Current "rent" for bee yard
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  1. #1
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    Default Current "rent" for bee yard

    I was wondering what currently most people that have other yards do in return for a bee yard . What is the current "rent" you give to the landowner to allow you to keep your bees on their property. And what are some ways you go about finding a new yard.

    I have one yard I am starting up this year from a couple that is close by me on 5 acres. I am currently expanding and wintering 11 nucs. I am taking 6 over to their place and starting hives to build up there. So my deal I made them was a maximum number of hives 25 (they dont want more than that) if the area can support 25, once the hives produce excess honey then they get 1 quart for the first 5 hives, hives 6-10 1 gallon and if all 25 produce honey then 3 gallons (in the meantime while the hives are building up I will supply a quart when they need it if I have extra available) I also offered to do comb honey (1 super full for every 5 hives) and trap pollen on a few hives (this is an additional charge of $25 a month since I would have to come out daily to empty the trap). Also being respectful of the property, not using their property as storage, rutting the property up or bringing people out to their property other than my kids that like to help me.

    Does this sound good to offer landowners for a beeyard? Too much not enough? What do you guys offer if you need a yard for expansion. Also how do you go about and find yards for expansion? Online craigslist, knocking on the door, farm bureau. I picked this one up because she posted on our state beekeep association site that she had a section of land available to help a beekeeper expand on.

    I'm not looking for contracts simple handshake type of thing is what I am after btw. Thanks for your input and knowledge Justin

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Current "rent" for bee yard

    Justin, A lot probably depends on your average yield per hive. Here in Richmond, I may get 10-12 quarts per hive, in a good year. I think a pint per hive would be fair in my area. If you are getting 100# per hive, a quart per hive seems more reasonable. I give my next door neighbor a quart just for putting up with my bees flying around their back porch. I have no idea about pollen or comb honey, but offhand I would say that you are selling yourself short. A super of comb honey is worth quite a bit and the pollen even more. Just an opinion as my outyard is at my work and is rent free, other than the honey I give away to the other employees and supervisors.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  4. #3
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    About a gallon per yard, less in a bad year, more in a good year. Just let the land owners know that it's agriculture, and nothing is guaranteed. Being generous and upfront with people pays dividends in the long run.

    Discuss this before you move hives onto the property , thought I had my standard agreement with one guy, and he demanded half my harvest, needless to say I don't deal with him anymore.

  5. #4
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    I was saying if I put 25 hives out on the property and all hives became productive they would get 3 gallons of honey. Not a quart of honey per hive or gallon per hive. A productive hive to me is a hive that produces 1 extra super 10 frame full of honey beyond what the bees need.

    So I would give a quart of honey if 5 hives were productive, 1 gallon if 10 hives became productive and 3 gallons if all 25 hives became productive. I was just offering them the option of comb honey and pollen but like JWPalmer said that may be selling short. If the hives are not productive then I would give them like a pint from one of my other hives that are productive when they asked for some if I had it at the time.

    I like a gallon per yard that seems easier than trying to do it by hive number. Thanks

  6. #5
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    Sep 2014
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    Default Re: Current "rent" for bee yard

    We do about a gallon per landowner.

    I know my landowners pretty well at this point and break it up how they like. I yard with a real estate broker, she likes lots of small containers so she can give them as gifts when she closes sales. I happily oblige. She is also a great source of bee yards and customers.
    A couple ranches, I do a mix of small and large jars so the owners can give honey to their ranch hands. A few "daily users" I give a full pail, or quarts to share with family members. Everyone is happy when they are given honey. A few people I give a combination of honey and candles and other products.

    We usually deliver our yard rent sometime between thanksgiving and Christmas, and include a short thank you note. If its a new yard, I give them a jar when I first go to look at it, and then yard rent at the end of the season.

    Treat your landowners well, good relationships are everything.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Current "rent" for bee yard

    Quote Originally Posted by ApricotApiaries View Post
    We do about a gallon per landowner.

    I know my landowners pretty well at this point and break it up how they like. I yard with a real estate broker, she likes lots of small containers so she can give them as gifts when she closes sales. I happily oblige. She is also a great source of bee yards and customers.
    A couple ranches, I do a mix of small and large jars so the owners can give honey to their ranch hands. A few "daily users" I give a full pail, or quarts to share with family members. Everyone is happy when they are given honey. A few people I give a combination of honey and candles and other products.

    We usually deliver our yard rent sometime between thanksgiving and Christmas, and include a short thank you note. If its a new yard, I give them a jar when I first go to look at it, and then yard rent at the end of the season.

    Treat your landowners well, good relationships are everything.
    I Agree.
    Feeding early patties. https://youtu.be/bUDd3vk7bgY

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Current "rent" for bee yard

    Case of pints
    All of my opinions and suggestions are based on my five decades of actual beekeeping,
    not so much on book learning, watching YouTube videos nor reading internet sites.

  9. #8

    Default Re: Current "rent" for bee yard

    Case of pints per yard. Some owners give me 2, 3 yards then I ask them what they want. One little gal wants them bottled but we label them with her custom label that we pay for. She gets her case of pints but usually buys an extra case. She uses them for stocking stuffers.

    If 5 hives are productive then all should be if they are put in at the same time and you keep up with the mites. Some may make more but if they are not making at least one spring super you need to scout another area. JMHO
    Forget the comb honey. Pollen trap is okay I guess. I would just ask them how much pollen they wanted and give/sell it to them. A charge per month might not be worth it. With today's gas prices how can you visit any yard 30 times for $25.00? If they make a half pound per day at $4 wholesale you gave away $60 for $25.

    Knock on doors starting at 2 miles distance from your last yard. Watch for other beekeepers.

  10. #9
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    Thanks Hillbillybees I never thought about if 1 hive is making a super they should all be making if they are in the same yard, if not something internal is going on probably in the hive great point

    This particular yard is 1 mile from my house so the pollen thing wasn't a big deal. I drive by it every day to get to work and from work and kids to soccer. Comb honey the landowners didn't want. They didnt want pollen either just some honey. Right now with this yard she just sends me a text they need some honey and I drop a quart off to them. But i am wanting to try and find at least 1 more yard to do some more nucs.

    I think I will scrap the comb and pollen part and stick to honey. Seems like that's the going thing. Appreciate all the input

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Current "rent" for bee yard

    [QUOTE=Hillbillybees;1692575]
    If 5 hives are productive then all should be if they are put in at the same time and you keep up with the mites. Some may make more but if they are not making at least one spring super you need to scout another area. JMHO

    Absolutely. It is with this as a base that I have begun setting up new yards. It's agriculture, there a never any guarantees. So I have begun using performance based contracts/ placements. The more honey I pull, the more honey the land owner gets; box count is direct corollary to bottle count. No different than dividends on stocks- it puts their 'skin in the game' when the land owner says their property will be great for bees.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Current "rent" for bee yard

    Quote Originally Posted by Outdoor N8 View Post
    Absolutely. It is with this as a base that I have begun setting up new yards. It's agriculture, there a never any guarantees. So I have begun using performance based contracts/ placements. The more honey I pull, the more honey the land owner gets; box count is direct corollary to bottle count. No different than dividends on stocks- it puts their 'skin in the game' when the land owner says their property will be great for bees.
    And I thought one needed to be a stockholder in order to receive a dividend! What 'skin' does the landowner have in your beekeeping? Do they share in the expenses? losses?
    If not they have no skin in the game. They don't like something, could be anything, they tell you to hit the road.

    I suggest not blurring the lines between a simple business agreement (my bees on your land) and what is eluded to in the original post and Outdoor N8 response - a business partnership.

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Current "rent" for bee yard

    I gave my farmer two 2lb jars of honey after this season was over. He asked me if that was too much because he knew it was a rough honey flow with the drought that hit at the wrong time here.....
    I had given him a few lbs of honey last winter when we agreed to allow me to put my hives on his property. Keeping good relations with landowners will pay benefits.....the farmer I have an apiary on works his butt off and had no time to manage his own bees, so our relationship works well...he always wanted bees on his farm as he understands biodiversity, and doesn't use pesticides on his crops as it is all feed crop for his cattle.
    Help is here to never misplace that hive tool again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvwlSiOzgOU

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Current "rent" for bee yard

    Quote Originally Posted by JustinS View Post
    I was saying if I put 25 hives out on the property and all hives became productive they would get 3 gallons of honey. Not a quart of honey per hive or gallon per hive. A productive hive to me is a hive that produces 1 extra super 10 frame full of honey beyond what the bees need.

    So I would give a quart of honey if 5 hives were productive, 1 gallon if 10 hives became productive and 3 gallons if all 25 hives became productive. I was just offering them the option of comb honey and pollen but like JWPalmer said that may be selling short. If the hives are not productive then I would give them like a pint from one of my other hives that are productive when they asked for some if I had it at the time.

    I like a gallon per yard that seems easier than trying to do it by hive number. Thanks
    I would say one super of honey is barely productive. I got that starting with a nuc, splitting from it, and having to build up comb. It is about 45, give or take pounds for a super. I think you are offering too much. Especially with the comb honey and pollen.
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Current "rent" for bee yard

    Question for the others. Several mentioned a rate per yard. Do you have the same number of hives in each location? If so, how many?
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  16. #15
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    Jadeguppy it depends on where you are at. Pulling 45 lbs off a nuc that was split and had to build comb you obviously have a good location. Average hive here is 30lbs so if I get full supers plus it's good. Honey is secondary for me though.

  17. #16
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    Clyderoad I wasn't eluding to a business partnership or anything of that nature with the landowners. I was just wondering what people do as a thank you for allowing you to keep your hives on their property. They are the ones that offered up their land for expansion and by all means I will expand if give the opportunity. I was just curious as to what others do that have to use other peoples land

    The landowners to me have nothing in it but their land. I assume all the risks ie hives die, stolen, not productive, feeding, mite control ect...I was just trying to be nice and offer something up different if the land owners wanted it and it wasn't trouble for me. But other items besides honey doesn't seem like a normal thing.

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Current "rent" for bee yard

    +1 for a case of pints per yard. I also think between Thanksgiving and Christmas is the best time to deliver yard rent.

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Current "rent" for bee yard

    Quote Originally Posted by clyderoad View Post
    And I thought one needed to be a stockholder in order to receive a dividend! What 'skin' does the landowner have in your beekeeping? Do they share in the expenses? losses?
    If not they have no skin in the game. They don't like something, could be anything, they tell you to hit the road.

    I suggest not blurring the lines between a simple business agreement (my bees on your land) and what is eluded to in the original post and Outdoor N8 response - a business partnership.
    I don't think the land owner has zero skin in the game. They could use their land for another purpose. Once there are a couple of hives they are allowing a hundred thousand stinging insects on their property. If a neighbor child or pet ends up at the doctor or vet there could be monetary or good will risks between neighbors. I agree that the beekeeper has more money and labor invested. That is why the rent is negotiated to meet the needs of both parties.
    ks

  20. #19
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    Default Re: Current "rent" for bee yard

    Heres the thing,
    1. Landowners talk. Best to treat them all well, and fairly equal. Doesn't matter how many hives you have on their land, or how productive it is. Just keep it simple. Don't justify being stingy by "this yard wasn't as productive." If its not productive, drop it. Or pay the price to hold onto it for those years when its super productive.
    2. Every yard gets rent. For those of you who do some kind of shares, how do you treat landowners where all you do is keep nucs or raise queens. Those yards are every bit as important as your honey yards. Are you saying they don't get any honey because the bees there didn't make honey?
    3. The bottom line is have good relationships. If you can't keep a yard based on a handshake, you might not want that yard. If the landowner only wants you there because of the honey you bring them, you might not want that yard.

  21. #20
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    Default Re: Current "rent" for bee yard

    Quote Originally Posted by JustinS View Post
    Clyderoad I wasn't eluding to a business partnership or anything of that nature with the landowners. I was just wondering what people do as a thank you for allowing you to keep your hives on their property. They are the ones that offered up their land for expansion and by all means I will expand if give the opportunity. I was just curious as to what others do that have to use other peoples land

    The landowners to me have nothing in it but their land. I assume all the risks ie hives die, stolen, not productive, feeding, mite control ect...I was just trying to be nice and offer something up different if the land owners wanted it and it wasn't trouble for me. But other items besides honey doesn't seem like a normal thing.
    I get it and think you are smart to have asked the question. My suggestion was intended to point out a agreement for a outyard to keep bees in is one thing (a gallon of honey for the spot) and it is quite another to attach production performance to the rental fee (a gallon of honey if I produce x, 2 gal. if I produce y, 3 gal. if I produce z, etc). Your OP ups the ante as production rises, as does the basis for outdoor's pay schedule.

    Further, do these land owners know what you and your bees require in a good out yard? 24 access, year round, by truck, water close, secure spot, adequate forage, pesticide exposure, etc. Old timers seem to understand but new landowners from non rural backgrounds may not. Expectations for both parties needs to be expressed up front in the beginning to avoid misconceptions later on. They know what you need and you know what they need. There is No Harm asking them why they think they want bees there!
    When I ask that question sometimes I learn more than if we talked nonsense for hours.
    From what you have said you are being very considerate and more than fair in your approach and offer of rent. Honesty, respect, fairness and trust go a long way. As time goes on many times friendships develop, not all the time but lots of times.
    I have 16 yards and every situation is different- but for those that resemble yours, 1 gallon. Now down the road if things have gone swimmingly and say I know the land owner will have the family in for the holidays it's common I show up with enough qts. for everyone to go home with one on top of my customary payment. Sometimes it's a gallon on the door step and I rarely even see them.

    Oh, and I regularly ask if things are ok with the bees there and if there is any trouble. I'm sure you will as well. Good luck.

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