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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Stafford, Virginia
    Posts
    300

    Default Payment on Pollination

    All, I was talking with another beek the other day and the subject of payment came up. I told him that I get 50% up front, and the balance on completion. He indicated that was a bad way to do it. he gets his all in advance. Is there anyone here who does it differently? I mainly pollinate vine crops but that will be changing in 2013. Of course, I want to do what is best to manage my cash flow. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    2,065

    Default Re: Payment on Pollination

    Quote Originally Posted by matt1954 View Post
    Of course, I want to do what is best to manage my cash flow.
    Are you asking if it is better to have a promise of payment or having the actual payment?

    I find the easiest way to manage cash is to have it!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Stafford, Virginia
    Posts
    300

    Default Re: Payment on Pollination

    No, I am trying to find out if I am doing in opposite of what the industry is doing.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    2,065

    Default Re: Payment on Pollination

    Sorry, no experience I didn't see this was posted in commercial I'll sit back down.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Hattiesburg, MS
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: Payment on Pollination

    Get payment upfront. If they can't afford to pay you at the beginning of pollination, then they wont be able to pay at the end of pollination.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Lewistown,Pa,USA
    Posts
    178

    Default Re: Payment on Pollination

    That is like saying if a beekeeper can't pay before the flow he can't after, plain nonsense. We get a % up front to confirm the order rest in 30 days.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Hattiesburg, MS
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: Payment on Pollination

    Well, we are all entitled to our opinions but that was rude. The OP was asking for payment practices on pollination. I will expand on my post because at least one person didnt quite get it.

    Blueberries are a crop which need pollination (for example). Blueberry plants are pollinated, the fruit is set, then it is picked, packed and sold, then the grower gets paid. From the date the bees are placed until the fruit is harvested, it could be 90 to 100 days. It may also be an additional 30 to 45 days before the grower gets paid.

    If a beekeeper wants to get a small down payment when the bees are placed and then wait four months or longer to get paid, that's their business. Hopefully, the blueberries didnt get damaged in a frost or have a fungus or insect damage so the grower can pay the rest of the pollination fee.

    So, again, why would a beekeeper go to the cost and expense of moving bees and pollinating a crop AND have the risk of the crop being short, damaged or the grower not paying timely (or at all)?

    There is enough risk in beekeeping without adding in the risk of not getting paid for your service. Again, if a grower can't pay at placement then they won't be able to pay at the time your bees are removed (which is before crop harvest).

    I won't comment again as the wisdom and experience expressed herein is sound enough !

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,928

    Default Re: Payment on Pollination

    Depends on my relationship with the grower. Some new growers I ask for payment when I bring the bees. Others, who I have a history with are 30 days net. Never been stiffed with this method.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Polk county, Florida
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Payment on Pollination

    Get paid up front,unless your dealing with a huge farm,like almonds or blueberry growers. Beekeepers waiting on a honey crop will stiff you too.
    Once the crop is pollinated you have no leverage, they got what you had to offer and all you can do is make phone calls or go to court . The 30 days net has worked , but thats as far as I would go, and thats risky.
    I'm in the same camp , if they don't have up front operating money ,I can't take a chance , even if they grow a great crop, they can get stiffed by crooked brokers.
    I speak from experience also, and have had growers I did work for multiple years , have a bad year and stiff me. Bees are about the cheapest cost in the field so, who do you think will get shorted if there is a problem with money.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Peaks Island ,Me
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Payment on Pollination

    Most of the larger blueberry companies up here in Maine pay 1/2 upon delivery and 1/2 within 30 days of departure. However there is one company,at the dismay of the beekeepers who pollinate for them, pay 1/2 upon delivery,which is usually mid May, and the rest after harvest ,in September !!!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,276

    Default Re: Payment on Pollination

    I got one third in advance, one third on delivery and the other third before the bees came out of blueberries earlier this year. I'm not sure if it will go that way this coming year or not. The apple pollination I have done for the last 15 years I have been paid after delivering the bees and some checks come even after the bees come ouit. I deliver the hives and issue a receipt. One guy pays me when I hand him the receipt, two others mail me a check w/in 30 days, the 4th hands me a check before I leave w/ the bees and another a while later. Haven't been stiffed yet.

    There is no good way or bad way. It's what fits your circumstances and what works. It doesn't hurt to ask for everything up front or some in advance. What do you have to loose? Also, it doesn't hurt to ask the grower for more, especially before you have agreed to do the job. Be prepared to walk away. They want you, you don't need them. It's a business. Treat it like one. Make it pay. Make it worth the while.

    Understand what you are losing by doing poillination and adjust your price accordingly. I am not always successful doing that myself, but that is my advice anyway.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,276

    Default Re: Payment on Pollination

    Quote Originally Posted by matt1954 View Post
    No, I am trying to find out if I am doing in opposite of what the industry is doing.
    I understand you are asking for input on what is standard operating procedure, but this is business. It doesn't really matter what others are doing, but what is best for you.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,276

    Default Re: Payment on Pollination

    Quote Originally Posted by matt1954 View Post
    All, I was talking with another beek the other day and the subject of payment came up. I told him that I get 50% up front, and the balance on completion. He indicated that was a bad way to do it. he gets his all in advance. Is there anyone here who does it differently? I mainly pollinate vine crops but that will be changing in 2013. Of course, I want to do what is best to manage my cash flow. Thanks.
    I see a number of folks writing about blueberry pollination and you are writing about vine crops, not that what is being pollinated is all that important. But, it may indicate what is "normal" in the blueberry growers habits.

    Apparently some folks have gotten burned by growers who were unable or unwilling to pay for the pollination service. I have never, so far, been stiffed. I have been fortunate that way I guess. I also do not have any written contracts w/ my growers. Maybe if I were delivering semi loads to folks who I have not seen face to face I would.

    The growers I deal w/ appear to me to be solvent enough to afford my service. So I don't feel uneasy not getting paid in advance. And I would not expect to get paid the whole biull in advance. Who would do that? Putting all the marbles in my hands. Maybe something would happen and I couldn't deliver, but I already got paid? Good for me, not for the grower.

    What are you getting paid for? You are getting paid to deliver X number of colonies of bees capable of doing what needs done. Getting an advance is something a grower might do to encourage you to do what was agreed upon, but it is a gamble on his part. It also may help you get your hives in shape, which is in the growers interests. So, it is all a matter of what is best for each member. Good luck.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,624

    Default Re: Payment on Pollination

    What Mark describes makes sense. A portion on booking is logical and from the growers standpoint I can understand their not wanting to pay any more until they can confirm that the bees are adequate to do the job that is being contracted and I can also understand the logic of not making the final payment until the job has been completed. Any payment that extends beyond the removal of the bees is a situation where the beekeeper is being taken advantage of and, for sure, any agreement calling for payment after the crop has been harvested is a great big red flag. Pollination is a lot like labor, once you have done the job you deserve a paycheck. Beekeepers provide pollination, bankers loan money.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,276

    Default Re: Payment on Pollination

    I know someone who buys honey (i know we are discussing pollination here) who pays a portion upon receipt of the honey and so much a month for a number of months. I have sometimes wondered if trhere would be any advantage to a producer to get a monthly paycheck. I certainly would want a really good price for doing things that way.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  16. #16

    Default Re: Payment on Pollination

    up front. Orchard operators are loaded. And all money for the growing season is borrowed before the season. They have it. If they flake about being able to pay it, what makes you think they can deliver product to market and pay you? Never had any complaints. I've even been tipped for bringing quote "The strongest bees I ever did see." I do like those bonus checks.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,276

    Default Re: Payment on Pollination

    You have some special growers. I have never gotten a bonus.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  18. #18

    Default Re: Payment on Pollination

    yea. I get invited to the pig pickins etc. Since I'm dealing entirely close to home now, I find service and good PR go a long ways. The last operator bringing 5 frames, and me bringing minimum 8s, with multiple pallets of 20's mixed in didn't hurt either. Niche marketing.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    28,276

    Default Re: Payment on Pollination

    Didn't realize there were any apple orchards in eastern NC.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



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