Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 53
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,453

    Default Closed to the public?

    I have been mulling this one for a few years now. We have always allowed people to saunter in to visit or check out our facility, perhaps with an empty jar in hand for us to fill. As busy as we are I always take the time to smile, chat and give a brief tour. Often they are our local landowners who we treat as honored guests. Had an elderly lady come in the other day, nearly slip and fall on the wet floor. Add in the bees, forklifts, the car that parks out front right where we load and unload our trucks and it gets to be more and more of a concern and annoyance. I've been considering posting signs warning off the general public but hate to be seen as being unfriendly. Any thoughts?
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Suffolk, NY, USA
    Posts
    604

    Default Re: Closed to the public?

    Tough one Jim. Sometimes it is a PITA for me to 'entertain' my customers but I do, smile, and in the end I feel good about it.

    Maybe for your operation a designated parking area, predetermined area to conduct your tour with some areas off limits, maybe even set times where visitors are welcome would be helpful.
    There seems to be an enormous value in this 'show and tell' stuff that i can't quantify. I do know that for weeks after the my tour people are still talking about it and a connection to me and the bees has been made. They tell others who tell others. It's become terrific PR for me and a strong sense of community has been developed. All this has been the unintentional consequences of me not just running people off.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Maricopa, Ariz, USA
    Posts
    90

    Default Re: Closed to the public?

    I would imagine your insurance company would frown on the practice now. The "Chain of Custody" laws already exist but I don't know how they would ever enforce them. I'd close the doors and use insurance as the excuse……"Employees Only Beyond This Point" works great.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Caledonia,michigan
    Posts
    78

    Default Re: Closed to the public?

    That is a really tough call, From my point of view being open to the public makes you look honest,friendly with nothing to hide and someone I want to do business with.
    Downside it leaves you open for problems if someone gets hurt.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,336

    Default Re: Closed to the public?

    If you put up a sign, it might be helpful if someone did get hurt and tried to sue and if you sense some danger because of current situations (like honey on the floor) you have a bit more of a reason to point out the danger and ask them with more civility because it's the "rule" not something personal...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,111

    Default Re: Closed to the public?

    Put up a warning sign (or several) and if someone gets hurt and sues - that is what insurance is for. If it is within safety standards for your employees then you are not guilty of negligence. Could you get sued? Of course you could, but you could get sued by an employee too. Despite our worse fears Most people are not inclined to sue just because they had a clumsy moment.

    Also I believe that almost anyone is far less likely to take action if they have signed a waiver, so you could hang a clipboard of waivers at the door (next to the sign) and declare that EVERYONE must sign. Also I have noticed some signs lately that say "THIS sign is your contract which you accept by entering.". Who knows if it holds up, but it probably makes it less likely for an ambulance chaser to take a case on contingency.

    They should make a big I ACCEPT button that you have to push to open a door - like every corporate website in the world uses as a digital contract binder.

    Sometimes We invest too much time and energy in worrying about being ready for the worse case scenario which rarely ever happens.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,377

    Default Re: Closed to the public?

    Bump your liability rider up to 5-10 million making sure it contains a clear "agricultural tourist and farm stand sales" provision and you "should" be covered.

    My guess is that it will cost you up to 4 or 5 barrels a year for you to have a little piece of mind and continue inviting people in.

    Anyone grossing over a million a year owning that many hives needs to do so for a clear cut CYA!!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Maricopa, Ariz, USA
    Posts
    90

    Default Re: Closed to the public?

    Quote Originally Posted by David LaFerney View Post
    Sometimes We invest too much time and energy in worrying about being ready for the worse case scenario which rarely ever happens.
    True enough, however, just once will make a lifelong impression……..speaking from experience.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,663

    Default Re: Closed to the public?

    Darn. Now I'm need to change my travel plans... I guess I can still see Mount Rushmore.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Black Forest, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    50

    Default Re: Closed to the public?

    Colorado recently passed an "agrutourism" liability law. Don't know if your state has such a law, but worth looking into. If you have such a law, then scheduling visitation times as an agritourism event and posting a disclaimer (or printing it on a handout) might offer some protection, much like the signs we have at equestrian facilities. Here is a clip from our law:

    "an activity instructor or equipment provider or facility person shall not be civilly liable for an injury to or the death of a participant resulting from the inherent risks of agricultural recreation activities performed or conducted on or in a facility. A participant or a participant's representative may not make any claim against, maintain an action against, or recover from an activity instructor or equipment provider or facility person for injury, loss, damage, or death of the participant resulting from any of the inherent risks of agricultural recreation activities performed or conducted on or in a facility."

    You can read the whole Colorado statute at http://www.lpdirect.net/casb/crs/13-20-1004.html

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    572

    Default Re: Closed to the public?

    Perhaps you could pick a time that you would like/prefer visitors and put signs up that say that the public is welcome during those hours. Something along the lines of "Open to the public Saturdays 10-4". That seems a bit more positive than any sort of keep away sign. When it comes to civil litigation, you really can't have too many warning signs.
    Adam - Zone 5A
    www.adamshoney.com

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,111

    Default Re: Closed to the public?

    Quote Originally Posted by dback View Post
    True enough, however, just once will make a lifelong impression……..speaking from experience.
    I agree. As they say "been there, done that." Can't live in eternal fear because of a bad experience though. Prudence not paranoia.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    2,026

    Default Re: Closed to the public?

    As a Chef this was a constant internal struggle I had. On one hand I was proud of the kitchen, the staff and the products we produced, I understood the value of giving a tour to those genuinely interested. On the other hand commercial kitchen are slippery and hot filled with things to cut yourself on or burn yourself with. The crew is focused on plates, moves at breakneck speed, the language is colorful and the atmosphere can be down right terrifying to an outsider.

    Part of the solution in part was to schedule events in the kitchen. Chef Tables, where a table was placed directly in the center of the kitchen and each Chef prepared, presented a course. Cooking classes for adults or kids on slow days.

    I also trained several people on a standard tour to give tours if we had a last minute request. This tour kept people out of the fray and included an introduction of every person encountered with a description of their value to the kitchen. Everyone was sent home with a gift.

    I see one Beekeeper has a fill your own jar day complete with tours and activities. I'd suggest inviting everyone you'd like to host for an "Evening in the Honey House", dinner, employee rewards, tour , movie or local entertainment, seperate kids activities etc. Apologize there for limiting hour to public, mention insurance etc.

    Maybe a pre-planned tour complete with gift would simplify everything. Example: Station 1-4, gift honey bottle and "hey come outside ( where I have a safe spot to stage my thanks for coming goodbye) I can't wait to show you my new ......"

    Or,

    Insist everyone that visits takes home a free cat!
    Last edited by Mbeck; 08-05-2014 at 02:34 PM.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    fort shaw, montana, usa
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Closed to the public?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mbeck View Post
    Insist everyone that visits takes home a free cat!
    Lol do you have a feline infestation also??

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,304

    Default Re: Closed to the public?

    Lol do you have a feline infestation also??

    Me too. I tell honey customers " We are having a special today. A free kitten with every jar of honey purchased!" Funny how fast most folks leave.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Campbell River, BC, CA
    Posts
    530

    Default Re: Closed to the public?

    Quote Originally Posted by Honey-4-All View Post
    Bump your liability rider up to 5-10 million making sure it contains a clear "agricultural tourist and farm stand sales" provision and you "should" be covered.

    My guess is that it will cost you up to 4 or 5 barrels a year for you to have a little piece of mind and continue inviting people in.
    When we bought our new place, time to get insurance was of the essence, so we just went with the same company we had the old house insured with. In going over options with the agent, customers on the premises was a sticky one, and, turned out to be a very expensive thing to cover, so we declined that, and just decided we would not allow customers on the premises, at all. That precluded even doing gate sales.

    As time to renew rolled around, my wife spent a bit of time shopping for a better policy. The agency that provides the policy thru the BC Honey Producers Association was one stop on the shopping list, since we already had a policy thru them via BCHPA to cover bee liability, and forest fire liability for bee yards in the bush. In the end, we got a much better policy, that has specific clauses for agricultural related customers on site, be it for gate sales or whatever. To top it all off, not only did we get a better policy, it worked out to be about $500 a year cheaper. You may not have to sacrifice those barrels, if you shop around some, we didn't sacrifice anything, came out ahead on the deal.

    My wife is thrilled, not only did she save some on the insurance, now she can do gate sales. Personally, I was thrilled with the old policy, that specifically excluded 'customers on the premises', but I'm an old curmudgeon, and hate dealing directly with those hideous things called customers. I've spent a lifetime building businesses that put 2 more more layers of people between me and customers, just so I dont have to do that.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Sedgwick Co. KS
    Posts
    171

    Default Re: Closed to the public?

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackForestBees View Post
    Colorado recently passed an "agrutourism" liability law. Don't know if your state has such a law, but worth looking into. If you have such a law, then scheduling visitation times as an agritourism event and posting a disclaimer (or printing it on a handout) might offer some protection, much like the signs we have at equestrian facilities. Here is a clip from our law:

    "an activity instructor or equipment provider or facility person shall not be civilly liable for an injury to or the death of a participant resulting from the inherent risks of agricultural recreation activities performed or conducted on or in a facility. A participant or a participant's representative may not make any claim against, maintain an action against, or recover from an activity instructor or equipment provider or facility person for injury, loss, damage, or death of the participant resulting from any of the inherent risks of agricultural recreation activities performed or conducted on or in a facility."

    You can read the whole Colorado statute at http://www.lpdirect.net/casb/crs/13-20-1004.html
    How does this liability law work if there is some of your legal 'weed' thrown into the mix by either employee or guest?

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Black Forest, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    50

    Default Re: Closed to the public?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim KS View Post
    How does this liability law work if there is some of your legal 'weed' thrown into the mix by either employee or guest?
    Well, since my full time job doesn't allow for that kind of activity... no "weed" here! Besides, can't have the bees going to "those kind of plants." They would be too high on their approach back to the hive and fly right over it and miss.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,610

    Default Re: Closed to the public?

    I have friends that are open top the public only on Thursdays. There is a sign on their front door stating so and they set that time aside so they are prepared to accommodate them. You might want to consider doing something similar. And do that on a day that you set aside to not extract.

    That or have an observation window. I worked on a Dairy Farm that had an observation window so people who wanted to see how it was done could see it and not be in the same room as the work being done.
    Mark Berninghausen To combat Ebola, please consider supporting http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org


  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Salem, Oregon
    Posts
    963

    Default Re: Closed to the public?

    Well, it looks like I am going to be kind of a stand out from the pack on this subject.

    Our driveway is 1/4 mile long from the highway.
    We have a vertical lift security gate THAT IS ALWAYS CLOSED AND LOCKED, 24 hours 365.
    http://www.sun-power.com/

    Our gate is never open, just to be open.
    Family and employees have remotes, certain (very, very few) friends have the code for the key pad.
    Nobody steps foot on our property without calling first.
    In 24 years of running this operation we have had exactly 2 people jump the fence and walk up to the compound unannounced.
    They do not have good memories of that day.

    Our property is not "open house".
    Where did it ever become the rule that if you are a beekeeper, your operation is Disneyland?
    We work hard all day, often away from home. (gate closed and locked)
    If we find a day here and there to quietly take a day and work in the garden (gate closed and locked) or have close friends over for dinner (gate closed and locked) bale hay in the front field (gate closed and locked)
    THE LAST THING that we want is tourists poking their noses into our world.

    We sell nothing from our home base.
    We pollinate crops and sell honey all at away locations.

    I read the posts in this thread and ask myself; why put up with all the goofy nonsense?
    Have you ever asked yourself, "Why?"

    If you are tired of disruption and poor time management, I suggest taking charge of your property and your life and setting boundries.
    1) All visitors must call first and visit only by invitation or appointment. This includes relatives, friends, whomever.
    2) Gate the property. Gate is always closed and locked.
    3) Answering machine on all phone lines.

    Now, some of you are probably reading this and thinking, "Boy, this guy is really private."
    Here is my response:
    If you want to be a jack-in-the-box, that is your choice.
    Time management is tough enough without having hours sucked out for pure nonsense.

    O.K.
    I'm ready for my whipping......
    I have exactly ONE hive more than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond question.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads