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Hi all.

I've been approached by two different CSA's to place hives at their operations. They're hopeful that they'll see an increase in yield with bees around.

For those of you that have done this, did you charge any fee or ask for veggies in return for pollination service? We grow a big garden at our place and don't need many veggies other than the out-of-the-ordinary stuff. One of the CSA's is in an area that has questionable amounts of forage, so I probably won't see much of a honey crop from that hive. The other one has alfalfa and other good forages available very closeby, so it should still produce some honey and maybe a good crop. This one also wants to partner to provide a "honey share" to its members, which is a direct sales avenue for me. Bonus. Haven't talked to the other one about that path yet.

Just curious how those of you that have partnered with CSA's have handled the relationship.

TIA
 

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Always think about your bottom line FIRST. You have to work these hives, drive to and from. Make sure they are pest free, etc. The question of "should I charge" shouldn't come up. YOU should ALWAYS charge for pollination fees. Even if you love the people that you are helping out, they need to know that NOTHING is free in this world and everything costs something. So charge them an appropriate fee per month for pollination services that will at least cover your expenses and give you a few $ to start a new hive elsewhere.

An old friend once told me " You always charge something for anything work related you do no matter what, for if you don't you will always be ask for the same thing repeatedly and once the word of mouth spreads, everyone will want that same thing for FREE too."
 

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I have a deal with the crop share we used to be a part of. I maintain at least two hives at their farm during the pollinating season and I get a free crop share. so it's just a simple barter. they are also perfectly happy when i bring out mating nucs, splits....etc. it works to their benefit, and gives me an outyard for playing mating games and what not. Financially, it's abotua wash. a few hundred dollars of crop share vs a couple of hives for a few months. Everybody is happy with it, so it';s not very complicated.
 

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I am a hobbiest, so if the locations were close, provided good forage, and they wanted just a hive or two, I would do it for free just cause I like being a nice guy. Plus, there is a good chance you will make some beneficial connections that will be helpful at some point in the future.
 

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Money is a good medium in which to be paid. Then you can buy a share if you wish.
 

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I work on a farm in trade for a CSAShare, and I would say the bees are only useful to a few crops unless they have a large fruit share. Youstand to benefit potentially if greens and brassica crops are allowed to bloom as bees love them, whether it is for pollen or nectar I wouldn't know. I will be keeping a hive at the farm I work at because itis a great spot for chemical free forage. I wouldn't even consider charging a fee because he is the hardest working person I know and I love his veg's despite having a large garden of my own. So I would decide based on whether the forage or honey market make it worthwhile and if he grows varieties you don't and would accept as barter.
 
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