Free bees
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 38

Thread: Free bees

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Dripping Springs, TX USA
    Posts
    298

    Default Free bees

    Got ya!!! There is no such this as free bees where I live. Even swarms cost money. Let me explain.

    People always want me to remove bees for FREE! Are they crazy? I got another call today.

    Once I acquire some bees via a swarm, cut-out, or other, I must have a new hive to put them in. New as in I didn't own one more hive until now! Let's face it, to take these bees through colony size and growth, harvesting, etc. I must have a large hive and some kind of super, etc. for them. ..... How much is this investment for all this new wooden ware? Let's say you got a full size lang...2 deeps, 1 or 2 supers, foundations, and et.al.. Cost: $110 maybe

    Secondly, I must, as a responsible beek, requeen to break any AHB gene influence she may be spitting out. If it is a swarm, then you need to replace the old gal anyway.
    Cost: $40 includes queen and express shipping to here from up north

    I'm out $150.00 for free bees!!!

    Let me see, every time I get a call to remove bees, it costs me $150. How many people really think I can keep this up and for how long?

    I got an idea. Let's all go done to the big box hardware store Saturday morning early. Spend $150 OF YOUR MONEY on latex paint. Drive 45 minutes to a house. Spend all day painting it until all the paint is on the house. Let's come back regularly and wash the paint job free of dust. How many people will do this on their weekends for FREE?

    No, I charge for my time, gas, expertise, yada, and the above $150. My cut-outs aren't free, they start at $250 and go up to $750 for large difficult jobs(Ex. stucco walls). On swarms, I split the $150 with owner. I eat $75 and the owner forks over $75.

    In summary: There is no such thing as free bees.


  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Clifford Township, PA
    Posts
    2,425

    Default Re: Free bees

    I make my own equipment from free scrap wood. I don't have to requeen out of fear of AHB up here in the frozen north.

    So unless I value my time catching a swarm instead of sitting home, numbing my brain cells watching "Jersey Shore" at your $150 bucks, those are pretty much free bee for me.

    If you buy a package, wouldn't you have to have all that woodenware? So that $70 buck package of bees costs you about $180?

    Interesting accounting methods.

    Wayne

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Frankfort, Ohio
    Posts
    906

    Default Re: Free bees

    Woodenware costs money if you buy bees or not. Package bees in my neck of the woods is 70 bucks. A swarm costs me gas to get there. Most of the time I get calls that are 2 miles down the road. I drive further than that to get to my bee yards. If you can get $75 to remove a swarm good for you! I will take free swarms everyday of the week and twice on wednesdays!

    -Dan

  5. #4

    Default Re: Free bees

    got to dis agree, the bees are free, the equipment is not.

    one is not necessarily the same as the other.

    I feel ya on the ahb issue, I don't have that issue here either.

    now, free to me in terms of money, check. Free to me in terms of time invested (to pick up a swarm) well, I find the bees worth the the time.

    besides, I think it's good to invest something into the bees, be it money or time. It gives your interaction with the bees some perspective.

    Just my two cent.

    Big Bear
    No, I am NOT a bee "Keeper". Anything I post is just my opinion. Take it easy and think for yourself.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Dripping Springs, TX USA
    Posts
    298

    Default Re: Free bees

    Ok then what about your cut-outs? Are they free? I have em asking for free work... Remove them from my house, please.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    piedmont, KS
    Posts
    255

    Default Re: Free bees

    Not me. Tooooo much work to cut them out for free. it takes me about 4 hours to do a simple cutout, string the comb into the hive and get all the bees. PLUS you have a second trip out to pick up the hive after the foragers and leftovers finally go into the hive a couple days later. SO you have gas times 2 round trips plus 4+ hours work. Charge for cutouts!

    i charge about 150 for a simple one 4 hours work, and it goes up. IF i cut out of a tree, i DO NOT take the tree down unless its no where near a house building or power line.
    I charge to cut out of a tree plus usually i take the wood especially if i cut it up.

    Again its all about how much work i have to do. My time is not free. And the work is not worth the 80 dollar package of bees to do it for free.
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 09-08-2010 at 04:22 AM. Reason: UNQ

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Frankfort, Ohio
    Posts
    906

    Default Re: Free bees

    I avoid cutouts. A few people asked me to do cutouts this year and I told them they would have to contact another beekeeper and it would cost them around $300 and they gave me this look .

    -Dan

  9. #8

    Default Re: Free bees

    nope, charge for cut outs now. I used to do em free.

    if one is doing cutouts and is charging for them, gas and equipment and tools, time, etc.. should be figured into the price one charges. So that if the bees survive cut out or not, those issues you have been paid for.

    Big Bear
    No, I am NOT a bee "Keeper". Anything I post is just my opinion. Take it easy and think for yourself.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Beaverton, MI, USA
    Posts
    142

    Default Re: Free bees

    I built a really nice Bee Vac and a friend of mine and I do removals of all kinds. Our base fee is $350 and we tell them it will be less if it is easy ( which we have only seen once, them little buggers always seem to find very hard to get at locations for home) and more if it is really hard. I tell them on the phone that if it is not worth the $350 to them to call some one else, no one has complained about the price and just begged us to do the job.


    wkinne

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    piedmont, KS
    Posts
    255

    Default Re: Free bees

    Quote Originally Posted by pine_ridge_farms View Post
    I avoid cutouts. A few people asked me to do cutouts this year and I told them they would have to contact another beekeeper and it would cost them around $300 and they gave me this look .

    -Dan
    Yeah i have heard it before. They then tell ya they'll just spray the crap out of them and i warn them why that would not be a good idea.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Greenhill, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    281

    Default Re: Free bees

    yes but once that colony is producing honey for you you are making money and if it produces 50-100 lbs then you are up 200 -400 dollars in profit. in the first year, every year after that you are further ahead and can sell nucs etc if you wish. I'll take free bees any day over having to buy nucs.
    ________________
    Scott Stackhouse

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Malabar, FL
    Posts
    1,261

    Default Re: Free bees

    I also avoid cut-outs and refer them to other beekeepers, I just cant justify the time to do them and got tired of haggling with people over the cost to do them, everyone thinks your getting "free bees" that will produce millions of pounds of honey. Swarms I dont charge for and will run to get them, dump them in a box and put the feed to them, those are "free Bees" which will produce a profit in the form of surplus honey.
    A government large enough to provide everything you need is strong enough to take everything you have. T. Jefferson

  14. #13

    Default Re: Free bees

    I look at it a little differently.

    honey bees are dying out big time. There are multiple causes and many pests. The more bee colonies that can be kept alive, the better in my way of thinking.

    If that colony in a wall doesn't have to die in order to remove them from some homeowners wall, then i find it justification enough to give them every chance at survival.

    That alone is the value to swarm collections and cut outs to me.

    At the same time I can try to keep as many honey bees as possible alive, I can provide a valuable service to property owners by doing a proper complete removal and cleanout of a hive from their property instead of leaving the wax and honey to do damage later as a regular exterminator will.

    There is no guarantee that honey bees will survive a cut out. The service is what I am getting paid to do. In the process of that, I can try to determine if the bees can be successfully relocated or not.

    If those bees survive the cutout and successfully rebuild, I was paid for my time and work at the house, to me, the bees are indeed a free happy consequence of the effort.

    I am sure others think of it differently. and that's fine too.

    Big Bear
    No, I am NOT a bee "Keeper". Anything I post is just my opinion. Take it easy and think for yourself.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Dripping Springs, TX USA
    Posts
    298

    Default Re: Free bees

    Ditto your thoughts Big Bear! It was well thought out and presented so well. Yes, I agree with others here. Most beeks don't want to do cut-outs. I actually love trying to save a hive that otherwise would be needlessly destroyed. It is a valued service for all three; the bees, the client, and my enjoyment/satisfaction. I try to save as many hives as I can and am always looking for and edge to improve transplant survivability.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon City, Oregon
    Posts
    977

    Default Re: Free bees

    or worse yet you can have the bees and all I want is a couple of quarts of the honey you'll get from them.....squze me? I take away the " bee problem " for you, and pay you for the privallege....

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    piedmont, KS
    Posts
    255

    Default Re: Free bees

    Quote Originally Posted by afss View Post
    yes but once that colony is producing honey for you you are making money and if it produces 50-100 lbs then you are up 200 -400 dollars in profit. in the first year, every year after that you are further ahead and can sell nucs etc if you wish. I'll take free bees any day over having to buy nucs.
    Their not free if you have to do 4 -6 hours labor in getting them along with spending anywhere from 25 -50 dollars in gas to go get them. cheaper to go buy a nuc.

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    piedmont, KS
    Posts
    255

    Default Re: Free bees

    Ok, I really am confused here. WHy would anyone work for free. First of all a homeowner is going to have to shell out the bucks one way or another. IF they spray the bees and kill them, their going to have to pay for removal of all the stuff inside. thats going to cost them. SEcondly if they hire a exterminator to come in, its going to cost them 2 -3 times more than a beek.

    Third, my time is worth money. If anyone could do it that would be a different story, but here i am one of the few that suffer from insanity going out and cutting out insects that can inflict pain, and make life miserable. That is worth money. I have a ability that someone needs, you bet i am going to charge for it. I'm no fool to turn down 200 -500 dollars.

    Plus when the homeowner fubars the whole thing when they try to do it themselves, that just doubles the cost.

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Clifford Township, PA
    Posts
    2,425

    Default Re: Free bees

    On the flip side, when a homeowner called about a swarm 40' up in a giant white pine, I told him I don't do ladder work, but he might find a beekeeper who does.

    I suppose I may have killed someone's deal when I told him that he didn't have to pay anyone a penny to solve the problem, that in a couple of days, he'll look up and they'll be gone.

    Wwayne

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    piedmont, KS
    Posts
    255

    Default Re: Free bees

    Quote Originally Posted by waynesgarden View Post
    On the flip side, when a homeowner called about a swarm 40' up in a giant white pine, I told him I don't do ladder work, but he might find a beekeeper who does.

    I suppose I may have killed someone's deal when I told him that he didn't have to pay anyone a penny to solve the problem, that in a couple of days, he'll look up and they'll be gone.

    Wwayne
    LOL i hear ya wayne. its kinda unnerving to climb up 40 feet with a box in hand and thousands of potential stings above you.....

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Greenhill, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    281

    Default Re: Free bees

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfpenfarm View Post
    Their not free if you have to do 4 -6 hours labor in getting them along with spending anywhere from 25 -50 dollars in gas to go get them. cheaper to go buy a nuc.
    Its not free, its an investment. you get the bees, you pay for them with labour, they in turn produce honey for you. its no different than you buying a nuc. you can pay 150 for a nuc (locally, no idea what they go for else where) or you can spend 3-5 hours of your time as sweat equity to get something better than a nuc.

    Yes they are not free, you are working for them, but its not like they are costing you any more than if you had to obtain the bees from another method. If you want to charge and can thats great, I probably will charge for some of them too.

    But thats not the point. Like it or not the point is you are NOT working for free, you are working for the bees that you remove, they have value, they are worth something and it can be quantified. If you plan to throw out the bees and comb honey etc then yes they have no value but if you hive them and make a colony from them they they have value. If you make cash ontop of that, great, but if you don't you still aren't working for free!
    ________________
    Scott Stackhouse

Page 1 of 2 12 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
  •