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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Prior Lake, Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    25

    Default Renting honey house: what and houw to charge?

    I am a beekeeper (120 hives) for an organization that has mutiple food production interests (honey, maple sugar, organic vegetables and fruit) with a limited labor pool. We recently invested in some bigger honey extraction equipment to reduce the heavy labor draw caused during harvest.

    We are set on renting out our honey house to help recapture some of the capital costs sooner than if we were the only users. The equipment would be helpful to local hobbyists and other small-timers who don't have any/adequate processing equipment. But what kind of rate do we charge? By the day, by the hour? I'd train them how to use the equipment, plus have trouble shooting cheat sheets. How do I ensure it's adequately cleaned after use?

    Advice welcome.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Warrior, Alabama
    Posts
    1,057

    Default Re: Renting honey house: what and houw to charge?

    Have it cleaned by your own people.
    Old Guy in Alabama

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,643

    Default Re: Renting honey house: what and houw to charge?

    You will need one of your trained people supervising at all times or your equipment will suffer.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Raeford, NC
    Posts
    157

    Default Re: Renting honey house: what and houw to charge?

    What kind of equipment are you talking about? Automated decapper...how many frame extractor? wax seperators? melter?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    1,883

    Default Re: Renting honey house: what and houw to charge?

    As a church pastor, I have families say to me, "Oh, instead of paying the church custodian for the wedding, we'll clean the church ourselves to save money."

    Did this a couple of times. Based on poor experiences with good intentions, everyone now pays to have the church custodian clean up after a wedding. No exceptions. We also charge a damage deposit.

    As for me, I'd either set an hourly fee plus clean up costs, or ask for a percentage of the honey and clean it up myself.

    Grant
    Jackson, MO
    Beekeeping With Twenty-five Hives: https://www.createspace.com/4152725

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,120

    Default Re: Renting honey house: what and houw to charge?

    Rather than rent out your facilities, why not do custom extracting? Charge by the pound. I know someone who used to do this. The deal was so much a pound for honey extracted and he got the capping wax.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Livingston County, NY
    Posts
    500

    Default Re: Renting honey house: what and houw to charge?

    I think you better talk to a lawyer about liability issues of ANYONE on the business premises or using your equipment before you commit to an idea. The cost of a lawyer drawing up a bullet proof contract, & the headaches of penalizing users for not meeting your cleaning criteria probably isn't worth the facilities fee.

    I have a shop where that idea was considered on multiple industries. It flew away quick with the realities of human propensities for stupid injuries, equipment breakage. Not to mention any food service criteria. You get one conflict & you are going to have a gargantuan headache.

    The custom extracting concept sounds to me like a winner & I have considered doing it myself.
    You are in control & efficient use of the shop doesn't have you trying to get a leasee moving along so you can get your next reservation in. Not to mention the cascading diplomacy of explaining to the next guy why the shop isn't available.
    Rmns 1:16/Prv.3:5,6/ Beegan BK May 09/ Zone 5b
    I have NOT failed. I have only found many many ways that do not work!

  8. #8

    Default Re: Renting honey house: what and houw to charge?

    Like MP said, Costom extracting. I charge $.35 a pound and I keep the capping wax and I have a $20 min. I run a smaller holding tank just for these customer to try and get them as much of there own honey back to them as possibly.(sometime hard to do if you only have 60 lbs or less) I wouldn't let anyone but your people run the equipment.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    omaha nebr. USA
    Posts
    509

    Default Re: Renting honey house: what and houw to charge?

    I would not be one bit surprised if you could not get your insurance carrier to go along " helpers " so to speak in your honey house with a machine tool/food industry enviroment. All it takes is one goof ball that means well and breaks the dozen eggs so to speak.
    I would offer that you charge per pound & per the piece as it takes just as much time to run a frame that is 1/3 full as to run one that is full.
    You keep the wax!
    Bottom line is if you can get coverage for this project you are going to want to be there for every step of the process.
    It will just make good sense to be there for the entire process

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,643

    Default Re: Renting honey house: what and houw to charge?

    In another thread on this subject someone suggested charging by the box to compensate for poorly filled boxes. Even then, a $20 minimum is only two boxes and you have as much setup time and cleanup time as a job of 200 boxes. There should be a setup and cleanup charge. I quit loaning out my four frame extractor and storage tanks because they come back bent, broken and leaking. I would never let an outside crew run my extracting room without me there with a bullwhip. Unless you have a lot of big jobs, I don't see custom extracting as a good business model.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    322

    Default Re: Renting honey house: what and houw to charge?

    If having your own people do custom extracting isn't an option, you might consider renting it out to one person who wants to do a business of custom extracting. They do all the work, provide their own insurance, keep equipment repaired, etc., lease your facility on a part time basis. Don't know if there is enough $ in it in your area to be able to find someone interested, but it might be a better option than renting it out to multiple people and the headaches involved in that.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Prior Lake, Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Renting honey house: what and houw to charge?

    Thanks for all the great ideas! Locally there are two beekeepers who I would feel comfortable just renting out the equipment and not being there (former employees) and the rest, you are right, I should just process it for them (I am quicker and know how my equipment works). Fortunately, we have a contract lawyer in our mix so we don't have to worry out the fees eating up all our potential revenue.

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