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I have been contacted 2 times in the last week by people that want cut outs done. Both people had talked to me earlier this year and both decided that I didnt know what I was talking about and just wanted to see if the bees would move on. Now both have decided that :ws

They contacted me to do these, and I have done 1 so far. My question is what is the last day most people would do a cut out, in order for the bees to adjust to the new hive and take advantage of the fall flow.
 

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NY, that sounds exactly like what happened to me recently. The person involoved lives 1 hour+ away, one way. So I went up there, explained how the bees work and their friend who works for a honey manufacturer calls them and says "put some lemon grass oil out, they'll come out of the wall." I told them that wouldn't work, but hey, it's their house, go ahead and try it. Two weeks later they call me back, guess what? The bees are still in the wall. So I make a 2nd trip up there and start doing more recon, probably about 2 hours that time around crawling all around their house, and tell them what my thoughts are and what's involved. I thought I was starting that afternoon, but he tells me he wanted me to come back the next night, it'd be more convenient. I go back the 3rd time and we run into an issue, tho not a big one, the bees are in the soffit, not the wall and since the house is stucco, I don't want to cut it. He decides he wants to call his contractor out to pick his brain about the situation. Ok, sure, fine. A 4th trip up there and another couple of hours with the home owner and the contractor. The contractor says "I had bees going in my house under my tub, a beekeeper came and had like 98% of them out of the wall in a few hours using queen pheromones, and didn't have to cut into my house at all, why can't you do that?" Once again I explained it doesn't work like that. The contractor again says that this other beek did it, but agrees, don't cut into the stucco. I told them then call the other beekeeper and get him over here, cause I'd like to talk to him and see what his secret is, it's not possible. The home owner again looks at me like he is still doubting me, but wants to know if there are any other options. I told him a trap out is the last option. He asked me about doing a trap out, of which I told him being a 2nd story roof soffit would be a bit of a pain, take a couple months with constant supervision (more trips) to do and your going to leave the comb and honey all behind which will melt in the summer heat, then explained the problems that they could have with that too. He then tells me that he wants to explore other options.
Fast forwards another 40 days or so and now I guess their other options didn't pan out, so now they want to know "when can you come up and get started?" I don't mean to sound rude or anything, but I already have over 10 hours invested in this venture, prob out $100 in fuel so far so I am a little put off by their "just drop everything and deal with my problem now that we agree with you" attitude now that they realize what I said was right. Plus now that the colony has been there for 2 months+, I'm sure it's a lot bigger. I have other people that have problems with bees too that I am currently dealing with , I have not been home for a weekend in 3 months, so I am to the point that they are last on the list. What the saying, "Lack of planning on your part does not constitute and emergency on my part"?
So if anyone wants a job, let me know, they can have this one. I'll just watch from a far. :popcorn:

But to address your question about how late? I did one last Nov 2nd and they made it thru the winter just fine. In fact, that colony is one of my top producers this year, they have just about completed filling their 2nd deep super.

C2
 

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Me being here in N Centeral Texas, I have found in the past 2 years I was able to do cut outs year round. I save all honey from cutouts thru freezing. I take the cut out on a day when it's warm enough for bees to fly. I box them, put them in my garage, and feed the stored honey by poring it directly on top of the frames a couple of times a week. Just keep them warm and working the honey. I would also sprinkle Mega Bee on the honey some times. Works for me. If I had a problem, I would bring in a Nuc from the yard and combine. Good Luck
 

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Batman, you are in the driver's seat. I would charge them extra for their attitude and not trusting you.

But here is what I do. When I get a call and it's not real close, I explain that I charge $65 to come and and assess the problem. I tell them that if we agree upon a price to do the job, I knock $15 off of the $65 when I get paid.

When I have had a problem with this, I usually find that I wouldn't get the job anyway. There have been a few times where I dropped the $65 fee based on initial conversation on the phone and gut feelings.
 

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Batman, you are in the driver's seat. I would charge them extra for their attitude and not trusting you.

QUOTE]

Ken, you're definately right there and believe me, that has crossed my mind many times and NY needs to think the same way. Our time is important to us and our family. I just lost a cut out job in Manteca, they say that they found someone that will do it for free. Someone thats going to cut into your wall and remove bees for free?? IDK about that, but I do know it wont be me. Maybe I should do like you said Ken, charge for and inspection, my wife has suggested it. I drove an hour down and an hour back, plus at least 1 hour on site throwing ladders up and assessing their 2 bee colonies. You know what, I'm going to type out a bill right and send it to them right now! I don't really care about my time, though I should, as much as I care about "wasting 10 gallons fuel at $3.25 per gal @ 15 mpg"

C2
 

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:eek:t:

Go for it Batman! If they complain and refuse to pay take them to small claims court. Be sure to put in your bill exactly what you did and the time spent there and travel. I would also put in the description what was said by the owner.

I do this in my bills for cutouts, trapouts, yardwork and landscaping. The owner knows exactly what I am charging him/her.

I have a landscaping job that I am working part time now including irrigation. There was somethings that she wanted done and then decided to go in another direction. THat was fine with me. She's the boss. But I wanted to plant the hostas anyway. I also installed a temp. solution for a timer that puts water into the pool every day that feeds her fountain. I put all of this in one section of the bill. Described what I did, what I purchased or used and billed her "no charge". It should have been done before now and she was having to travel out of her way to this rental to put water in the pool. You gotta be true to your word.

That was my decision. She was pleased with what I did but it wasn't on the list of things to do. She would pay me but I feel "no charge" is fair.
 

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I go back the 3rd time and we run into an issue, tho not a big one, the bees are in the soffit, not the wall and since the house is stucco, I don't want to cut it. He decides he wants to call his contractor out to pick his brain about the situation.
There's no good reason you can't cut into stucco, if you know how to work with the material. Just ask a stucco guy, not them guys in the orange aprons. ;)

Although... I have yet to see a stucco soffitt. Are you sure? Fiber-cement, maybe?


Fast forwards another 40 days or so and now I guess their other options didn't pan out, so now they want to know "when can you come up and get started?" I don't mean to sound rude or anything, but I already have over 10 hours invested in this venture, prob out $100 in fuel so far so I am a little put off by their "just drop everything and deal with my problem now that we agree with you" attitude now that they realize what I said was right.
If you had charged them at the beginning for your fuel and trip costs, they wouldn't have wasted so much of your time, I guarantee. Doing that ensures you win either way. Either they're people who CAN pay you, and they won't want to dilly-dally and pay you more than necessary. Or, they CAN'T or WON'T pay you, in which case you're best off finding that out Day One. Your free bees have cost you how much, now?

It seems some people are just bound and determined to waste your time, and/or chisel you. I'm a contractor; trust me. ;) I have seen it all. The people who pay full retail for their latest i-gadget from their god, Steve Jobs... will try to knock 50% off your bid right off the bat. They can't do construction work themselves, but they think it's not worth anything because illegals do it.

</rant>

Always charge. Set your price, and stick to it. You're getting bees, but that's none of their business -- you are eliminating THEIR problem, and for that, you are to be compensated.


Batman, you are in the driver's seat. I would charge them extra for their attitude and not trusting you.
Guys who are good at their business inevitably will have this happen: You give a bid, client thinks you're too high, goes with someone cheaper. Cheaper guy does bad job, client calls you, says sorry, could you please do my job?

Question: What do you do?

Answer: Double your original bid.

Nine times out of ten, they'll suck it up and pay it.
 
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