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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I keep a few hives at friend's houses. Helps them with garden pollination and serves as a source of drones for my hives. Ususally I give my friends half the honey. Lately I've asked by people I don't know if I would place a hive pemanantly at their garden. They do not want to work the hive at all. Should I charge anything? Like a pollination fee of $50 per year? Sell them the hive and charge a yearly maintenence fee? Split the honey? These are middle income rural/suburban people and not wealthy people who want to brag to their friends about having a beehive on their country estate.
 

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Don't charge them a fee. Give them some honey from the harvest. Have them
spread the words that you want more places to keep your bees.
 

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Charge a yearly fee, don't split the honey, and sell the product back to them if they want some.
+1 to this idea. If you've got bees at multiple locations you are basically doubling or tripling the time needed to service your bees AND more fuel and vehicle wear.
IF you have lots of time and money this may not be an issue at first but the novelty will soon wear off.
 

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Do you like driving from one hive to another? Figure the inconvenience into the pollination price. What are your needs? You wouldn't give away a room in your Motel, would you? What will you exposure be? How will you protect yourself from litigation when a backyard gardener gets stung and can't work their garden?

I have people ask me to set hives in their backyard to aid in pollinating their garden. I encourage them to pay attention to what pollinators are already there doing the pollination. I tell them that there already are bumblebees and hilicted bees and all sorts of other pollinators out there in their yard and garden. Native pollinators should be encouraged.

Besides, just because a hive of bees are sitting where someone w/ a garden can see it doesn't mean that those bees are going to work what is in that garden. There may well be more attractive sources of what the bees need than what is available in any one garden. Unless that garden is huge.
 

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Our local bee club promotes the concept and offered the price of $175 per year, it list the names of beeks who are willing to participate. It is up to the individuals beeks on whether they are permanent hives or seasonal.

My two cents .... Charge a fair fee
 

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i just placed 2 hives for CSAs on tuesday morning. i considered charging a fee for both of them but in the end decided to not. one is just starting up, and i don't want to burden them with additional startup costs, and i drive literally right by the place to and from work every day. the other CSA is established but has excellent foraging opportunities nearby. they both expressed interest in doing a "honey share" for their members which would provide me a direct marketing opportunity to their members. plus i will get free veggies from both of them to supplement the already big garden that i grow every year.

i saw some other benefits outside of actual income so ultimately didn't charge a fee to them. in all honesty, a CSA doesn't get much pollination from my bees. there are only a few garden plants that benefit from honeybees. now a fruit CSA is a different story, and there's one of those about a 1/4 mile from the startup CSA that i mentioned above.
 

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Really it depends on your goals, and time.

If you want to just expand a few more hives, and it is fairly close to home, put a couple more out. I would come up with some type of simple written agreement and waiver.

I wouldnt worry about charging them, or giving them honey. You will be getting more honey, they will be getting pollination.

I would be very very picky who I would do this with though.

Now if you are in it for the money, and have little time, ignore everything I said.
 

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+1 to this idea. If you've got bees at multiple locations you are basically doubling or tripling the time needed to service your bees AND more fuel and vehicle wear. IF you have lots of time and money this may not be an issue at first but the novelty will soon wear off.
That's good advice that I didn't follow. I 've tried the hive rental idea with a couple hives. It sounds great on paper, but much different in reality. Even at a couple hundred bucks a year rental fee, the time, gas, etc. to maintain that one hive is not worth it plus that time lost that could be better spent tending to more hives in larger yards. The final solution was to get permission to put many hives in that location for free and make it just another beeyard. I don't charge land owners if they let me keep bees there year round.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the comments, but they are all across the board. I still don't know what to do.
 

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Are you keeping bees for profit, or for pleasure?
If it is not for profit, close to home, will be easy to work, etc., and the garden owner is gardening for pleasure then give enough honey for their personal use (like 1 gal/year). You keep the rest of the harvest. If they garden for profit then forget giving them the honey for their personal use and consider charging a pollination fee.
If you keep bees for income then treat it like any other potential business opportunity and make a sound business decision.
In my experience both parties have to be compatible ( both in it for profit, or both for pleasure) or the relationship will falter sooner rather than later.
 

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The reason we present so many angles for this situation is because all our need are different
from location to location. After all, beekeeping is location specific just like real estates.
And each location is unique to your strategic plan to grow your hives, locally. First of all figure out what this location
can provide for your bees and then for yourself. i.e. Consider how close this location is to your ability to tend to them
at swarm time. Driving half hour to tend to 1 bee hive is not that economical and feasible. Travel time also involve
gas and time to get there. What about future growth if the first few 'test hives' are successful. Are they willing to let you expand more hives on their property, how many? Then we have the safety concern when you place the hives there. Any animals or critters
there to get to your hives sending mad bees everywhere? Do you need to put a fence around so they will not bother your bees?
Only under the ideal condition like honey flow, safety, and driving convenience will I do this. And no liability issues to the beekeeper at all. You mentioned to provide drones to your hive so I would imagine that the location is close by within a few miles?
 

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Thanks for the comments, but they are all across the board. I still don't know what to do.
I agree with Mark's comment
How will you protect yourself from litigation when a backyard gardener gets stung and can't work their garden?
I think that once you accept payment it changes your status as far as the legal/licensing/reporting etc. rules and regs are concerned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I agree with Mark's comment

I think that once you accept payment it changes your status as far as the legal/licensing/reporting etc. rules and regs are concerned.
That's an exellent point. I hadn't thought of that.
 

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I'm letting a friend "borrow" one of my hives this year. He is about 20 miles from me and I really don't want to have to go all that way to check one hive. I usually leave them alone a lot anyway. So what I'm doing is making a split, letting them queen themselves and moving this small colony to his house. Put an undrawn deep on top of that and they should be good for most of the summer. As long as he reports that they are flying in and out at a good rate I'm just going to leave them alone until his garden is done and go get them. Just for my liability purposes, I'm having him sign a paper stating that they are HIS property from the date I leave them to the day I pick them up. I accept no responsibility for anything that happens in between.
 

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I agree with Mark's comment

I think that once you accept payment it changes your status as far as the legal/licensing/reporting etc. rules and regs are concerned.
this reason and the fact that i started doing removals this year are why i carry liability insurance. it covers a lot of things but bees at outyards and any damage i might do during a removal are the two biggies for me.
 

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It really depends on what you want? Do you need a place to keep more hives? Is the place convenient for you to stop by? If you need room for more hives then no I would not charge them. Give them a couple jars of honey and call it even. If you don't need another spot or if it is out of the way for you to stop by then charge them a fee. I promise you will have lots of people wanting you to place a couple hives on their place for pollination. I tried to accommodate people the first couple years I kept bees and it just got out of hand. I had 2-4 hives all over town and it took half a day to make the rounds to each hive. And I found that during the summer heat the hives further out did not get the proper care. So now if I can't put 4-6 pallets at a place I won't mess with it. So like I said at first it really just depends on what you need at the time. Don't try and make everyone happy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
What I am now thinking of doing is to sell the double deep hive for maybe $200 with the understanding that I will take care of it yearly for no charge as long as I can. I will place the honey supers, extract it and give them maybe half or a third each year (if it makes any). I will also replace it when I can if it doesn't make it through the winter.
 
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