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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently I have been looking for new places to keep my bees. I have found one good place that is a big flower garden and is owned by an Asian family. I have been thinking about how I can sell them the idea of letting me place my bees on their property.

I have struck out a few times this year which doesnt make since. A few farmers have told me no. I do not see why. Free pollination.... free honey... helping the enviroment....

anyway... what are the pitches you all use when confronting a land owner in hopes to use their property???
 

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I've had a few declines, but others are asking for hives for their gardens. It helps if you already have a relationship/friendship I think, something about trust. There is a lot of fear even though the bees will be around anyway.
 

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I've never tried it. I've always had more requests then bees, but if I ran short, I would probably run a free ad in the local agricultural review, place notes on bullitin boards in feed stores, and any other farmer patronized stores. Let them come to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I unserstand the trust/ friendship idea and also the "let them come to me idea" but I just moved here and I know NO ONE. So I need to venture out and look for places. Some of the farmers are not with it. I mean.. free pollination and honey. What a deal.

I need to find a way to sell it to them.

iddee: I tried working with the beekeeping club here and they were not much help and also tired contacting the tilth club which is a farming group and got a lot of no's.
 

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Then I quess you better move east. I could give you a hundred sites over thousands of acres here in NC.


Seriously, tho, I still think your best bet is advertising in the rural areas. Beeks are a very small % of people, and to drive and ask will not find them. Only "mass media" will flush them out.
 

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Chef,
Unless the Asian Flower Garden is vast and the type of flowers able to be worked by honey bees it would likely be of little benefit. You may be encountering resistance to the widespread infiltration and concern with AHB in the west, even though it has not, and likely will not include your area if your are withint the temperate rainforest. Get ahold of you local farm bureau and attend a meeting, You should have good success their.
 

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How many hives do you need to set?

I bought a county plat book (atlas) as I was new here too. Shows land owners and many even have phone numbers.

Most will be more than happy to oblige.

Here there are many abandoned farmsteads that make for great yards!! Easy access and protection.
 

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When I started out and needed another place to just place some bees, I contacted the local cable company. For a non-commercial page type advertisement that that ran every 15 minutes for a week, it cost me something like 7 dollars. It was the local access channel the cable company runs. I had several calls. And its still cheap at about 10 dollars today.

One garden unless its the dupont complex called "longwood gardens", is not going to make a difference. For pure honey production, big commercial farms that mow and use pesticides are not good either. For honey, I look for doctor types that buy the old dairy farms and are just letting the pastures go back to nature.
 

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network, network, network....

one of my very best contacts here is my mechanic who works on a lot of farm trucks and tractors...
 

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I've been keeping my eye out for sites for out-apiaries but have been too busy lately to put much time into it- I have made a few contacts, all of them favorable with the exception of the "Sure, you can put them over there (gesturing) with the other hives" responses


I'll be looking more in earnest (an attitude, not a place) for locations later this fall for hive placement next year. I've generally found people receptive, and I haven't had to hard-sell anyone on the idea yet, and probably won't try- like Michael says, they either get it or they don't.

My problems (criteria) are 1) assessing what is a good area from a forage standpoint 2) that is reasonably close to home and 3) doesn't already have alot of bees nearby. Easier said than done around here, with all the migratory (and other large) beekeepers in the area. I don't want to have the only bees on the block, but I don't want to go to the trouble of setting up an apiary only to discover 30+ hives half a mile down the road, nor do I want to drive 50 miles to get there.

I've also been talking with other beekeepers, to find out where their hives are; some are more helpful than others. I've thought of advertising, but I'm afraid the response would be huge and I'd be left with assessing a lot of useless sites. I may put an ad in a regional swap/sell guide that is free but for the cost of the weekly rag.

George-
 

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Networking works well. Mention your beekeeping in passing to most everyone.

I was talking to the owner of the local nursery (a good customer) and he said he wanted me to put hives out at his home. He has 80 acres of CRP and I can place them there.

I had to tell him it would not be until the 2007 season as I have to build up hive numbers.

Yep, a waiting list of where to place yards.
 

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Chef Isaac,

Asian people LOVE honey...especially if they know it's authentic honey. Why?? Because in Asia it is very hard to get real honey that hasn't had sugar added to it or basically fake honey.

Take a couple of jars and photos with you when you make your presentation. Explain that your honey bees are gentle and nice. Usually Asians want to know the details of every single thing and it's work, but if you win them over, you will have a place for your bees for life!

My Traditional Chinese Doctor from Cheng Du is always asking about my bees and when I'm going to get some honey. He asked me once about the quality of my honey and I had to tell him that there was no way to compare with the *real* thing...and YES, completely natural and the best honey!! That made him even more happier. Good luck with it. Say NeeHow or NeeHowMa when you greet them, and SheaShea means Thank You!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I just feel down lately. I am striking out left and right. I talked with one farmer yesterday and he said he would like to have some but doesnt want his child at risk. Talked with another asian farmer and his wife wont let him. talked with another farmer and he wants 50% of the honey. Talked with another farmer and he has bees. Talked with another farmer and his wife is allergic to stings.

ahhhhhhhh!
 

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Good point by Joel, cyndi and Bjornbee!

Also, Look at the variety of forage before asking the landowner. Say to yourself, is the forage for early spring, summer, fall, is there a nearby source of water, and is there some shelter from the wind, is there easy access.
Don't’ ask if things your bees need and yourself aren't there.

A farmer loves the land, needs to feed his animals, needs to feed his family and knows the value of pollination. I would approach it as something that might benefit his operation and land by feeding his livestock and his family thru pollination. rather than like a let's make a deal,,, “,,,free polination, ,,,free honey ,,,free this ,,,free that... “ They generally do not respond well to that. Farmers love the land and will usually respond to what's good for the land.

I might look around as I drive up to see what he has planted in the line of fruit trees and such, or if he seems to have understanding of nature. Also look at what animals and crops he is raising. Instead of throwing a sales pitch at him, my technique is to ask a few questions that in responding to them, he will realize to himself value of honeybees for his land, family, and livestock without you having to resort to ’let’s make a deal’. These things can be brought up later in the conversation.

I just secured a new bee location at a nearby farm.
As I drove done the driveway I observed what was growing and after introduction and formalities and compliments mentioning what a beautiful farm. I said something like:
“I‘ve been meaning to stop, I‘m a beekeeper and I notice this would be a nice place for honeybees,,,, Do you see many honeybees around here?,,,, Did you ever try a few honeybee colonies near those apple trees?
I see you have clover and alfalfa for the cows,,, Alfalfa and some clovers need pollination to reseed. do you see many honeybees in these fields? All farmers know about the honeybee decline and the need for honeybees for pollination and this line of discussion works well for me. If a farmer doesn't get it after that, he never will,, go to the next farmer,,,
 

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Chef, I know this sounds a little wild, but it's the truth. When I lived in MS. I tried to give about 5 acres of nice pine trees to about 6 or 8 pulp wood cutters. Two years later, I still had them. Finally, seeing one cutting a mile or two from my house, I stopped and asked if he would like to BUY some pulpwood. He was cutting the very next day. Paid me for every load he carried away.
Advertise for pollination at half price, one full year. See if it works. Like Peggjam says: "Hope it helps, can't hurt."
 

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Right naturebee. Chef, don't approach it like you're looking for something, approach it like you have something to offer that will benefit them. For free even. Then when they want to know what's in it for you, tell them. Honey.

And stop trying so hard. Everything works if you let it... who said that?

George-
 

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How many colonies Chef??

Hang in there, you'll find one. In fact, farmer #2 really is a yes after all.
 

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George, oh!! oh! I know. I know.


Chef, I got one by appearing to be locating where the hives were so I could invite folks to the bk meeting. I still got no association but I got two yards. Just try to locate all the bks in the valley for an opening organizational meeting. See what happens.

Hawk
 

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Chef, if your trying to strike a deal with asian people, read Cyndi's reply, she is absolutely on target. Asian people LOVE honey, you wouldnt believe what they would pay for the real stuff. If they know they benifit (pollination) from this other than the honey, they would be thrilled. Im not racist though, im chinese.

One concern most chinese people have is the liability of bee's. Many have told me to be carefull with them because they may hurt someone passing by but that is because they do not understand and therefore you have to educate them a lil bit.

Danny
 
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