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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,842

    Default Re: Gotta vent about customers' expectations of charges

    Quote Originally Posted by pndwind View Post
    Life is not all about money but unfortunately the power company will not accept payment in bees.
    Very true, however, I don't know anyone who relies on bee removals to pay their power bills. You would be watching television in the dark, if you relied on bee removals in this area. I dare say, to most, it is a way to augment their other revenue producing endeavors. (Their day job).

    I am not against payment for removals. Have charged for lots of them. I just wanted to let people know, there are also a lot of "good" reasons not to charge for a removal.

    To charge, or not to charge, is a personal decision.

    cchoganjr
    Last edited by Cleo C. Hogan Jr; 08-07-2014 at 09:59 AM.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts
    1,316

    Default Re: Gotta vent about customers' expectations of charges

    I wonder how impressed folks would be if you charged "x" for "removal". You remove the bees into a cardboard box, charge for the "removal" and leave them the bees to deal with...explaining if they don't deal with them quickly they return to the original space. Then offer to take off the premise at no fee
    Janne....first hives April 2013, 19 hives, treat, plant zone 8b, at sea level, latitude 49.13, longitude 123.06

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,842

    Default Re: Gotta vent about customers' expectations of charges

    wvbc.. Good one... I like that approach. Charge for the cutout, remove from the premise for free.

    Only problem might be, they take the bees, then call someone and sell them the bees. HA!!!

    cchoganjr

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts
    1,316

    Default Re: Gotta vent about customers' expectations of charges

    Quote Originally Posted by Cleo C. Hogan Jr View Post
    wvbc.. Good one... I like that approach. Charge for the cutout, remove from the premise for free.

    Only problem might be, they take the bees, then call someone and sell them the bees. HA!!!

    cchoganjr
    That would be their option...you got the money for the cut out. If bummed because they took the bees perhaps they are right in putting value on those bees and honey
    Janne....first hives April 2013, 19 hives, treat, plant zone 8b, at sea level, latitude 49.13, longitude 123.06

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Brookville, PA
    Posts
    205

    Default Re: Gotta vent about customers' expectations of charges

    There is a beekeeper in our club who does cutouts for free. From my understanding, he gets quite a few calls and I've even given him two different "jobs" I wanted to pass up - both involving trees that were down on the ground from storms. I think he is retired, and I guess just likes to work with bees for something to do.

    There are also beekeepers in our club who won't even capture a swarm. They will if it's on their property or their neighbor's property - because they think it is their bees - but otherwise they don't bother to collect them for fear of disease or problems. They would rather do a split if they need more bees.

    One guy where I picked up a swarm had said about a beekeeper charging the neighbor for taking bees out of the wall of a camp. I tried to tell him that with the price of gas, wear and tear on your vehicle, spending hours on doing a cutout - and there is still no guarantee you get a liveable hive - or one who won't abscond. He still seemed to think with all the "free" bees plus all the "free" honey, the beekeeper should be happy to do it free.

    And Cleo does have a point - helping out the low income who can't afford a removal or some of the other examples he gave, it does get your name out there in the public which could result in a lot more swarm calls.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Stillwell, KS
    Posts
    647

    Default Re: Gotta vent about customers' expectations of charges

    I've found it works best to always quote the total job so there are no surprises when finished. I know I lose a job now and then upfront to somebody cheaper, but I hardly ever have any issues getting paid.

    Don

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,842

    Default Re: Gotta vent about customers' expectations of charges

    D Semple is right. A good understanding, on the part of the beekeeper and home owner, will help prevent problems. I never had a problem with collecting for a job I did.

    I did feel badly a couple of times, when I had to remove more structure than I thought I would have to remove, to get to them, but, bees are not always where you think they will be. Best example of this was the Willie Page Estate house. New owners thought the bees had just moved in recently. I though, easy job. In reality, the colony had obviously been there for years. The comb was over 9 feet long, and completely filled the 2 foot void between studs in the wall. (The old Colonial House had 10 ft. ceilings.) I made 6 colonies from the bees.

    The bee vac has been a real boom to cutouts. I bought my first one in 2001, and it worked great. Prior to that it was cut comb and shake bees into a box, or, tie comb and bees into a frame.

    Many years ago, I loved doing cut outs. Actually I still do, but, now days, I just don't have the time to fool with them, and will only do one under one of the situations I outlined in post above. I don't do any where I would charge for doing it. It is a great way for a new beekeeper to learn a lot about bees.

    cchoganjr

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    Posts
    51

    Default Re: Gotta vent about customers' expectations of charges


  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Pleasant Shade, TN
    Posts
    445

    Default Re: Gotta vent about customers' expectations of charges

    People wanting Beekeepers to pay for doing cut outs or doing them for free really isn't that surprising. It is a side effect that comes with all the media publicity about the "demise" of the honey bee and how high of a demand there is for pollinators.
    My opinion is if someone calls about a honeybee "problem", but they want you, the service provider, to pay for fixing their "problem" or fixing it for free, then it really ain't a PROBLEM.
    Last edited by TalonRedding; 08-07-2014 at 04:11 PM. Reason: Correction
    A man is worth just as much as the things about which he busies himself- Marcus Aurelius

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Lee,AL,USA
    Posts
    83

    Default Re: Gotta vent about customers' expectations of charges

    Quote Originally Posted by TalonRedding View Post
    if someone calls about a honeybee "problem", but they want you, the service provider, to pay for fixing their "problem" or fixing it for free, then it really ain't a PROBLEM.
    Well said.
    No ma'am that's not my bee, all my bees are branded.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,842

    Default Re: Gotta vent about customers' expectations of charges

    TalonRedding.. Agree..

    xroads... He never does say if it is free, or, if he charges for his services. I could not tell, but, I would bet he gets some takers.

    cchoganjr

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Casey, Il, USA
    Posts
    1,089

    Default Re: Gotta vent about customers' expectations of charges

    I have only done 2 both were free both had survived over winter and easy to get too. I don't deal with ladders and if it involved one I would probably pass. I also let them know up front I am not a carpenter so it would be up to them to put it back together, both took less than 2 hrs and less than 10 miles away , I don't feel slighted in the least bit for the ammount of bees I got for the minimal work and both homeowners were very pleased. In my opinion I'd rather spend 2 hrs that probably would have been spent in front of the boob tube and a few bucks in gas for8 to 10 lbs of bees that might abscond as apposed to $130 package that might do the same.

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Panama City, Florida, USA
    Posts
    562

    Default Re: Gotta vent about customers' expectations of charges

    I do cut outs for a fee. I quote a minimum price that I charge no matter the complexity of the job. The minimum covers the first 4 hours involved (which includes travel time). If it is less than 4 hours then they pay the minimum, if it goes over 4 hours then I charge an hourly fee. As I discuss this with them I do tell them there are others that may do it for free, but that I do a professional service and charge for it. If they want to use someone that is free I will refer them to some other keepers that may do it or not. One thing I always am sure to mention is that a lot of times the bees are not where someone may think they are. I remove just a little of the structure as possible and damage the structure as little as possible and in a way that is easiest to repair. I can't say that others are as knowledgeable or skilled at demolition and that I will never attempt a removal that involves disturbing structural elements of the structure. (any jackleg can cut em out with a chainsaw... I usually spend as much time determining where the bees are and removing non-structural items as I do removing the bees. Then I put something in the cavity to discourage the return of other bees.

    There is a lot more to good bee removals than just getting the bees. And in this as everything else, you sometimes get what you pay for. A free removal that costs an additional $500.00 or so in structure repairs, was it really free?

    This is discussed up front and if they want to use someone else then I will refer them. If they start to negotiate or talk about free bees, I reiterate my pricing and let them decide.

    I will do special cases for free. Normally for those that are repeat honey customers or simply really economically unable to pay. This is done case by case at my discretion. Free simple removals done for repeat customers I feel are a good public relations decision.

    Funniest call I had was a guy that had caught a swarm in a bucket. They had flown out once and he re-caught them. They were building comb in the bucket and he wanted to know if I wanted them. It was a 30 mile round trip, then he mentions that he heard bees are worth something and wants me to pay $50.00 for them. I passed on that one....

    Then there is the guy that wanted me to remove the bees since he did not want to kill them.... I talked on and on, only to say, well, he had sprayed them with a can of wasp&hornet killer, poured kerosene in the entrance and was currently trying to freeze them out by piping his air conditioning into the cavity...so much for not wanting to kill them. The liability of doing that job seemed way to high. No way would I do that one.
    Last edited by jbeshearse; 08-07-2014 at 09:32 PM.

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    St. Petersburg, fl, USA
    Posts
    186

    Default Re: Gotta vent about customers' expectations of charges

    About half the calls I get are people who think that I will come spend two or three hours sweating my tail off for free. I explain to them that I can make another hive for a lot less effort and not get dirty, that the honey I get from their bees I would not feel comfortable selling. I also tell them that there is a extra charge if there is evidence the bees have been sprayed.. I usually get more paying jobs than I can easily do so the cheap skates keep looking. When we first started out we did several free to get experience and because it was fun. It is still fun but it also takes time away from other things plus it helps pay for things like going to bee college and EAS.

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Polk Co, Oregon, USA
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: Gotta vent about customers' expectations of charges

    I do them for free for friends, family or under special circumstance. If someone starts talking about the value of the bees, I explain I can buy the same quantity of bees for fifty dollars locally and can't/won't sell the honey. They get the idea pretty quick.

    I have had one experience where a person watched me do a cut out and asked me to do one for her but then told me she wanted to keep the bees. I explained how to do a trap out and wished her luck.

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    Posts
    51

    Default Re: Gotta vent about customers' expectations of charges

    The heading says Free Experienced Bee Rescue

    There were several others too


    Quote Originally Posted by Cleo C. Hogan Jr View Post
    TalonRedding.. Agree..

    xroads... He never does say if it is free, or, if he charges for his services. I could not tell, but, I would bet he gets some takers.

    cchoganjr

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,842

    Default Re: Gotta vent about customers' expectations of charges

    Thanks, xroads , Overlooked it. I see it now.

    cchoganjr

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Hunt County, Texas
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Gotta vent about customers' expectations of charges

    We have been going through the same here in Texas. My partner and i started telling them than we would do the cut out for $50......but they would have to get their "own" repair person to repair what we had to damage, we tell them that we would 'try" and keep the damage to a minimum but sometimes we have to really take a halve a wall down. We let them make the decision, when they do we have a little contract we got off Google docs and have them sign it once we fill in the blanks. If they say they want us to repair it we tell them that the cost of removal will be "higher" to off set the repairs because we will have to hire someone to do it also. Every time so far they have gone for the $50 to $100 and get their own repair person.

    Good Luck
    Frank

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Bloomfield,KY
    Posts
    279

    Default Re: Gotta vent about customers' expectations of charges

    I run a bee and wildlife removal business so I don't do free removals. I remove any stinging insects without chemicals. I do all repairs and exclusion once I have the bees out. Most people don't realize that removals have more to do with being a carpenter than being a beekeeper and I let my customers know this. I also talk to them and help them understand that I don't get any honey from the removal since it gets fed back to the bees and that the bees may not live to make a honey crop or will have to be fed to keep them alive, this helps people understand why I charge. I do about 12 to 20 cutouts per year. I also remove hornets and yellow jackets without chemicals which helps keep business coming in until late fall/early winter. I'm not getting rich but I do make a living at it. I lose a few each year to the "free bee guys" but not often. I only keep a few hives from cutouts each year for my own apiary the rest are given to our local club for new beekeepers or if it is a beekeeper referral the person that referred me gets the bees, this gets me referrals from other beekeepers. I have a minimum fee and go up from there according to the complexity of the job. I can usually weed out anyone wanting free removal on the phone before I spend the gas and time to look at the job. Most people also find out that many of those offering free removals only do swarms and even then only if it isn't up high or they don't do repairs or exclusion. If a customer wants the bees I do the cutout for a fee and sell them the equipment to put them in, then make sure they know they can call me for advice on keeping them alive. If they need "in person" help they will usually pay for my time and gas even though I don't ask or expect it. I also guarantee my carpentry work for 5 years and that bees won't return within 5 ft. of the removal for 12 months. I generally get paid as soon as I'm done and have never had problems. I generally refer swarms to other beeks but If I do a swarm I charge a nominal service run fee, If a customer has a problem with being charged for my services I explain that unlike the free removals guys I am fully insured, that they found me through paid advertising, and that I have to pay the business licensing for each city I do business in. Most people understand that there is a cost in doing business and have no problem paying for good quality service. It also helps that I can usually get to them within a day or two and not just on weekends or evenings after work.
    "Of all God's creatures, only the honeybee improves its environment and preys on no other species."--Haydon Brown

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Hunt County, Texas
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Gotta vent about customers' expectations of charges

    Truer words never spoken......

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