What do you charge for a trap out?
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  1. #1
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    Default What do you charge for a trap out?

    30 miles from home, new hive this year in a tree, one entrance hole 12 feet off the ground. What is the going rate for removal?
    Indiana, 3rd year, 10 hives, www.facebook.com/RussellHoneybees

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: What do you charge for a trap out?

    I let people know how lucky they are to have a bee tree;

    https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...71#post1407471

    If you decide to do it, charge them and make it count, it's going to be a lot of time, work, trips and gas. You may or may not get a productive hive out of it.

  4. #3
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    Default Re: What do you charge for a trap out?

    Quote Originally Posted by FlowerPlanter View Post
    I let people know how lucky they are to have a bee tree;

    https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...71#post1407471

    If you decide to do it, charge them and make it count, it's going to be a lot of time, work, trips and gas. You may or may not get a productive hive out of it.
    x100 last trapout only about 15 miles away cost me $75 in gas but it was in a house and I kept having to go back and plug new entrances they found. Plan and charge accordingly.

  5. #4
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    Default Re: What do you charge for a trap out?

    Raising your own is so much cheaper.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: What do you charge for a trap out?

    Yes, but trying to provide a service and make a profit here

  7. #6
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    Default Re: What do you charge for a trap out?

    Many factors come into play when doing a trap out. the size of the hive, number of entrances and Possible entrances. location and risk factors need consideration. distance from home base are important. You must be prepared and expect to make several trips possibly one every four or five days for several months. If you have a 7.3 liter turbo diesel 4x4 your fuel costs could be pretty high, time to drive and work also need to be predicted. 30 miles. I would do a cut out but a trap out would be cost prohibitive as the bill could run into the thousands.

  8. #7
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    Default Re: What do you charge for a trap out?

    I think you are ripping off the client when you trick them with a trapout from a tree. The only bee with any value is the queen, and she normally does not come out. The other bees you charge to trap out will be dead in a month anyways. To produce a colony you will have to supply a frame of eggs or another queen. It would be a better value to you to do this with one of your own hives. A trapout will take you 10 hours or more. Even if your time is worth only $10 an hour that adds up to more than the cost a package of bees with queen, so what have you gained? It will probably take longer and probably your time is worth more. What does your day job pay? Unless you can get the trapout queen and produce a viable colony neither you or the client has benefited and at what cost to both of you? I watch guys doing trapouts here and charging for them... a lot of hocus pocus and buffooning a naive customer. At the end they haul away a box with some workers in it and proudly seal in the remains with expansive foam.
    RIPOFF
    It would have been kinder to the bees to exterminate them.

    This says it all: "Yes, but trying to provide a service and make a profit here "

  9. #8
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    Default Re: What do you charge for a trap out?

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    I think you are ripping off the client when you trick them with a trapout from a tree. The only bee with any value is the queen, and she normally does not come out. The other bees you charge to trap out will be dead in a month anyways. To produce a colony you will have to supply a frame of eggs or another queen. It would be a better value to you to do this with one of your own hives. A trapout will take you 10 hours or more. Even if your time is worth only $10 an hour that adds up to more than the cost a package of bees with queen, so what have you gained? It will probably take longer and probably your time is worth more. What does your day job pay? Unless you can get the trapout queen and produce a viable colony neither you or the client has benefited and at what cost to both of you? I watch guys doing trapouts here and charging for them... a lot of hocus pocus and buffooning a naive customer. At the end they haul away a box with some workers in it and proudly seal in the remains with expansive foam.
    RIPOFF
    It would have been kinder to the bees to exterminate them.

    This says it all: "Yes, but trying to provide a service and make a profit here "
    Unfortunately, Odfrank is correct. Sometimes extermination is the best route if the bees must be removed from a location. Normally bees in a tree can be left alone and cause no issues.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: What do you charge for a trap out?

    Quote Originally Posted by jwcarlson View Post
    Raising your own is so much cheaper.
    Amen
    Feeding early patties. https://youtu.be/bUDd3vk7bgY

  11. #10
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    Default Re: What do you charge for a trap out?

    A few thoughts-since when is profit a dirty word? It's a business, not a charity. My day job is staying home with the kids, so it's not like I'm taking time off work for bee stuff.

    Also, even though we all love bees, not everyone does. Certainly not everyone wants them in a tree their kids play around. If a person calls the exterminator, who refuses and says call a beekeeper, who also refuses because it's too much effort, and the homeowner doesn't want to mess with them....where does that leave them? In a situation where they cannot enjoy their property as they have a right to.

    I don't knock on doors saying "I noticed you have a bee problem, let me charge you to take care of that for you". But if I get a call from someone asking for help, and that has been turned away by several others, I don't think it's a waste of my time to give them options.

    I think that if you explain the process, the work involved, the outcome for the bees, and what the charge for the service would be upfront, there is no ethical issue here. The homeowner will either decide yes or no. There is no coercion or trickery involved.

    Getting a viable colony out of providing the service would be a bonus, but is not the main goal. The main goal is to provide the service the customer is requesting at fair market value, which was what I was asking about in the OP.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: What do you charge for a trap out?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tenbears View Post
    expect to make several trips possibly one every four or five days for several months. I would do a cut out but a trap out would be cost prohibitive as the bill could run into the thousands.
    WHAT???????

    If it will take you months to complete a trapout, or run into thousands of dollars, you are doing something badly, badly wrong.

    cchoganjr
    Last edited by Cleo C. Hogan Jr; 05-07-2016 at 08:17 AM.

  13. #12
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    Default Re: What do you charge for a trap out?

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    The only bee with any value is the queen, and she normally does not come out.
    It would have been kinder to the bees to exterminate them. "
    Odfrank, With the absolute highest respect to you, I have been a big fan of yours for years, but these two statements are disturbing, especially for a new beekeeper to read.

    1. A tree trapout is easy to get the queen. Very high success rate.

    2. You are NOT just getting the queen For the cost of one frame of brood, (no bees on it) you will get nurse bees, housekeepers, fanners, cleaners, guards, in other words, all the bees you need to maintain a successful colony.

    3. A good tree elimination trapout, will yield from 3 to 9 new colonies (or you can leave it as one colony by recombining) and you have not depleted your other colonies of their bees, (especially nurse bees and housekeepers) that you do in a split.

    4. I don't see any way, that killing a colony, is kinder to them than trapping them out and relocating them.

    As to costs, I agree that there are lots of down sides to trapouts, but these 2, are not 2 of them. Again, my highest respects to you. I just respectfully disagree.

    cchoganjr

  14. #13
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    Default Re: What do you charge for a trap out?

    If anyone can help you with a trap out Cleo can! He is by far the master. He can email you a step by step on how to properly do one with pictures.

    Cleo
    If Cherly were to do a trap out on that tree 30 miles away 12 feet high what would you recommend she charges? Keep in mind this is from a business point of view and she has kids to feed.

  15. #14
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    Default Re: What do you charge for a trap out?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cleo C. Hogan Jr View Post
    1. A tree trapout is easy to get the queen. Very high success rate.cchoganjr
    Didn't you once say your success rate for trapping out the queens was only 15%?

  16. #15
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    Default Re: What do you charge for a trap out?

    I found this where you quote varying rates of queen trapout success:

    03-04-2014, 09:35 AM
    odfrank...I have about quit trapping,( only have two set for this Spring) ( and I am retiring from selling bees, will likely just keep a dozen or so hives for private honey stock and give aways) but, when I actively trapped bees here are my findings.

    The queen will come into the trap most of the time, to either find the queen that layed the eggs in the trap, or, to use the trap as another chamber to lay eggs. If you are wanting the queen it will require checking the trap every few hours after introduction of the unsealed brood. To answer your question....

    From trees and tanks etc, where the trap transition can be fitted very near the feral brood nest, during a good honey flow with expanding population and queen looking for places to lay eggs, success rate about 80 to 85 percent.

    In walls, buildings etc, more difficult to determine where the brood nest is, and often the trap cannot be placed close enough for the queen to come out to lay or investigate where the brood,(the frame you give them) came from. In these cases, the success rate falls to 35 to 45 percent.

    Without a good honey flow, success rate about 35 to 55 percent. The queen may come to investigate the eggs but, if she doesn't find a queen, or need the room to lay, she may just return to her source and you may miss her.

    I rarely trapped to get the queen. I prefer to take multiple managed starts from the colony and let the trapped bees either make their own queen, or, introduce a mated queen after removing frames from the trap and relocating the new colony. I used the same feral sources for several starts each year. Now days, gasoline is so expensive, and trapping requiring multiple trips to the trap site, that trapping is not as attractive as it once was, unless the trap site is close and handy for you to work.

    Trapping is a lot of fun, and, you learn a lot from it. Sometimes it is necessary when someone wants the bees gone for whatever reason. In that case, try to get the queen, save all the bees, and move from that location.

    cchoganjr

  17. #16
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    Default Re: What do you charge for a trap out?

    In this case I would walk away. Let them get someone closer. Better yet, let them be. Not likely to hurt anyone.

    Trees are easy to trap, as it is easy to wrap a tree with 3 mil black plastic and seal off all entrances very easily.

    Rule of thumb.....1. No more than 6 to 8 ft off the ground. Anything above that requires specialized equipment. A colony 9 feet off the ground should not cause anyone a problem. I recommend, leave them be. Explain this to the owner.

    2. No more than 5 miles. (Especially if gas is $2.50 or more per gallon.) You will have to make multiple trips. This could add up fast.

    3 Need 4 to 6 weeks for elimination.

    I don't believe you and the owner could reach a price that would accommodate both of you. I think you would be looking at $600 to $1000.00, for this situation. Miles are too far, colony too high off the ground. If the colony is strong, you should get at least 3 good nucs from it, so you could factor that in at $105.00 per nuc. Might get 4 or 5 if it is really strong, really big. I believe $500.00 would be a very minimum, and only that, if you want the experience, or they really want them gone without cutting the tree.

    Still, I would walk on this one.

    cchoganjr

  18. #17
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    Default Re: What do you charge for a trap out?

    odfrank...

    No, I did not say that queen success is only 15 %. I can't imagine that I have ever said that, even under the most dire of situations. And I see you found one of my former posts on this subject. I had forgotten about this post but, as you can see, from that post, I estimate tree success at 80 to 85%. Buildings at 35 to 45 %. Honey flow or not, lots of variables. I agree with everything I said in the post you quoted. I had forgotten about it, but, it is still relevant.

    cheryl1 is talking about 30 miles away, 12 feet off the ground. Extremely marginal as a candidate for a trapout.

    Please see my response to flowerplanter above.

    odfrank... You are still # 1 in my book. You have my highest respect and admiration. Just in this case, I disagreed with a couple of points in your original post. No disrespect intended.

    cchoganjr

  19. #18
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    Default Re: What do you charge for a trap out?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cleo C. Hogan Jr View Post
    odfrank.. No disrespect intended.cchoganjr
    None taken.

    In the hands of a Master Trapout Expert as yourself, there might be some value in a trapout. But what I am railing against is beekeepers who charge hundreds of dollars for a trapout or cutout that tricks a client into thinking bees have been "saved", costing the client much more than an extermination. A local beginner did a cutout of a new swarm in an outdoor faux stonework column. No wax or honey inside yet. Hundreds of dollars of faux stonework repair required. He vacuum suffocated the bees "saving them". I have watched others vacuuming flying workers out of a small entrance in a tree and then sealing up. No queen or brood removed, then charging the owner for "saving the bees".
    Lets be honest with clients what the life cycle of a bee is. Lets be honest that we can buy bees and a queen for $100. Lets be honest that commercial beekeepers can raise queens and produce nucs and packages by the millions. Lets be honest that not every colony needs "saving". Lets be honest that you have only "saved" the bees if you have saved the bees and the queen as a viable colony. Otherwise you are selling mumbo jumbo hocus pocus.

  20. #19
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    Default Re: What do you charge for a trap out?

    odfrank I can see how claiming to save the bees would be a problem. What I would be telling a customer is that I would remove as many bees as possible before sealing the hole so they don't have this problem again.

    On a side note, would a one day trap out done by placing a cone, dropping a bee repellant into the hive, then returning in the evening to gather as many bees as possible before sealing the hole work? I haven't dropped repellant down a tree hole, not sure what the bees response would be. And by work I mean removing what's possible and fixing the problem for the homeowner, as cheaply as possible for them. I realize you aren't likely to "save the hive" with this method.

  21. #20
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    Default Re: What do you charge for a trap out?

    odfrank... Agreed.

    One additional point. If you have a couple or more trees, close to your bee yard, once you set up your trapping, you can get 3 to 4 good nucs out of it each year. Year after year. The setup is a one time setup, and then you are set for years. Take 3 or more starts per year, let the colony build back up for Winter, then trap again next year.

    I know people say, "Well just make a split", and for a commercial beekeeper this is likely a better way to go, but, for a small bee keeper keep this in mind. If you only have a few hives and you split them, you have taken 3 frames of brood, with nurse bees and housekeepers, and two more frames of just bees. You have taken 10,000 to 14000 bees from that hive. You have weakened it until it will affect your honey production. In a trapout, all you take from your existing hive is one frame of brood, no bees. You let the trapout supply the bees. You have not hurt the parent colony. A small beekeeper can trap for additional hives, much more profitable than splitting, certainly cheaper than buying bees. Besides all that, it is just fun to trap, catch the queen, keep her and let the feral colony make a new queen, or return her to the tunnel and take away the bees and let them make a queen from the eggs she layed in your trap. Either way, you have her genetics, if that is what you want.

    cchoganjr
    Last edited by Cleo C. Hogan Jr; 05-07-2016 at 02:59 PM.

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