Work for free?
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Thread: Work for free?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Motley County, Texas
    Posts
    507

    Default Work for free?

    I have been doing cutouts as a way to increase the numbers of hives in my bee yard. I have plenty now as a hobby.

    Just had a man call me. He wanted me to travel about 50 miles, one way mind you, do a cutout and not pay me anything at all. He hit the brakes when I told him I would do it for $100.00 He said "no way am I going to pay to get rid of these bees, I thought you'd come out and just do for the bees". I replied "I've got a bee yard full of hives and bees, I have all the bees I want. I do this as a service for folks who are having trouble. I have to charge for my travel and my time, you understand".

    He didn't but I held my ground.

    Travel near or more than 100 miles, plus time and effort, equipment, etc.

    No, I have all the free bees I need.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Woodlawn, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    326

    Default Re: Work for free?

    I actually love doing cutouts, but I have begun charging a flat rate of $25 per hour with a minimum charge of $200. And I tell them up front that I do not repair the damage created by accessing the bees location. I have lost a few jobs because they wanted it done for free, but everyone who has hired me has been very happy. Stick to your guns.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    berkley county, WV
    Posts
    429

    Default Re: Work for free?

    there is a posting on the 101 forum right now very similar to this one.
    welcome to your new addiction!!

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Motley County, Texas
    Posts
    507

    Default Re: Work for free?

    Thank you Standman. I really feel that $100.00 is probably underpriced for the job but it is what the market can be locally. Now, I do charge more if it is further out of town.

    Thank you for the encouragement.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Arlington, TX, USA
    Posts
    453

    Default Re: Work for free?

    I've had people like that call me too. They are nuts if I'm going to spend my time to do a service for them and not get money for it. Time is the most valuable resource we have and it can never be replenished. Stick to you guns!
    Doug Knoodle
    Professional web developer/designer. If you need something done let me know.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Cleveland, OH, USA
    Posts
    491

    Default Re: Work for free?

    Capturing a swarm in a bush, I could see doing for free. Opening a wall, removing all the bees, cleaning out all the comb, for free? Man's crazy.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Motley County, Texas
    Posts
    507

    Default Re: Work for free?

    Don't forget about the driving, mileage, wear and tear on the truck, equipment, etc.

    Driving 100 miles round trip, it comes down to one dollar a mile and nothing else. Flat fee of $100.00 and he didn't take it.

    Come to think of it, maybe he did me a favor....

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    34,541

    Default Re: Work for free?

    Good for you beekeeper 1756. Just the way I feel about it to. If having the bees gone isn't worth what an exterminator would charge, or half that amount, what is it worth to the home owner. Bees may be dying, but beekeepers have to make a living too. People have no idea.

    I love it when a Physician thinks that their office hour(I mean 15 minutes) is worth $75.00 and my time and expertiece isn't worth half that amount? Just because I didn't go to school as long as they did? Or what?

    I had a call from someone who wanted me to come to their place and take away the "hive that's hanging in my apple tree. Right near the front door. I can't even let the dogs out. And they are coming into the house." "What? A hundred dollars? I'm not going to pay that much. Aren't they worth anything to you? I thought that the bees were dying. Mr. LaBaff said that you are a beekeeper and would want them."

    "You want me to drop what I am doing and drive to where you live for a swarm of bees that might not even be there when I get there? Not going to do it for less than $100.00 cash upon arrival. Whether they are bees or yellow jackets."

    I guess piece of mind isn't really worth that much these days.
    Mark Berninghausen

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Portsmouth, NH
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: Work for free?

    I don't think people realize how much work a cut out can be. It is a skilled service which should be rewarded with money and maybe some thanks.

    A four! hive cut out from a house took two 15 hour days to get it done.

    Photos from the cut out.
    Cut out first week
    The second week

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Cleveland, OH, USA
    Posts
    491

    Default Re: Work for free?

    Quote Originally Posted by beekeeper1756 View Post
    "I thought you'd come out and just do for the bees"
    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk
    "Aren't they worth anything to you? I thought that the bees were dying."
    Seriously - people are doing this? Trying to guilt-trip you into getting rid of their problem for free? "What, you won't come rescue these poor bees??? You're not a real beekeeper! No 'beekeeper' you!"

    If they're so concerned about the bees, tell them they shouldn't get rid of the ones in their wall. "As long as the colony stays alive in there, you shouldn't have any trouble."

  12. #11
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Cattaraugus,New York, USA
    Posts
    371

    Default Re: Work for free?

    I have had many people expect me to do cut outs for free, and many have backed away. In this business, and it is a business, time and resources are money, and if I have them tied up on a cut out, then I will get paid.

    Some people get mad when I tell them that it will be at least so much, and then they say they will just spray them. Then they call back, tell me the spray didnt work and now want me to do the cut out for the original quote. I charge more if I know the hive has been sprayed, as all the potential honey is now no good for anything, and I will be collecting poisined bees.

    Not all people are like that though, I did a cut out and the home owner actually paid $75 more after seeing all that was involved with the cut out!

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Brenham, Texas
    Posts
    208

    Default Re: Work for free?

    I am the president of the local club and always send emails to my members about cut-outs. Some of them DO take the bees for free.

    On the other hand, I charge $150. for the first three hours plus $50/hour after that plus $.50/mile both ways. Most people understand.

    If they balk, I say, "If a plumber drove past your house and saw water pouring out of your front door, I'm sure he would WANT to stop and fix it for you, but he's not going to do it without charging you for it. And you would probably pay him if you have a problem. Of course I WANT to help you by removing the bees, but if I don't get the queen, in 6 weeks I will have a dead hive. I can purchase a new set of bees with a queen of known pedigree for $100. It's not worth it to me to spend 3 hours in the heat with bees trying to sting me to MAYBE get a queen that I don't know where they came from for free. This is how I earn my living, and I charge to remove them."

    Most people understand and are willing to pay for their removal.

    Fuzzybeekeeper

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Lee\'s Summit, MO
    Posts
    2,514

    Default Re: Work for free?

    I now charge a minimum $300 for a cut out or trap out. I am amazed that people balk at $300 considering travel time, the specialized equipment, the actual removal time, the knowledge and hard earned experience required to effectively remove a hive from a structure. When I have the time I actually enjoy doing a cut out.

    As I have wife and kids, 12 hives, +/-12 nucs, and a batch of swarm traps and other pursuits (coaching, scouting, fishing and hunting) I find I have little extra time though. I landed no cut outs this year and I actually don't feel bad about it. I'll let someone else bust their butt for free. I captured only two swarms (don't charge for that), and caught only one in a trap (or this ) but I've got all the bees I can effectively handle at this point. For time consumed alone I will be paid or I'll quickly find something else to do with my time.
    Ninja, is not in the dictionary. Well played Ninja's, well played...

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Lake County Illinois
    Posts
    313

    Default Re: Work for free?

    People expect me to work for free...what makes you beekeepers so special? Compensation should be made, either for gas, labor etc.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,487

    Default Re: Work for free?

    Hey I'm a plumber, would you like a job in sunny CA.
    At that rate I'll work you 40+ hours a week. family medical, & 401A

    Quote Originally Posted by NorthernIllinoisPlumber View Post
    People expect me to work for free...what makes you beekeepers so special? Compensation should be made, either for gas, labor etc.
    Dan

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Stone City, Iowa
    Posts
    273

    Default Re: Work for free?

    I have charged $50 to remove a hive, but only because I have only done two and I needed the experience. I am planning to slowly bump it up until I find out what will fly here in Iowa. A lot of people here would rather just spray them, not realizing what the long term effect to their home will be. Free is right out - if nothing else I look at it as a measure of the people's nature. If they are not willing to pay me ANYTHING for my time, they will probably treat me like dirt in other ways.

    My second cutout was huge, in a house about to be torn down. The property was owned by an elderly couple and the husband was missing a leg. He wanted to pay me more when he saw all the work, I let him pay me $10 more but no more. If someone like that can come up with a little, I think most people could.

    JC

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    robertsdale,Al.,USA
    Posts
    232

    Default Re: Work for free?

    I went to collect a 'swarm' last week-end&when
    I got there it was a cut out under a trailer.Established!2 mediums worth of comb.The homeowner told me over the phone it was a swarm on the corner of a 4'-5' high trailer.got there...it was 2'-3' high...in the middle&the owner wanted the honey.the owners kid told me they've been there for a cpl months,obviously,&that the other beekeepers he had called wanted money to do a cut-out...only swarms were free.when I told him I wanted payment also he told me the bees would be sprayed if I didn't get them.I told him to do it .Make sure he crawled under there&cut the screen &removed the insulation before spraying otherwise he would only get a few workers.Then he asked me,get this,to let him borrow my suit to do it.I said sure,suit rental is $350,or run to wal-mart&get your own.oh yeah they don't have them&I do.for me to extract them is $250 to .hurry up &make a decision because you don't go to work for free&how can you expect me to.By the way ,in a situation like this it is payment in advance

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    3,796

    Default Re: Work for free?

    You who live in less legislated states are lucky - pest removal around here is highly regulated and liability wise there is no way I'm going to be asking for money to do a cut out. So I don't do many and I pick and choose carefully. This season I've done one - a two minute drive from my house, on the ground floor, behind a rotten wall in a room that was going to be rehabbed soon anyway.

    The fellow did offer several times to pay me - We settled on a donation to the state association and dinner for my wife and I at a local restaurant.

    I saw no sign of the queen (boo hoo) and newspaper combined the bees into a weaker hive that I'd recently given a new queen to.

    I would like to be charging for cutouts but don't want to get involved in being licensed or anything like that.

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