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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Carson City, Nevada, USA
    Posts
    181

    Default What would you charge? or how would you handle this?

    I have been contacted by an upscale hotel/restaurant that is 40 miles out of my way (1 hour drive). They wish to place beehives on their rooftops as well as to use honey from those hives plus other honey I would supply in their restaurant. I am not sure how to go about this, this maybe a good opportunity but I don't see it being beneficial to me and sure how to fairly price out fees.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,068

    Default Re: What would you charge? or how would you handle this?

    I am sure there has to be some type of USDA inspection for food (honey) in this case. May open up a whole can of worms, maybe not. I'd check into it as much as possible before I'd commit to anything. The restaurant may be able to offer advise.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
    Posts
    642

    Default Re: What would you charge? or how would you handle this?

    If nothing else, it sound like a great marketing opportunity, as in "proudly serving local LSBEES honey" at the bottom of the menu or some other conpsicuous place.
    --shinbone
    (3rd year, 9 hives, Zone 5b, 5400 ft, 15.8" annual rainfall)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,415

    Default Re: What would you charge? or how would you handle this?

    Why would there be an inspection? You can legally sell it to people who eat it w/o issue. It's tough to say LS what to charge. I have a similar outyard, I have one hive there currently, will increase to two, and I'm still debating whether that's worth it or not. The flow seems good up there though but to really maximize, I would need to bring strong hives in spring to capture the flow then move them later. I would ask them what they're willing to pay for your time and mileage and go from there.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Keno, OR
    Posts
    734

    Default Re: What would you charge? or how would you handle this?

    I was offered a similar deal and I did walk away from it. They don't understand how much it costs to maintain hives in addition to the equipment etc. Write it out to them, plus the time and they will see really fast that is is not feasible.
    Klamath Basin Beekeepers Association: www.klamathbeekeepers.org
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/kbbafb/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Hoadley, Alberta
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: What would you charge? or how would you handle this?

    Hard to make this worth your time, but the publicity might be something to take into consideration...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Branson, MO
    Posts
    547

    Default Re: What would you charge? or how would you handle this?

    I would charge them retail price for a quart, case at a time whether or not the honey came from the hives at the location. Label them location honey once you produce from those hives. If they don't buy enough honey remove the hives. Just make sure you have in writing that the hives are yours.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Houston, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    126

    Default Re: What would you charge? or how would you handle this?

    I would offer to set up their equipment as a consultant. Have a contract written up so that they assume all the risks and they get all of the produce from the hives. You can pitch it to them as their brand of honey. Only way I would get involved in a deal with another party.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Davie, Florida, USA
    Posts
    525

    Default Re: What would you charge? or how would you handle this?

    LSBees...This is actually quite feasible if they are willing to pay. Propose that they set you up as a subcontractor (non employee, but still able to use their facilities). You propose getting paid $ x.xx for each hive visit, and tell them you have to visit X times a month, and have a pre-negotiated rate per pound of harvested honey which you leave with them after each harvest. Pull the frames of honey, and crush & strain in their kitchen, (unless you have an extractor you can transport) you will then fall under the umbrella of their food safety licenses because you are operating in an approved commercial environment, avoiding any issues with the Board of Health. Could actually be a money maker for you if you set it up right! Got to think of all the rest though, as far as cover your tail when it comes to inability to "guarantee" the quantity of honey produced, etc. This sound any less daunting now? Plus make sure the honey is advertised perhaps like..."Our honey is produced on site by our beekeeper John Smith of LSBees, Carson City, NV" or something similar. I think it's exciting!!!

    Without saying too much here, I will just say I am in the culinary industry, and I don't mean McDonalds. I have seen similar situations. This is VERY do-able, as long as management knows what they are getting into, and are willing to pay for your services. Go for it!

    In Florida, we are confined by the Cottage food Laws....Don't know if that applies in NV.
    Last edited by Bees In Miami; 04-30-2013 at 04:12 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Madison, WI, USA
    Posts
    176

    Default Re: What would you charge? or how would you handle this?

    I would treat this like a CSA share. Charge a set price per hive per season for whatever honey the hive is able to produce. Assume new packages each year and a reasonable life of the equipment. I would avoid selling on a per pound basis or guaranteeing a set amount. It is an agricultural crop that is highly localized so some years will be better than others, some honey crops will taste different than others. Agree that you should use their already inspected kitchen to do your extraction.
    life is finite while knowledge is infinite. - Zhuang Zi

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,068

    Default Re: What would you charge? or how would you handle this?

    Selling to an individual is a WHOLE lot different than selling to a restaurant. I would imagine that an inspection would be warranted in this case. Would you eat something served at a restaurant that wasn't inspected JRG13?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Elmira, NY
    Posts
    937

    Default Re: What would you charge? or how would you handle this?

    If when you say you think it may be a good opportunity, LSBees, you mean a good business opportunity, I suggest you approach it as a straight business endeavor.

    Referrals that may or may not occur have no value.

    Referrals guaranteed in writing, or a commitment to purchase all the honey you produce up to a certain amount do.

    Your expenses are:
    Travel - time and transportation expense
    Hive production lost - (if it is your hive)...if it is, charge them a hive lease/rental fee
    Your time and materials while tending the hive onsite, as well as time consumed interacting with hotel staff.

    If all you charge for labor is a wage, and no profit for the business, you cheat the business and only have a part time job.

    I'd consider accurately estimating the average you will spend on each trip to service the hive, plus your cost to get there (time+trip cost), plus a profit for the business (you do want to continue making money of you are unable to service the account should you become injured or otherwise unavailable).

    Offer to lease them a hive (if they want you to place one of yours) for a set fee pepr month or part there of (eliminates negotiating proration of a seasonal lease should the decide to discontinue mid-season) plus a certain amount per service call, with a minimum schedule of calls.

    Be sure that they understand that that is a MINIMUM number of calls, and there will likely be more, due to the variable nature of agriculture -extra trip for queen release, swarm prevention calls and othe things that may or may not happen and don't occur on a schedule, but when needed must be done.

    Once they (and you) understand the expense of the enterprise, if you both decide proceeding is profitable, go for it.

    But if it is business, be sure to treat it as such and expect a profit from every hour nad dime you invest in it.

    If you are doing it for fun, no ome can tell you what to charge, because no one but you knows what you're willing to pay for the entertainment...it's an entirely different nature for the same activity.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Perth Western Australia
    Posts
    158

    Default Re: What would you charge? or how would you handle this?

    The bottom line , is it worth it for you.
    Considerations
    Can you get alternate sites closer.
    Can you market your honey at similar prices .

    Being on the roof takes a lot more effort

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    226

    Default Re: What would you charge? or how would you handle this?

    But whatever you charge don't forget to have them include a free meal before you leave

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Mendham, NJ
    Posts
    60

    Default Re: What would you charge? or how would you handle this?

    make them pay for all the equipt, bees, and your time, and your good. its a bee keeping service, there's money to be made if you dont mind the work

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Hartford, CT
    Posts
    597

    Default Re: What would you charge? or how would you handle this?

    Use their kitchen an give them 50% of X numbers of hives.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Rideau Lakes, Ontario, Canada.
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: What would you charge? or how would you handle this?

    Hi LSBees

    I already have a similar agreement with a restaurant food prep company and the deal that I have set up is that they pay for their entire hive set up - they are buying two complete hives with Nucs and they will get half the honey or a hive's worth and I will get to keep the other hive's worth of honey for my labour.

    The cost to me is my labour which I get paid for by a hive of honey.

    It is also VERY clearly stated that there are no guarantees in the beekeeping business with respect to honey production and/or honey production.

    Also any swarm prevention techniques such as splits etc are under my control and advice as the beekeeper.

    Hope this helps

    Stu

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Los Angeles, California, United States
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: What would you charge? or how would you handle this?

    Hi, I am in Los Angeles and have a couple of restaurant-owner "client hives" as well as 15 private residences with beehives that I manage for them. I approach this purely as an opportunity to sell my beekeeping skills, as well as to make some money in honey production which restaurants love. Figure out how many visits per year you think you need to keep that hive strong, healthy and workable. (My current number is 8 per year.) How long will you spend working the hive each visit on average? One hour is about right I think. What is your labor worth to you per hour? Whatever hourly rate you decide on for yourself, in this situation it would be optimal to tack a travel charge on to that. Obviously, even if your time as a beekeeper is worth $50 or $75 per hour, your time sitting in traffic is not going to be worth that much. But if they do want you, they will pay it and you will make money. Then, the time you spend crushing and straining or extractin honey is also worth some amount, but you must make up a proposal and lay it out for them.

    Good luck! Nothing like being paid for what you love to do!

    Ruth
    www.beecapture.com

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    8,419

    Default Re: What would you charge? or how would you handle this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom B View Post
    Agree that you should use their already inspected kitchen to do your extraction.
    If I was the restaurant owner I would never agree to that. Put one or two hives on the roof and sell the restaurant owner honey from all your hives. Consider the work involved in the roof top hives as advertisement for your brand.
    If you get into contracts all you will do is make lawyers rich.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Auburn, NY
    Posts
    426

    Default Re: What would you charge? or how would you handle this?

    One thing not mentioned yet that comes to mind is the location. Is there enough vegetation in the area to have a good honey crop? Would it be a good apiary site?? Good luck. I agree with those who say its an exciting opportunity.

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