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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a hobbyist beek with 2 backyard hives.

I am in contact with a gentleman who owns a large garden (I think he sells fruit and produce as a business on the side). He has 2 hives on his property, only one of which is currently active. He had a family friend managing the hives (for free) before this person passed away in the fall. He wants someone to manage the hives for him so that he has good polination for his garden.

He said he is willing to pay a reasonable fee for me to manage his 2 hives, but I have no clue what would be reasonable. Here are some details as I know them:

* He would own the bees and equipment
* He is willing to pay for any costs associated with the management (replacement equipment, bees, meds, etc.)
* I don't think he is interested in the honey aspect - he wants good produce. I asked him what the previous person did about honey, and he didn't know.
* He lives about 20 minutes away from my house, so travel time is not extreme.

What would be appropriate to ask for my troubles? I think we could come to an arrangement for the honey (like I said, I don't think he cares about it).

Thoughts and comments?
 

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Figure your gas/mileage and how frequently you would need to visit

What % of the honey crop you would get and calculate what your time is worth to you.

Simple math problem really.

On the other hand I would ask what happened to the last beek and why they left.

Its one thing to manage your own bees, if they don't make it then there's no one else to blame....what happens if the bees don't survive? Are you to blame suddenly?
 

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If he is not interested in the honey tell him that what ever honey they produce you would like for payment. You do all the management and extracting and he covers any cost that is directly for the bees(brood frame replacement, meds, feed, queens etc.). You provide the honey supers you will be extracting from and he just provides the brood/winter honey boxes.The better the job you do the more honey you will recieve(weather depending).

BTW this post would fit the regular bee forum better than the commercial forum
 

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Considering you have no equipment costs, no bees costs and about the only thing you will incur are fuel costs and your time (with two hives shouldn't be much)

If the hive produces 50 lbs (average in the states) and you can sell it for $5 a lb you can make $250 bucks. That I think would be a fair fee considering you have no risk. However if they don't produce any honey...well then...
 

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If the hive produces 50 lbs (average in the states) and you can sell it for $5 a lb you can make $250 bucks. That I think would be a fair fee considering you have no risk. However if they don't produce any honey...well then...
I don't think that will end up covering her fuel costs let alone wear and tear on vehicle for the 40 min round trip once or twice a month.
 

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Free experience on hives that she doesn't have input into. If they die she's not liable for replacing like they were her own. If it's a killer crop year she could produce over 100lbs per hive.
 

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I don't think that will end up covering her fuel costs let alone wear and tear on vehicle for the 40 min round trip once or twice a month.

What?? lol are you joking? 250 bucks on fuel for managing two hives?? :lpf: I think $250 of honey for managing two hives is more then generous. I can drive my 1989 1 ton for an hour on 1/4 tank which costs me about 7 bucks. SO given six months of managing a hive, twice a month is 84 bucks. I don't know what she is driving but I doubt it eats as much gas as my 1 ton. Other then me I haven't seen anyone else throw out a number? What do you recommend JPK? 500 bucks? That would be nuts!:eek:
 

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IRS tables for mileage indicate .50 per mile for 2010....so lets assume that the .50 covers fuel and other costs to operate vehicle (it doesn't of course once you look at maint/repairs and insurance).

Lets say that 40 min trip is ~30 miles and she makes that trip twice a month from april through october and throw in another couple for the winter.

That ~17 trips x 30 = 510 mles. At the 2010 rate thats $255 alone.

Lets assume a 100lb crop for the two colonies.

Even if she gets to keep all the honey you have to include cost of bottles and any other expenses (Labels etc).

What about insurance if she intends to sell it? Most farmers markets will not allow you to sell without product insurance (add ~$350/year).

In other words from a perspective of costs alone a simple trade for honey is a losing proposition.
 

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Steve,

I would do it for nothing. I figure the honey, possible free fresh produce, and a location to sell your honey as payment. I think your hives went queenless, and these extra hives would give you some insurance.
 

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I would say, charge $60/year per hive and let him keep up to 2 quarts of honey per year per hive (if they have a honey crop at all), and you get to keep the rest (if there is any), and any bees you get from doing splits.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hi All,
I thank each one of you for your insight. Your comments have helped me decide what to do.

I have decided to propose to the owner that I maintain his hive, and he doesn't pay me any money. I get to keep the honey, and use the hives for splits, etc. and keep the extras. He pays for any equipment and/or bee needs (i.e. he owns the hives). If he has extra produce/fruit from his garden, he could send some my way. I'll do the same with some honey, just to be friendly.

This forum is a wealth of information!!
 
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