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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,962

    Default Bee swarm/removal calls, what do you ask/tell?

    I ask:
    How high off the ground is it?
    Should I bring a ladder?
    Is it a cluster of bees on top of each other or are they inside of some cavity?
    How big is the cluster?
    Fruit - Orange, grapefruit, melon, watermelon?
    Sports- tennis ball, softball, soccer ball, football, beach ball?
    Is there an electrical outlet nearby?
    Because I can't walk well, I ask - how is the access? up or down stairs or a slope?

    I tell:
    I charge for the that type of service -$XXX an hour.
    I am a licensed, insured contractor.
    I guarantee my work.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Yukon, Oklahoma
    Posts
    150

    Default Re: Bee swarm/removal calls, what do you ask/tell?

    I always get a picture(s) from the customer sent to me by their phone and we receive it by email or text. No picture...no go for us.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,404

    Default Re: Bee swarm/removal calls, what do you ask/tell?

    The first thing I ask the customer is:

    Has anyone sprayed or messed with the swarm.
    How high and location of swarm.
    How big is it using familiar objects.
    Is it near pedestrian traffic?
    How long has it been there?

    The last thing the customer asks is " how much do you charge?", when I say free they almost stutter because everyone else is asking for $50. I dont charge for swarms just on the basic principle that I love catching swarms and I get to educate people on bees while I do it. Infact, a lot of the people end up giving me either $20 or food or drinks. Ya, gas aint cheap, but neither is a package of bees! And I have also made a lot of friends and locations for swarm traps for next year and also customers for my honey.

    I also normally dont do cut outs, but this year I have done two just because I have a soft spot for young couples with kids, as I am in the same boat, so I removed them for free. I have turned down MANY more cut out opportunities because I dont have the time or inclination to go digging into any walls, and I am tired of hearing " I think $300 is a bit to much, dont ya?" ...............then do it yourself people!!!
    Coyote Creek Bees

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Kingsville, OH
    Posts
    959

    Default Re: Bee swarm/removal calls, what do you ask/tell?

    I agree with the statements above. I also ask how long they have been there.
    I do charge, One reason, too many calls for Hornets. Also I have had to travel 20 miles to get a swarm. Swarms are not a guarantee of getting a hive of bees, they sometimes just fly away.
    As for cut outs, I agree if my price is too high, do it your self. $150.00

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Western Pennsylvania
    Posts
    2,071

    Default Re: Bee swarm/removal calls, what do you ask/tell?

    >How high and location of swarm.

    I add 1/2 the height to the total.
    People cant tell heights,
    so a swarm at 10 feet, is really
    going to be at least 15 feet high.

    I ask several questions to try and
    determine if the homeowner is hysterical
    or lying. This is a big problem for bee
    removal services. Those that fear bees
    will lie and say anything to trick you to
    come out and get the bees off their
    property. They will agree to charges,
    while having no intent to pay. I refuse
    these calls when I suspect lying,
    or demand payment in advance.

    Most of my referrals are from a pest
    company, so they are expecting to pay
    $200 to exterminate, so I know
    that these customers are willing
    to pay for the service.

    I'll take a swarm within 8 miles for free
    or $20. All others are $60 to $100.
    Upscale neighborhoods are charged
    $100 and those less fortunate $60
    If they have a bigger car and house
    than mine, I charge $100

    This season, swarm calls are abundant.
    During May, I got about 4 calls per
    nice bee day. I refuse most, and take
    only the easiest removals. I charge
    $350 for colony extraction, -cut & take
    bees and go -homeowner makes repairs.

    Best Wishes
    Joe Waggle
    Pennsylvania
    http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/H...eybeeArticles/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Kingsville, OH
    Posts
    959

    Default Re: Bee swarm/removal calls, what do you ask/tell?

    I have to totally agree with you Joe Waggle. Too many times it is fear of bees that make a person call. And I won't get rid of wasps or hornets.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Sawyer, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,115

    Default Re: Bee swarm/removal calls, what do you ask/tell?

    We have had two calls for swarms only to find bees foraging on a flowering bush and gathering water form a small fish pond. It’s a shame that so many people are that naive about nature. A small lesson about honeybees was given free, hopefully they are a little more knowledgeable. At least people that wouldn’t have given a second thought to getting out the raid when a honeybee flies by are taking the time to call someone. A silver lining in the dark cloud of CCD.
    The Busy Bee teaches two lessons: One is not to be idle and the other is not to get stung.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Brookville, PA
    Posts
    206

    Default Re: Bee swarm/removal calls, what do you ask/tell?

    So far, out of the swarm calls I have received - they have actually all been swarms.

    I always ask how high they are. Are they on a branch or on the trunk?
    Are you sure they are honey bees? They are in a big cluster?
    How big is the swarm? Softball, football, basketball sized?
    How long have they been there?
    I don't charge for it, although people always ask. I'm figuring for some of my time and gas, I'm getting a package of bees worth around $90.00. (Of course, there is always the chance of them absconding.)
    Once there, I usually ask if they know where they came from - is there a beekeeper nearby, a bee tree? And I always mention this would be a good place for a swarm trap for next year.

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