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I have some friends that own pest control companies. They all know honeybees are valuable and will not spray them. They call a bee keeper.

The last few weeks have been busy around here. The first was a swarm of bees in a playground of a day care. They had formed the evening before and I did not get the call till later the next morning. I was already booked at the day job so I could not go right away. They left out about noon on there merry way to a new hive.

Another call 20 miles in another direction a few days later. I called another keeper that had yards in that location and he investigated. Yellow jackets.

Next was a swarm in a house. 2 keepers had already came and left. I show up, and sure enough, bees. 15' up in the air in the eave of a very nice cedar sided home. They were going in and out of a crack in the beam that stuck out over the deck. There was to be no cutout here, she would not allow it.

Next was a bunch of bumble bees going in and out of a hole in the ground, she had already floured the area with sevin dust.

Today, another from another nice home across the cedar house. They were swarming her pool waterfall. Upon investigation, there was only about 3 dozen bees enjoying a nice cool drink from her saltwater pool waterfall. They were drinking off the rocks. I watched them fly out and told her the general direction of the course, probably a wild hive in a tree. She was relieved.

Funny thing is when I leave, they ask me how much they owe me. Do people charge for these inspections?

Any tricks to keep bees from drinking off the new saltwater pools?
 

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I have had more calls for Honey bees that turn out to be yellow jackets, only one 'don't cut my house". I even had a women insist her wasp were honey bees, I asked her how long she had been a beekeeper, she finally shut up. Yes I am as rude as I sound, for studio people.
 

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I have had more calls for Honey bees that turn out to be yellow jackets, only one 'don't cut my house". I even had a women insist her wasp were honey bees, I asked her how long she had been a beekeeper, she finally shut up. Yes I am as rude as I sound, for studio people.
8 out of 10 last year were yellow jackets. People pay to get rid of those things!
Really well! This year 4 for 4 on honey bees so far. You sound like family to me, got called a name caller here in the forums...ha!
 

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I had a call last week, the woman had seen one bumble bee fly under her mobile home.

A guy for a cut out call today, "How much do you charge???" I asked a few questions... "All I want to know is how much you charge?"
 

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Ask more questions up front! Remember, if they admit they sprayed "just a little", not worth the gamble to relocate to my bee yard (because they probably sprayed until they got nailed!). Seriously...ask more questions. If they play the "how much do you charge", you say that's dependent on many questions. (Those people are usually the ones just running down a list, and they're going to choose the cheapest option, even if they have little or no experience.) If you need to write a list until you get the hang of it, do it. First question I ask....Have you sprayed or treated them in ANY way? If they even stammer, I decline. Second...How high up is it? Anything that needs more than a 6' step ladder goes up in price. Anything above 10', I simply price myself out...not worth a broken hip or worse. I used to do the "lemme come take a look and give you an estimate"....I learned the right questions, and don't make free drives anymore. Ask the right questions up front and you will save yourself a bunch of time and wasted effort. (Sounds like your PCO's need some more training....lol)
 

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8 out of 10 last year were yellow jackets. People pay to get rid of those things!
Are you an exterminator? Certified? In most States I am familiar w/ if you aren't a Certified Pesticide Applicator you can not legeally spray pesticides on other people's property for pay. Just FYI.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The PCO's have them call me direct, normally they do not send one of their guys out until I tell them too.

The questions I normally ask are:

Are you sure they are honeybees?
How many are there? The yellow jacket and bumble bee guys said there was a swarm of a thousand bees.

As far as the drive, I am out on business every day and it does not really cost anything to swing by another house. Most have been real friendly. The last was relieved that it was only bees drinking and not a swarm building a hive in the waterfall.
 

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Do people charge for these inspections?
You can charge anything you want but when there is money involved the home owner does not call until after they have tried to solve the problem with an aerosol can.
 

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I ask as many questions as possible. I don't do cutouts because I don't want the liability. I only collect swarms that are relatively simple although I'll do a little pruning to facilitate a clean drop.

I don't charge for collecting swarms. I'm happy to have the bees, meet new people, and educate the public when I can. I'm also really leery of crossing the line that separates a guy with a hobby from a guy running a business. If I charge, the city is going to expect a business licence and an approved location. The state wants a tax ID, as do the Feds. I need insurance.

Maybe I'm overly cautious, but anyone charging a fee, no matter how small, needs to make sure they're properly set up to do so in order to protect themselves.
 

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I do talk to people and ask questions. Recently the one call that was actually honey bees the owner said he would not spray them, he wants to save them.
 

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I ask as many questions as possible. I don't do cutouts because I don't want the liability. I only collect swarms that are relatively simple although I'll do a little pruning to facilitate a clean drop.

I don't charge for collecting swarms. I'm happy to have the bees, meet new people, and educate the public when I can. I'm also really leery of crossing the line that separates a guy with a hobby from a guy running a business. If I charge, the city is going to expect a business licence and an approved location. The state wants a tax ID, as do the Feds. I need insurance.

Maybe I'm overly cautious, but anyone charging a fee, no matter how small, needs to make sure they're properly set up to do so in order to protect themselves.
>>>Your questions should isolate the fact whether we are dealing with a swarm or a living nest, first. If it is a swarm and you do not want to charge within your city, for example, tell the caller this: swarm-removal is free within the city limit, but if the swarm takes off before I get there, I will charge you, say, a dollar a mile, both ways, for you do not want to be left high and dry. Also ask them to call you as soon as they see the bees take off so that you can turn around en route and charge only the miles you have traveled.

Many people do not want to spend a dime for getting bees out of their property while paying lots of money for the bug man. Why? Because we beekeepers have allowed that for better or worse. Not me.

Earthboy
 

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Many people do not want to spend a dime for getting bees out of their property while paying lots of money for the bug man. Why? Because we beekeepers have allowed that for better or worse. Not me.

Earthboy
I am involved in a few businesses that deal with the general public. Exactly how do you extract money from people when you don't have a written signed contract? I have the same question for you when you do have a signed written contract. I am just wondering what tactics you use. I think the people who break people's legs or instill the fear of breaking legs are the only ones successful for getting paid.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thankfully, there has been lots of publicity about bees in the past few years. Homeowners and PCO's don't want to kill them outright. They seem to want another solution. At least that is what I have gathered around here. And the interest in beekeeping is on the uprise too. People are becoming more aware of what the honey bee is for. I just wish they were better at ID'ing them over the phone. Most don't want to get close enough to take a pic.

I have noticed that the general public seems to think they are deathly allergic to bee stings, hence the rise in the Epi Pen sales. Everyone that visits my house is scared to death to go look at the bees. They seem to be programmed to think that the bees are going to rise up from the hive and attack en mass if you go near it. Same thing goes when they see several swarming around a pool drinking water.
 
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