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i got a swarm call that is 75 miles away, they are under a mobil home. they have been there for at least a year so i guess its not really a swarm. seems kind of dangerous to be crawling under a mobile home looking for bees. he is willing to pay me to come he said. I am willing to go if they are willing to pay. what should i charge? i was thinking $200.00? it will take $45.00 of gas, 4+ hours im sure. i think it may be fun but im also really busy so i have to make it worth my while.
 

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200-300 would be fair. I typically don't charge for getting the bee's the drive is your issue. I usually ask for gas money and enough for lunch for me and my son kind of thing when it is local 30 miles or less. So I think you have the right idea.
 

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This is not a swarm call. This is a cut-out.

The going rate is usually around $100 an hour labor, with a $250 minimum for a cut-out. The homeowner is responsible for all repairs. Your job is to remove the colony, and you are not responsible for any incidental damages to the property.

If I were you, I would be charging $XX for travel costs over and above the $250 minimum charge.

I get asked to do cut-outs now and then. I mention the $100 an hour, and $250 minimum, plus the homeowner being responsible for all repairs. Then I remind them that a can of Raid is only $5. I tell them they can spend their money however they want, but if I were in their shoes (and I'm a beekeeper) I would be buying a can of Raid.
 

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When I first read 'Manhattan' as your location I was thinking more like $1000, but then I saw 'Montana' after that... so yeah... $200 sounds fair.

I get asked to do cut-outs now and then. I mention the $100 an hour, and $250 minimum, plus the homeowner being responsible for all repairs. Then I remind them that a can of Raid is only $5. I tell them they can spend their money however they want, but if I were in their shoes (and I'm a beekeeper) I would be buying a can of Raid.
I'm just gonna take a guess here... you've never worked in sales before, have you?
 

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Actually, I have. Folks like me for my honesty, and appreciate me trying to make sure they don't spend money needlessly.

You make far more money in the long run, due to repeat business and referrals. Folks don't like to feel railroaded into a decision - be honest about their options, and let them make a decision.
 

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People actually do pay for this service? I have never had anyone offer to pay me to do a removal. So I don't do them.

I was leaving the grocery store parking lot yesterday in my F-450 w/ the signs on the side and a guy ran across the lot to flag me down. "Are you a beekeeper?", he asked. "Yes.", I said. "I have a friend w/ bees in the wall of his house. Would you come take them out. They have been there for years." "No, there is no profit in it for me. Unless he is willing to pay me. Is he willing to pay to have them removed?" "No.", he said. There ya go. And this is not in the middle of Montana where you have to go 75 miles to find a beekeeper. This is in northern NY.

I can buy bees cheaper than I can spending my time getting them out of someone house.
 

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Are you getting any work? Are you a professional at this? I wonder why the extermination companies don't hire a beekeeper full time to do this or train their people to do this? Not worth the liability? Or what?
 

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I get several calls a week.. I'm a carpenter by trade so i also offer to repair the walls.Some folks think I ought do it for the bees and i've bartered or struck deals with those folks who were reasonable... those folks who don't wanna pay or are not reasonable need the bees more than i do i suppose lol.Far as i can see there are only 2 folks here in susquehanna county, PA that do cutouts and we both charge $300.00 to start
 

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I would let them know that you will charge for showing up regardless. You will assess the situation and if they have sprayed the bees, you will charge for the trip and then leave without doing anything. Charge enough for your time and the trip up front. Give them a range of what it will "probably" take to do the job depending on the situation and lay out some of the situations for them if it helps. Remember half of these are yellow jackets and the other half have been sprayed with raid...
 

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I have not done cutouts for many years due to the reasons that sqkcrk has laid out. Around here, people think you should do them for the bees. BS! I can go out to my beeyards and make a split and it costs me the cost of a box and frames, $20.00 maximum. They also want you to do the repairs free of charge. One guy told me I should do the job for free because he was giving me a free hive of bees. Here's the big kicker; most of the time they have already sprayed the bees numerous times so the comb is not usable, the honey is not usable and you're taking out highly suspect bees. BEES ARE NOT IN SHORT SUPPLY! THEY ARE NOT ON BACKORDER! If you can't make decent wages for your work let them call an exterminator. You've all seen the ads just on this site alone; good bees, good prices, pick them up and take them home already in a box. :lookout:
 

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I jumped headfirst into the be removal business and have learned (and always am learning) the hard way about the conditions under which people want bees removed.

Yes, many have attempted spraying the entrance with raid or similar. yes, many of the calls you get are yellow jackets instead. Right now, I would say about 1/4 to 1/3 of the calls I get are indeed honey bees that have not yet been an attempt to kill them first (these are usually the ones that are the most difficult to get to, on a roof, upper floor, etc...)

I refer to myself as a honey bee conservationist. my objective is to obtain and help propagate healthy honey bee colonies.

I refer to my cut outs and swarm captures as "rescues" because there are indeed far too many people who will try to kill a swarm or colony of honey bees because it is easy or the cheaper way to remove them.

Since I have been 'rescuing' bees as a business endeavor, I do charge for the service of removing the bees, the comb, cleanup and relocation (I don't do repair, I'm not a contractor and I don't pretend to bee).

I do not encourage people to use raid or other methods to kill bees. that is counter productive to trying to keep bees alive. If there is a hive or situation where it just is not safe or justifiable to get the bees, I have referred folks to an exterminator that is very reliable and responsible. All too often I have seen people get themselves into bad situations and getting severely stung by spraying raid or other things into bee hives.

There is a greater public awareness about honey bees being raised and there are more people who want to remove bees alive and have them relocated and yes, they are willing to pay to do so. At least in my area I am seeing this.

75 miles is a big distance to drive for free, to provide a service to the people who want the bees removed. Since it is not a swarm but a cutout, there is a lot more work involved to remove the bees. Don't put yourself in a position to regret going out that far. Charge what you feel is a fair price for the work you will be doing.

I have arrangements with local exterminators who refer the bee calls they get to me and alI the yellow jackets, etc, my calls turn out to be over to them. It works out well so far.

Big Bear
 

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I get asked to do cut-outs now and then. I mention the $100 an hour, and $250 minimum, plus the homeowner being responsible for all repairs. Then I remind them that a can of Raid is only $5. I tell them they can spend their money however they want, but if I were in their shoes (and I'm a beekeeper) I would be buying a can of Raid.

OK, So we raid them and we kill basically everything we can get to, in a cutout, how many times have you seen the hive straight in. You will kill some yes, but most of the time, not the colony, then you still have to tear the wall out. Are you informing them of that when you tell them to buy this can of raid? Do they know the level of problems they will encounter and know they still will have to tear out the wall to clean out the hive and the mess that they have made within the wall. DO they know if they don't do that then they will have bigger problems on their hand?? These are some of the things i would think about LONG before telling anyone to buy a can of raid. If you don't want to do the job, then no problem, but to me, it sounds almost like bad advice, but hey, ask my wife, I am never right......
 

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I charge $30 to access the cutout and then $200 minimum to remove. So far the one call I had this year decided to go elsewhere which is fine by me. I also find that 90% of all honey bee cutouts are in fact yellow jackets or wasps at which point I tell em to get an exterminator.
I have retrieved four swarms this year for a total time significantly less than if I had done a cutout. To be honest I am not that interested in them and would not even consider it if more than 15 miles away.
 

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mobile homes are easy,BUT if they are low you end up working overhead....usually you just have to cut the cloth underneath...easy access...charge for travel time both ways&I start prices at $200 for removing the bees depending on access[6' ladder vs. a 32'laddeer]remember to talk with the people&get an impression if you need to write up a little release of liability for repairs &get them to sign it.Had an old scraggly guy in a little house want bees out&for some reason I decided to do this&he turned out to be an attorney[1 of his rental houses]&he refused to sign it...bye bye...C.Y.A.
 

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This is not a swarm call. This is a cut-out.

The going rate is usually around $100 an hour labor, with a $250 minimum for a cut-out. The homeowner is responsible for all repairs. Your job is to remove the colony, and you are not responsible for any incidental damages to the property.

If I were you, I would be charging $XX for travel costs over and above the $250 minimum charge.

I get asked to do cut-outs now and then. I mention the $100 an hour, and $250 minimum, plus the homeowner being responsible for all repairs. Then I remind them that a can of Raid is only $5. I tell them they can spend their money however they want, but if I were in their shoes (and I'm a beekeeper) I would be buying a can of Raid.
depending on where the nest is located that could work.
then there is chance of more damage if you do not remove the comb or bees returning.
do you tell them that? i do.
 
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