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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Lakeland, FL USA
    Posts
    835

    Default Re: Gotta vent about customers' expectations of charges

    FWIW, I didn't charge the 97 year-old lady. The reason? I was talking to the head maintenance guy of the mobile home park when I picked up the bees at dusk from her home. I told him about the situation. He told me that if I cut her slack, he will - in turn - recommend me for multiple mobile home parks in that area. They are high-end homes for the most part. Retirees from up north.

    Anyhow, my wife wasn't amused. But I took it as a loss-leader. It will pay off in the long run.
    Ah, women.

    He probably would have recommended me anyhow, but I think my kindness made the deal sweeter in his mind.
    www.savebeesflorida.com (Honeybee removals and top bar hives)

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Hunt County, Texas
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Gotta vent about customers' expectations of charges

    Karma, PatBeek .
    I did a swarm removal from inside a tree of an older woman that kept kids for income. She was afraid that they would sting the kids and she would lose business. She said the same thing to me about referencing me. I didn't think anything about it at the time. One week later i got three calls and they all told me that that lady told them about me and wanted to pay me for their removals and needed to know the price. made $375 and 40 thousand bees that week.

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    lee county, fl, usa
    Posts
    906

    Default Re: Gotta vent about customers' expectations of charges

    Quote Originally Posted by pndwind View Post
    Unfortunately we have had a rash of "free bee removal" ads in craigslist over the last year or two. This adds to the belief that they are "doing us a favor".
    There's a craigslist ad right now in my area of someone doing it for free. Gave the ad number to a fellow who has repeatedly asked me to remove bees free from a bunker behind his house. I did them free only my first year of removals, or in certain circumstances I do for free. But I totally agree, lost count of people who talk like they are doing me a favor to offer me their free bees and I find it irritating. I get the same thing about honey--at work, certain people seem to think I should just give it away.
    Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Prvb 16:24
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Bloomfield,KY
    Posts
    284

    Default Re: Gotta vent about customers' expectations of charges

    We have a lot of free swarm removal ads on craigslist here too, there is even one offering to pay for swarms. There is an upswing in these ads due to many new beekeepers starting in the hobby in our area. When I first started beekeeping I did my first one for free with the thought of getting "free bees" in the forefront of my mind, being a carpenter I should have known better. It was 25 feet up and had been there for years. that was all it took for me to know I would not do them for free anymore.
    "Of all God's creatures, only the honeybee improves its environment and preys on no other species."--Haydon Brown

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    lee county, fl, usa
    Posts
    906

    Default Re: Gotta vent about customers' expectations of charges

    I do swarms for free--it's cut outs that I usually charge for.
    Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Prvb 16:24
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  6. #46
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,550

    Default Re: Gotta vent about customers' expectations of charges

    You should do one a year, free or otherwise. That way you remember how hard they are.

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,945

    Default Re: Gotta vent about customers' expectations of charges

    shannonswyatt.... I can live with that. One per year.

    I don't have any problem remembering why I quit doing them. But, I did do 2 this year. (Bye the way, both free).

    cchoganjr

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Lakeland, FL USA
    Posts
    835

    Default Re: Gotta vent about customers' expectations of charges

    .

    So here's a conversation with someone today via email who needed a bee removal.

    Them:
    Hello, I live in ______. I have a honeybee nest on a branch in my backyard. It is about as big as a basketball and i don't want to kill them. Can you help? Thanks. Steve
    Me:
    How long have they been there?
    Them:
    Patrick, they have been there about 3 months.
    Me:
    How high up?
    Them:
    Not high, i can cut the branch by standing on the ground although i am 6'5. I have a ladder and the branch is thin. I can cut it with my pruner.
    Me:
    Ok, sounds good. If you can wait til later in the week or the weekend, I can do it. But I have to charge since it's an established colony. Would you accept the charge of $150?
    Them:
    .................silence.......................... ..........no response.........................probably thinking I'm nuts.............................................. ......desperately trying to find someone to do it for free.................................not understanding too well that a bee suit is about 30 degrees hotter than with normal clothes on......................................thinking I would make bank on all that honey and bees............................could have negotiated the price down to as low as $75-$100.............................................. .........................................STILL HAS A BEE PROBLEM !!!!!!!!
    .
    www.savebeesflorida.com (Honeybee removals and top bar hives)

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,752

    Default Re: Gotta vent about customers' expectations of charges

    An awful lot of "swarms and cutouts" is communication and clarification. "A swarm in a tree" often turns out to be an well established colony in the hollow of the tree. A colony of bees often turns out to be a colony of yellow jackets. A swarm 10 feet up a tree often turns out to be 20 feet up the tree. A basketball size swarm is often a baseball sized swarm...

    If it's an actual swarm hanging in a tree, and I don't have to drive out of my way much to get there, I'll do that for free. If I have to drive very far, I would charge. It's likely to be gone when I get there anyway...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    3,178

    Default Re: Gotta vent about customers' expectations of charges

    I once had a person tell me that everyone else they called said they where filled up. They did not understand what that meant. I told them it meant all their equipment was full of bees already. I then explained to her that the equipment I was using to put the swarm in cost me $75. She turned a little white. Then I told her that by adding another $50 or so in equipment and supplies I would hopefully make something out of them. Her mouth fell open. I then mentioned it is almost impossible to keep bees long enough for them to make a profit. She handed me a $20 bill. It was sweet of her to try.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  11. #51
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,963

    Default Re: Gotta vent about customers' expectations of charges

    Swarms and cut outs can be complicated - add to that a state where if you are compensated for removing a pest you're supposed to have a license. So what do I do? I collect swarms and refer cutouts to people who know what they are doing, have the license, insurance, etc. I'm not so good a carpenter that you want me taking apart your house anyways. This is an area where there is a great deal of commercial pollination in May/June and some years there are many swarms. Dealing with swarms is part of a good neighbor policy. And where I was working at starting a bee club in this area - collecting swarms for free is good PR.

    The last swarm I collected I was on site for less than 10 minutes - most of that spent talking with the home owner. It was a foggy morning and the bees were clustered on a branch maybe four feet off the ground. One snip and I carried the branch and cluster to a box at my truck. I could see the donor hive (belonging to a commercial pollinator) in the blueberry field next door.
    Last edited by Andrew Dewey; 08-13-2014 at 08:03 AM.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  12. #52
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Ft Myers, Fl 33967
    Posts
    186

    Default Re: Gotta vent about customers' expectations of charges

    I have had a couple of similar experiences with people that do not want to pay when the bill is presented. I merely tell that I cannot take their bees away if they do not want to pay. I then tell them that I have to return their bees and that their kitchen will be a good place to dump them out of my box.
    Once I actually got in the door with a box of bees in my hands before they started screaming at me. I made them go to the bank and get cash with an extra $25 added to the bill for"collection services". They did call me a lot of nasty things but I got my money. I probably won't get many referrals from them.

  13. #53
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Little Rock, AR, USA
    Posts
    51

    Default Re: Gotta vent about customers' expectations of charges

    Here in Arkansas, if you are going to charge to remove bees, you have to have a license. Very few beekeepers bother to get the license, so most removals are done by exterminators or wildlife removal people.


    I have done a few trapouts from trees (thank you Mr. Hogan for the advice) for some people that could not have paid for the removal and would have just poisoned them.

    I did a cutout for a guy that built his own house...let us mess stuff up and he fixed it.

    For the past few years, I have been cyphering on a very strong colony with an entrance between siding and brick in the house of my boss. With my lack of siding and masonry skills, I have opted for discretion as the better part of valor.

    I have learned a lot with every removal I have done.

    If they offer to pay, I suggest they give to a local charity (if they choose to give to the charity for whom I work, all the better).

    I think if I could charge, I would probably still do it for free and only for those who I determined were in need. If I did remodeling, it would be a different story.

    Heck, if I started making money on bees, I would not know how to act.
    Trying very hard not to kill the bees faster than they can reproduce.

  14. #54
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Brookville, PA
    Posts
    206

    Default Re: Gotta vent about customers' expectations of charges

    I just recently had a good "cutout" over the weekend.

    The local pest control company called me Friday morning to tell me there was a swarm on the window of a house in a town a 1/2 hour away. I asked the usual questions in verifying it was a swarm and not bees living IN the house. The guy from the pest control company said "It's a swarm on their cellar window." I asked how high and he told me I would have to be on my knees to get it.

    I made a quick dash from work, went home to get equipment (a swarm in late August who would have thought?) and headed to the house. It's a good thing for GPS!!!

    I get there and sure enough the bees are clustered in a cellar window area (well, the window was covered with plywood), but a window area none the less. I scooped up what I could of the cluster and dumped them into my hive. They seemed very happy to spread out on the drawn comb and stayed in the box so assumed I got the queen. I tried to get more of the cluster that remained on the window sill and finally decided I would just have to leave the hive there and pick it up the following evening.

    I return the following evening to open up my hive to find - NO BEES. There was still a cluster at the top of the window sill, but I noticed some around the edges of the plywood. The cluster wasn't as big as it had been so I figured part of the swarm was now behind the plywood. The homeowner wasn't home, so I took my hive and left and would call the following day.

    I called the homeowner the following day and told him that apparently the swarm had moved behind the plywood, and in order for me to get them, I needed his permission to remove the plywood. "Do what you need to do."

    I returned the following day (third trip now) along with my bee vac. I remove the plywood and find some of the swarm on the window but the majority of it on the other side of the glass. The window had two panes and the left pane had been broken (hence the plywood) and the bees had used the break in the glass to get to the other side of the glass and near the plastic insulation. I got permission from the homeowner to break the remaining pane to guarantee I got all of them and sucked up all the bees (other than a few which were hiding in the cracks (maybe 20 or so).

    When they asked how much I charged, I told them I didn't normally charge for swarms, but with making 3 trips, I would be happy to be reimbursed for gas. The guy handed me $160.00 of which I kept $40, and handed the remaining $120.00 back to him. (I was happy with the gas reimbursement, plus the guy was on disability.) Besides, he might need some of that $120.00 for a call out charge from the pest company - I would assume they charge some kind of call out charge.

    But I thought it was nice for someone to try to pay me more than I what I wanted. So there are SOME people that understand that we are providing a service.

  15. #55
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,146

    Default Re: Gotta vent about customers' expectations of charges

    Quote Originally Posted by Sharpbees View Post
    I remove any stinging insects without chemicals.
    How do you do that Sharpbees?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

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