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Discussion Starter #1
I got a call from an exterminating company this morning, asking me to call a lady with bees in her house. She thinks they moved into the cavity last Tuesday. From what she said they seem to be in between the foundation and the wood siding on an addition, at near ground level. It sounds very easy and straightforward (I have done about a dozen cut-outs before).

The tricky part is this: she called another beekeeper last week and it sounds like he set up a trap-out. I don't know if he didn't explain that it would take some time (or perhaps he thought since it was a fresh swarm they might move right in) but she wants this beehive gone, yesterday. I asked if she had gotten back in touch with the original beek, and she said no. I think I can do this cutout easy and fast, but I do not want to step on this guy's toes since I feel it is pretty clear he has 'first dibs.' There are bees in her house and bees flying outside, its possible he messed up the trap-out but then its possible he just wanted to try it before doing a cut-out.

This is about 40 minutes from where I live, I can do it tomorrow morning but I asked her to please call him before I committed. Supposing she can't get in touch with him, should I just go and do the cut-out, or should I decline out of respect for the other beek? What are the 'rules' here?
 

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Well apparently the other Beek didn't bother to explain the situation and his plans for remediation to the client at all. In this case, if he/she didn't manage to get ahold of the other Beek, I would go ahead and offer my help as in this case there was obvious things not explained correctly.
 

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Perhaps she should call the other beek and politely ask him to remove his trap before you go in. If the cut out will be quick and simple you can tell her the situation can be rectified so soon as the other beeks equipment is removed.
 

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WBVC is right. The original agreement is between the owner and the previous beekeeper. Once his equipment has been removed then you can move yours in to get the job done. As it stands this is like taking something that was promised to someone else. Not a good practice. Think of it in reverse . . . you put your equipment there to catch a hive of bees and someone else came in behind you, performed a cutout and left with those bees. As for the honey there? I guess the other keeper was going to let it sit there and seep into the walls.
 

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The other beek might have explained and she might have not grasped it. I think it would be appropriate for her to make contact and give him the opportunity to either do the cut out or retrieve his equipment first. You may not ever have contact with her again after the job is done, but that other beek will remember you and may create negative publicity for you for a long time if he feels like he was not treated fairly. He might not be a fair guy anyway, but who knows? I'd give him the chance to make it right first and you'll probably feel better about the deal too.
 

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Yeah, you are dealing with "He said / she said."

The beekeeper might have told her what he is doing and either she didn't "get" the part that it wouldn't be quick, or didn't understand. . . . . . . . OR, he might not have told her anything.

She wants the bees removed - you let her do the "clearing up".

Perhaps the beekeeper has never done a cutout before, and would be happy to help you in exchange for the experience.
Perhaps he doesn't have time to do a cutout.

Explain to her that you can help her, but only after the first beekeeper has been contacted and things "cleared up".

And just to double check, you may want to get his phone number and confirm that what she says he wants done, is actually correct.
 

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Personally, I wouldn't even touch this.

It sounds like either her ethics, or comprehension is weak - Or perhaps both. Fertile ground for a headache in either case.

If she had concerns about the previous beekeeper's work, it's up to her to followup with him, not get someone else mixed up in her dissatisfaction.

I'd politely tell her she'd be best to continue to followup with the beekeeper she's already engaged, and leave it at that.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I did have a bad feeling about it; I felt like I was put in an awkward position. On the one hand, I didn't want bad blood with another beek, on the other, I didn't want a client to be able to say I didn't provide the service I claim to be able to provide. She never did get in touch with the original beek, BUT she did call me back to say she didn't want to go through with the cut-out (didn't want to tear into her house), which was actually a relief. About ten minutes later I got another call, much closer, ready to pay, and for a hive of pretty black bees, so everything worked out. Thank you all for your thoughts.
 
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