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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,879

    Default Rant: Lying Cutout Callers

    Caller was from a third world country.
    I asked how the access was, stating that I don't walk easily. "All level concrete to the backyard." Actually several steps, and pea gravel ramps, eight foot elevation drop from front to back. One step had chunks of hardened sack concrete at the bottom of the step. Similar to the rocks and concrete you see on the street in third world countries. Large pile of rusting paint cans in front yard. Spa cabinet door had been knawed by rats and raccoons allowing bees to enter and under hot tub was filled with rat feces.
    How long have they been there? "We came back from a two week vacation and found them in a hot tub cabinet." The comb area was equivalent to two deep brood chambers and filled two five gallon buckets. Thirty pounds of honey plus black brood combs. Two weeks....RIGHT. Since March if not a year.
    The brood and honey was all intermixed with the pipes and conduits of the hot tub. Helper had to kneel and cut combs from bottom of fiberglass spa in the dark. No possible way to spot a queen. Half gallon of dead honey vac'ed bees. I doubled my quoted price before starting and should have tripled it. Housewife repeated several times that it would be impossible for them to be there more than two weeks. RIGHT!!!
    This was the messiest/stickiest cutout I have done, on the previous two this year I caught the queen.
    Lesson to be learned: The bees from a cutout can be worthless, if you aren't charging good wages also don't waste your time.
    I had another one scheduled for today, it was canceled because someone did it for free.
    Last edited by odfrank; 06-26-2012 at 08:14 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: Rant: Lying Cutout Callers

    I feel for you, man.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    965

    Default Re: Rant: Lying Cutout Callers

    Aw c'mon.
    Folks don't lie about cutouts or swarms.
    Those three empty cans of wasp & hornet spray on the steps of the porch Saturday when I went on a swarm call two towns over didn't mean a thing!
    (Honest!)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: Rant: Lying Cutout Callers

    I've turned down twice as many as I've done for that same reason. They will say anything to get you to come out and once you're there, it's obvious they lied. I've had several who before I started the job, agreed with the price then tried to negotiate with me AFTER I was done. Now the moment I sense they don't want to pay saying things like "Well, you get to keep the bees" I tell them to call someone else.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,833

    Default Re: Rant: Lying Cutout Callers

    My time was also a factor, but, stories like these are why I quit doing cutouts several years ago. I only answer swarm calls if the bees are low, and easily accessible. Otherwise I let someone else do it.

    You can't imagine the number of hornet, yellow jacket, bumble bee, calls I answered over the years. Sometimes it was lack of knowledge on the part of the homeowner, but, a good number was to get someone to remove them without calling an exterminator. Which I would normally would do if I was already there.

    cchoganjr

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,879

    Default Re: Rant: Lying Cutout Callers

    What percent of cutouts that folks have done produce a viable hive?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,833

    Default Re: Rant: Lying Cutout Callers

    odfrank...When I did a lot of them, I almost always made more than one hive from a cutout. As high as six hives from one cutout in the old Page House on Mammoth Cave Road. Most established hives, (more than one year old) would easily make three hives.

    As far as viable hives, virtually 100%. Virtually never abscond, and if I put 4-6 pounds of bees, and some brood, by fall they were a good hive to go into Winter.

    cchoganjr

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Galt, CA
    Posts
    881

    Default Re: Rant: Lying Cutout Callers

    This is why I have not done any cut outs this year. My wife keeps bugging me to do them since its a good way to make some cash, but at the same time. No one wants to be honest. I had one cut out a couple of years ago that they said it had been there for about 3 months, I had pulled a couple of panels off and was thinking, these have been here longer than a few months. While continuing to work, the tenant came home and said she was shocked they were finally doing something about it since they have left them there for past 4 years.

    C2

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Augusta County, VA, USA
    Posts
    73

    Default Re: Rant: Lying Cutout Callers

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    Caller was from a third world country....
    Similar to the rocks and concrete you see on the street in third world countries....
    That's about the point at which I quit feeling bad for you.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: Rant: Lying Cutout Callers

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    What percent of cutouts that folks have done produce a viable hive?
    This is the problem isn't it. In order to make sure you have the queen and a viable hive, you have to go slow being careful you don't suck up a ton of honey in your vac killing half the colony. You have to rubberband all the brood comb to frames, etc. It all takes so much more time to do it right. Usually the home owner doesn't want to pay for that extra time. They just want the bees and you gone ASAP.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Augusta County, VA, USA
    Posts
    73

    Default Re: Rant: Lying Cutout Callers

    Coincidentally, I'm headed back to do a cutout tomorrow, where the owner doesn't want (can't) to pay *at all* and is ready to just spray them with wasp killer. This is a swarm that just entered over the weekend so there's no persuasive argument about needing to remove comb/honey etc. So, the alternative is to walkaway, or to do a little exploratory soffitt removal and hope it's an easy removal. If I can't find the queen, I'll have wasted several hours for a pound or so of bees. Doh!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    685

    Default Re: Rant: Lying Cutout Callers

    I like the ones who can see the hive and people are getting stung etc. Those calls always turn out to be wasps.
    Zone 5a @ 4700 ft. High Desert
    Facebook

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Stillwell, KS
    Posts
    645

    Default Re: Rant: Lying Cutout Callers

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    What percent of cutouts that folks have done produce a viable hive?
    Guessing 90% done before July 1st, 25% after.

    I generally quit do them around July 15th. Any late removals this year are going to be combined with established hives as long as they are healthy, they wouldn't make it without fall feeding anyhow if they miss our spring flow.

    I always charge enough that I'm covered if the bees don't make it.

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