives profit that is. In the end I don't see the land owner being owed much of anything if the number of hives is realistic at all. I don't see anyone going to all the trouble for just one hive. In that case a hive produces 100 lbs of excess honey. the land owner has 1 lb coming to them. if bees are sold they should receive 1% of that money, etc. It is after all an investment and a risk. no investment has guarantee profits. it isn't for you and it should not be for the land owner. Land value will vary wildely from location to location. land is expensive here.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,456

    Default Re: What to pay for yard rent?

    The key is finding the right site, preferably ground that has virtually no value for anything else. The amount of land that you actually "use" is pretty much a non factor. Access without driving over crops or making ruts, though, is very important. I prefer to never have to drive close to a home as there is always the danger of getting someone stung as bees follow your vehicle on the way out. Just be very clear with the landowner what your experience has shown works best and emphasize that you will respect the land as if it were yours. In a location that you may be moving it is also good to tell the landowner not to be alarmed if you see us driving in at night as that is often the only good time to move bees. Respect and communication are very important. Daniel: $1500 per hive??? I'm rich!
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  19. #19

    Default Re: What to pay for yard rent?

    Most people I keep bees on don't expect anything. I pay them 3 pounds a hive for the producing hives. Usually I have 10 nucs on the property that I don't pay anything for. Almost always they say I am giving them to much, but i give it anyway and tell them to share with their family and friends. I have one lady that I have known for the majority of my life (which is the way with most of the people I keep bees on) she calls me all the time with a list of honey that she sold at her work. I drop off the honey and she writes me a check for it. You talk about a great place to keep bees!!!

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Belfield, North Dakota, USA
    Posts
    610

    Default Re: What to pay for yard rent?

    I usually give them some of what I harvest on a per hive basis, since I am small scale. The landowners who let me on their place really don't expect anything, but if I harvest any surplus, I make sure that they get about 5lbs per hive that produces (I don't have a yard with more than 6 hives at it) for the years rent. Since all the landowners are friends and neighbors, I don't mind giving more when I have a good year and they don't mind not getting any during the bad. I figure that it all evens out over time.

    I have had years where I didn't harvest anything - so I can't keep hives anyplace where the landowner expects honey every year. Otherwise some years, I would end up having to buy them honey!

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