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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Greenville, SC
    Posts
    386

    Default CSA's Said Ok. Now What?

    I've contacted a couple of CSA's about keeping bees on their respective farms. They said they were interested. Now that I have it, what do I do with it? Basically, what questions do I need to ask them? Type of contract if any? I'm so doggone excited, I can't see straight, let alone think of appropriate questions/comments. Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Dartmouth, MA
    Posts
    159

    Default Re: CSA's Said Ok. Now What?

    I don't have any advice as far as your written agreement, but I would find out if the farm is leased or owned so you are dealing with the correct person. I keep bees at a CSA type farm as well, but have no formal agreement, but see the owner and farmer often.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    San Antonio, Texas, USA
    Posts
    240

    Default Re: CSA's Said Ok. Now What?

    You need to look into liability when you have your bees somewhere else. I have farm bureau for insurance and they cover hive liability. Everyone is friendly until someone sticks their head in your hive and get stung. Protect yourself first. I get the owner to sign off liability so that if someone gets stung they don't sue me. You should return the favor and sign over liability that if you trip and fall on their land you don't sue them. Equal partnership.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    3,017

    Default Re: CSA's Said Ok. Now What?

    I haven't kept bees as CSA's before, but I have kept them at several small family farms. I don't do written agreements. But I do talk long and hard with them about what they are expecting, what crops they grow, what pesticides they use, what foot traffic occurs around the hives, how much space they have available, and if they know anything about bees. If that checks out, I'll show up and do a "site visit." I see if their location looks like what they told me about, if I have vehicle access, what spots they were thinking about that I could use, how many of them get good wind break with a south by south east view of the sky, what kind of foot traffic, neighbor traffic, or animal traffic is around.

    If I find a good spot and they seem like good people, I put 2-5 hives on their lot for the first season. If the bees do well, I may put more. If not, I either stick it out with 2-5 hives through the next spring to see if it was just the year, or thank them for their time and move on.

    If they can use it for pollination, we call it even just by having them there. If not, I usually give them about 10% of what I collect off their spot, or a gallon of honey, whichever is less. All of that is assuming they allow me to keep them there year round. If they want them for a season, or just for a bloom, I usually say no thanks. At that point they aren't looking for a paying pollination service.

    I make sure that they know the ground rules: they call me if there is anything wrong with the hives (or swarms), and they leave them alone. I ask them if they have any ground rules (like no driving over here, don't show up on sunday mornings, call before you come over, things like that).

    Hope that helps.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Lottsburg, Virginia USA
    Posts
    268

    Default Re: CSA's Said Ok. Now What?

    Can someone please inform me as to what a CSA is
    Thanks
    Johno

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Topeka, Kansas, USA
    Posts
    87

    Default Re: CSA's Said Ok. Now What?

    I believe it refers to "Community Supported Agriculture." This is a farm that folks buy shares in, and then share in the harvest.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    7,426

    Default Re: CSA's Said Ok. Now What?

    Usually the members/community buy shares in the 'harvest' rather than shares in the farm itself. Here is more on that from a CSA farm's point of view:

    http://www.devonpointfarm.com/what-is-a-csa-farm-share
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    29,466

    Default Re: CSA's Said Ok. Now What?

    Quote Originally Posted by Monie View Post
    I've contacted a couple of CSA's about keeping bees on their respective farms. They said they were interested. Now that I have it, what do I do with it? Basically, what questions do I need to ask them? Type of contract if any? I'm so doggone excited, I can't see straight, let alone think of appropriate questions/comments. Thanks in advance
    Just because it's a CSA, what's the difference between that and having your bees anywhere else other than your own property?
    "Most of my exercise comes from wrestling with pigs and beating dead horses."
    Mark Berninghausen



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Greenville, SC
    Posts
    386

    Default Re: CSA's Said Ok. Now What?

    I live in the city, and I have no space to keep bees. These particular CSA's are all organic.

    I suppose I should have posed the question differently, like what specifics should be asked/offered when putting bees on someone else's land, instead of specifying that the proposed lands are CSA. My apologies for any confusion.

    Thanks everyone

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    29,466

    Default Re: CSA's Said Ok. Now What?

    Well Monie, what I do is spot a location I find to my liking, something I can easily get into and out of without getting stuck. Then I find the landowner and tell them that I am a beekeeper looking for a place to set some bee hives and would they be interested in having my hives on their property. I usually take a small jar of honey to give them whether they go for it or not. I don't promise them anything other than I won't trash their property. I do take them some honey annually, as thanks.

    Hope that helps some.
    "Most of my exercise comes from wrestling with pigs and beating dead horses."
    Mark Berninghausen



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Greenville, SC
    Posts
    386

    Default Re: CSA's Said Ok. Now What?

    Thanks, Mark.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    3,017

    Default Re: CSA's Said Ok. Now What?

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    I don't promise them anything other than I won't trash their property. I do take them some honey annually, as thanks.
    Agreed.

    I put ads on craigslist looking for yards. Most responses are people that just want to help the bees, think it would be neat, or have some type of garden/crops they could use the pollination for. A few have responded with "you can keep bees here but I want honey." I pass every time.

    My 10% or gallon rule is really just a way of saying thanks. Not a requirement by any means.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    7,426

    Default Re: CSA's Said Ok. Now What?

    You should be aware that even though a CSA farm may be "organic", pesticides, including those that can kill bees, may still be legally used at that farm CSA.

    For instance, review this product page for Safer BioNEEM insecticide:
    http://www.saferbrand.com/store/outdoor-insect/5612

    Note in the bottom right of that page the logo/approval/certification from the "Organic Materials Review Institute". Also note that BioNEEM has in it "Contains azadirachtin (.09%)". And if we look to see what impact azadirachtin has on honeybees ...

    Active ingredient: Azadirachtin

    Impact on Honey Bees
    Toxicity category: III - Apply only during late evening, night, or early morning

    http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/TOOLS/PNAI/pnaishow.php?id=8
    That doesn't necessarily mean that your bees will die, but you should ask what products the farm uses, research those, and weigh your risks.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Suffolk, NY, USA
    Posts
    867

    Default Re: CSA's Said Ok. Now What?

    I have found that many land owners here have no idea what might be necessary for keeping bees on their property.
    So that the land owner is on the same page as I am I give them a memo so expectations on both sides start to come together.
    There is a place(s) for initials of both parties for agreement. I have had to alter the 'memo' to suit different land owners.
    None of this is set in stone, it's a starting point, but I have not had any surprises from the land owners nor they from me when something does present itself for discussion.
    I need know the motivation of the property owners in allowing bees on their property, or at least have an inkling as to what it may be.

    After the 'memo' I follow up with a agreement which we both sign.

    MEMO:
    Bee Yard Requirements
    The Bee Yard:
    Large Urban, semi-rural to rural location, the site needs to be in a dry area of the property away from homes, secluded from visibility (to discourage vandalism)
    Located to catch the morning sun facing east or south. Afternoon shade if available.
    A fresh water source within mile (or one can be provided).
    Accessible by a vehicle.
    Property will not be altered or defaced by beekeeper except to place bee hives.
    _____________Property owner approval _____________ Beekeeper approval

    The Bees:
    No exposure to chemicals or yard and tree sprays.
    Left undisturbed, not harassed by people or animals.
    Bees do sting but normally only when they perceive an attack on their home
    Acceptable forage area for pollen and nectar.
    Proper hive equipment, well maintained and in good condition.
    Hives managed to minimize swarming
    _____________Property owner approval _____________Beekeeper approval

    The Beekeeper:
    An agreement that would allow beekeeper to have up to ______ hives on the property on a yearly basis.
    An agreement that bees and equipment will remain the exclusive property of beekeeper, as do all products of the hive.
    Access to the yard at all times to properly care for the bees (moving of bees is commonly done at night or in the early morning).
    Property owner agreements not to move, disturb, or harass the bees or their hives or give anyone access to the beehives.
    Property owner agrees to notify beekeeper of vandalism or storm damage to hives in a timely manner.
    Beekeeper is not responsible, and will be held harmless for inherent risk of bee stings to people, animals, or livestock.
    The right to remove hives if their well being is threatened or at any time the beekeeper deems the property to be unacceptable for beehives.
    Requests for removal of hives due to extenuating circumstances will be at the earliest mutually agreeable time/date.
    _____________Property owner approval ___________Beekeeper approval

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
    Posts
    1,284

    Default Re: CSA's Said Ok. Now What?

    Clyderoad, how enforceable is that agreement?

    For example, what happens if "Acceptable forage area for pollen and nectar." is not met?
    --shinbone
    (4th year, Zone 5b, 11/12 hives survived W'14)

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Suffolk, NY, USA
    Posts
    867

    Default Re: CSA's Said Ok. Now What?

    don't know. that point was included to make owners aware that I can not keep bees in the tree line of their 40 acres of sod (turf grass). The sites I have refused (except for two) has been because of forage issues in the area and there have been no hard feelings.
    remember this is not the agreement, just a memo on expectations/requirements that I need as a beekeeper.

    If the lay of the land changes in mid season regarding forage or land use not acceptable:
    "The right to remove hives if their well being is threatened or at any time the beekeeper deems the property to be unacceptable for beehives."

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    29,466

    Default Re: CSA's Said Ok. Now What?

    Monie, is this CSA organic? If so, how are they going to like you using things in your hives that they wouldn't use on their vegetables?
    "Most of my exercise comes from wrestling with pigs and beating dead horses."
    Mark Berninghausen



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Suffolk, NY, USA
    Posts
    867

    Default Re: CSA's Said Ok. Now What?

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Monie, is this CSA organic? If so, how are they going to like you using things in your hives that they wouldn't use on their vegetables?
    you are on tonight!
    Mark I deal with this very situation on a organic farm.
    To make it short I gave them a list of the treatments I use, with MSDS sheets before setting up there 3 years ago.
    I have added hopguard as new treatment this year. OA, MAQS and apiguard are the others.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
    Posts
    1,284

    Default Re: CSA's Said Ok. Now What?

    "The right to remove hives if their well being is threatened or at any time the beekeeper deems the property to be unacceptable for beehives."

    Why do you need that in writing? Why can't you just take your hives if they are threatened? Are you saying that you would be forced to leave your hives to be sprayed if the writing didn't have that removal clause in it? Plus, unless your paying the landowner, the landowner can make you remove your hives whenever he wants. The writing seems to have no value.
    --shinbone
    (4th year, Zone 5b, 11/12 hives survived W'14)

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    3,026

    Default Re: CSA's Said Ok. Now What?

    I think more to the point is the establishment of expectations. And unfortunately, there are approved as organic pesticides that are deadly to honey bees. It has also been my experience that farms watching their labor expense sometimes ignore the parts of the label that mandate application when bees are not present. Not all farms certainly, but enough to make me keep my guard up.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

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