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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    Sarasota, FL
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    1

    Default Compensation - Grower or Beekeeper (Pollinator)?

    I am a native plant nursery manager who is considering allowing someone who approached me to place their hives on my land. Generally speaking, in this type of situation, what is the standard agreement between the 2 parties regarding compensation, whether it be honey or money? Since the beekeeper approached us regarding placing their hives on our property, should he compensate the grower in some way, whether it be a percentage of honey from hives or monetarily, or should the grower compensate the beekeeper? If someone could let me know if they been in this situation, your insight would be greatly appreciated.

    My opinion is that we should be getting a percentage of the honey. We did not ask this person to place his hives on the property for pollination. We haven't had hives on the property for the last 30yrs and the plants have been pollinated by native bees.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    2,691

    Default Re: Compensation - Grower or Beekeeper (Pollinator)?

    Sounds reasonable to me. Just keep in mind you may be benefitting from it, but unless you're needing pollination for seed production and it's already being met to an acceptable level by native pollinators I would probably lean towards being compensated with a portion of the honey made if any.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Posts
    295

    Default Re: Compensation - Grower or Beekeeper (Pollinator)?

    I can only tell you what I've seen others do around here. There are multiple scenarios.

    1. Hives at location for pollination services. The grower pays the beekeeper to place hives at their location when pollinating orchards or berry farms (blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, etc)

    2. Hives are located at a general vegetable farm or large tract of land. A company here does so with the agreement that the landowner gets somewhere like 10% of the honey harvest.

    3. Hives are located at a location. Beekeeper gets the honey and the owner gets pollination. Beekeeper takes care of the bees. Seems to be called "hosting".

    I'm sure others will chime in.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    1,917

    Default Re: Compensation - Grower or Beekeeper (Pollinator)?

    It seems that you don't see a benifit to having bees so the ball is in the beekeepers court. Don't be surprised if he will not offer you anything or just a small amount of honey. I'm not sure if your location holds any special value for him but finding spots where people will host hives for free is easy.

    It's your land so you can ask what you feel is fair. I would think that the native plant crowd might be a great group to sell bees or honey to, so maybe you can work something out.

    I could be wrong maybe for what ever reason that is where the beekeeper wants to keep bees and will offer $ for the spot. Do you have lots of Brazilian pepper?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    965

    Default Re: Compensation - Grower or Beekeeper (Pollinator)?

    Where I am, finding yards to place bees in for free is not difficult, and I'd have to have a pretty good reason (like acres of locust or basswood forest covering the property) to agree to pay for a beeyard.

    I do make a gift (not of obligation, but goodwill) of honey in yards to the owners.

    Where on land where plants benefiting from the bees' pollination is being grown, the owners are usually pleased to have the bees there without charge.

    Personally, I think what the members of this forum think concerning your business with the beekeeper are irrelevant.

    It is he whom you should be talking to about the matter.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Compensation - Grower or Beekeeper (Pollinator)?

    I'd suggest that you try to find an arrangement where you both are happy with it, and agree to revisit it from year to year. You very well could benefit from his bees, perhaps as much as he will benefit from your crops. if you don't see a benefit in your business and the bees prove to be an inconvenience then charge him enough to make it worth keeping them around. over the years I've always tried to strike an agreement where both parties benefit and feel the deal is fair, but we review them as needed and change to keep them balanced.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Ka'u Hawaii
    Posts
    169

    Default Re: Compensation - Grower or Beekeeper (Pollinator)?

    Huge number of variables here: how many hives, how often he visits, and value of location (and availability of other sites locally). Also security and ease of access to the site (bee thieves).

    10% of crop seems very steep to me, but I always give the landowner some honey--5#, a gallon, seldom more than 5 gallons.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Lexington, SC, USA
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Compensation - Grower or Beekeeper (Pollinator)?

    Sounds to me that - since you don't "need or want" the pollination, it is just a matter of allowing the beekeeper to rent a portion of your property to keep bees. So, whatever rent is acceptable to both of you. Free rent, some payment in $ or Honey, whatever...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Spanish Fork, UT, USA
    Posts
    373

    Default Re: Compensation - Grower or Beekeeper (Pollinator)?

    If the beekeeper approached you about putting hives in your property than he would need to compensate you. I always pay each land owner, where I keep bees, one case of honey (30 lbs) each fall.

    I work with several orchard growers that request hives moved in each spring and they pay me per hive for pollination services.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Plymouth County, MA, USA
    Posts
    123

    Default Re: Compensation - Grower or Beekeeper (Pollinator)?

    I think it's an issue of understanding what impact they'd have. In some cases, having bees can increase yields considerably. There was an Australian study which showed increases of apple yields up to 60% from having bee pollinators. You could very well find that a lot of your crops see 25-50% increases, depending on how many bees he places. Perhaps that's optimistic - I don't pollinate. But that's a serious potential benefit. In addition, if he can put them out of the way, and it isn't bothering you, the question of why bother with compensation comes up (to me).

    But there again, it's your land, it's your farm, it's your business. But I'd think it could be a potential benefit for you to have them there. As for compensating HIM - if he wanted to go into professional pollination, he could draw up contracts and do that - there are always farmers who are looking for that. It doesn't sound like that's what he's doing, so no, I don't think you owe him anything either.

    I would echo what others said earlier - if you're up for it, let him keep them there for a year or two, and reevaluate. Draw up a contract removing any liability for you having them there, and that comes up with some solution for watering them (bees need water, and you probably don't want to be liable for that either) and which allows him to come onto your land solely for the purpose of checking the hives. Doesn't have to be fancy.

    And, honestly, bees are harmless. I don't think you have too much to worry about with them. Just make sure he has somewhere to put them that's on the north side of your fields. Bees, leaving the hive, gravitate towards the sun. Having the bees to the north means even if they don't immediately want what you've planted there for forage, they have to travel over it to get to other things - and they're more likely to pollinate it.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,018

    Default Re: Compensation - Grower or Beekeeper (Pollinator)?

    Quote Originally Posted by FLNativeGrower View Post
    My opinion is that we should be getting a percentage of the honey.
    Well OK. But what if you spray something on your plants and kills his bees. Will you compensate?

    Most likely if he approached you he would be willing to give you some honey but looking at it as an opportunity to cash in is probably not going to go too far. What if he approaches your competitor and you lose the opportunity?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Browns, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: Compensation - Grower or Beekeeper (Pollinator)?

    I definitely think you should not pay anything to him. He did the asking. As far as compensation goes, as some have said before, if he abides by your landowner rules it is to your benefit.
    If the hives aren't in your way
    He only comes on the property to check bees
    He doesn't rut up the ground when wet
    Etc.

    If I were doing it I most definitely would come to you bringing gifts. Some form of honey, christmas ham, money, etc.
    As a landowner myself I appreciate it when people act like they are thankful. We allow people to hunt deer on our property. We have some who bring gifts for our kids, they always take care of the land (better than me at times), and are very pleasant to be around. There are others (who have been told to stay off our land) who tore up our field roads, ran other people off our land, were rude to us in town, and invited every long lost cousin to hunt the ground as well. I don't ask for the gifts, payment or anything else, however, their attitude makes it very easy for me to decide who is in and who is out. This is my main criteria.
    As Grandma says "Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me"

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    Posts
    131

    Default Re: Compensation - Grower or Beekeeper (Pollinator)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Well OK. But what if you spray something on your plants and kills his bees. Will you compensate?
    +1 to this. Or.... If you want a specific percentage of honey, will you also contribute an equal percentage of costs of equipment, livestock, feed and medicine? Will you contribute an equal percentage of labor time?

    Most people tend to give a 5lbs jug of honey to land owners as a thanks, with the understanding that if they want any more, just ask. 5lbs is WAY more than most people can use. Did you have other plans for the honey from his hives?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Citrus County, Florida, United States
    Posts
    258

    Default Re: Compensation - Grower or Beekeeper (Pollinator)?

    @FLNativeGrower

    If you don't "need" the bees and desire compensation, then I suppose it's up to the beekeeper to either say yes or no to your request for compensation. But, you should also consider yourself in a VERY GOOD spot right now and not overlook some "out of the box" type proposals. If you want greenbacks, I'd probably say good luck and maybe you've got a beek that has more money than sense on your hands and is willing to lease the land outright.

    BUT, I would also emphasize the fact that you may have an incredible opportunity at hand as well. I currently have hives at a vineyard. The vineyard doesn't get any direct pollination benefit from these bees, BUT, what this very entrepreneurial vineyard operator does get is a very trendy and ecologically friendly business profile. This is HUGE perception positive to his customer base, fits into his "natural" cultivation profile and is unique in his niche since no other vineyard operators have hives(differentiation). The deeper business relationship we have working is in devising a cover cropping system for his peripheral, idle land and edges that will both improve his soil profiles AND provide ample bee/local pollinator forage. This is a win-win situation where he is willing to pay for the seed and I will help with the planting and in exchange he is going to get a honey SHARE from the crop at the expense of my labor. This honey crop share will be used by him to make specialty mead honey wine, a nice value-added product which further differentiates his vineyard from the rest.

    Right now, having bees on property has so many extra business benefits in public perception, marketing and actual products that pollination isn't really even a factor. Lastly, push the beek a little on their overall bee knowledge and consider asking if he/she is willing to perhaps do on-site public outreach or education for a field day at your nursery. If the beek is smart this proposal should open up opportunity for them as well. There are so many creative things that can be done with bees that are win/win which make direct compensation just about a moot point. The key is having the right people in the deal that are willing to actually make things happen. Good luck and I hope it all works out for the BOTH of you.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
    Posts
    740

    Default Re: Compensation - Grower or Beekeeper (Pollinator)?

    Of course, it is your land so you can grant or deny access to anyone you want for any reason, but I find it odd that a plant nursery wouldn't be more eager to embrace bees as part of their business of producing plants. Especially since this guy would place the bees on an unused section of your land and do all the work to maintain them. Even if the bees only enhanced production (more or bigger blooms due to the pollination provided by the bees) by as little as a few percent, it would all be free. To charge this guy seems shortsighted. Are there really enough native pollinators that honey bees wouldn't be the least bit helpful?
    Last edited by shinbone; 06-28-2013 at 09:21 AM.
    --shinbone
    (3rd year, 14 hives, Zone 5b, 5400 ft, 15.8" annual rainfall)

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Pinellass County, Florida
    Posts
    1,105

    Default Re: Compensation - Grower or Beekeeper (Pollinator)?

    We haven't had hives on the property for the last 30yrs and the plants have been pollinated by native bees.
    Yeah,OK !

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