a swarm. I was originally going to ask what is usually charged to remove one. But I've since read that it's best not to charge at all. Seems like a good idea. Better to get called and do it for nothing than to not get called at all. Opinions?
I started distributing bright yellow index cards with my contact info written on them. There are lots of community bulletin boards, plus I contacted our weekly trading paper and posted on freecycle.
I did contact some local exterminators, but while some were happy to take my name, others said they "already had someone." Not sure who else to contact at this point.
What's really nice is offers from friends in 3 different nearby communities who are willing to host a hive for the summer. I figure I can bring them home for the winter months & combine as necessary. Good thing I'd already planned some quality time in the woodshop this week.
When it comes to a swarm removal, I have a hard time not feeling like a used car salesman asking for $ for something we know is going to leave, but I have gotten paid for a few just to cover gas because of the distance. If I am cutting them out of a wall or something, I am charging for it, and people are evidentally willing to pay. I got a call yesterday, I quoted $300. Did a check back call 2 hrs later to see whats going on, they went with someone else. I asked what he was charging, she said $600. She told me "he does it organically and doesn't kill the bees." I told her I am a beeKEEPER, I don't kill the bees. To which she then informed me that they already gave him a $200 deposit. Whatever...I wouldn't do the job now if they paid me anything less than the full $600 now.
I charge $25 for a swarm and most people will say ok, come and get it. If they say "I got your number from xxxxx pest control company" then you know they will pay to have it removed. Always charge $150+ for a cut out / trap out. Lots of work involved and usualy a number of trips to and from the job site.
I simply don't have the time to collect every swarm. Therefore I charge at least $50 for a swarm removal.
Cutouts are a completely different story. I charge $225 for the first hour and $125 each additional hour. Jobs usually take between 2 and 3 hours. Cutouts can be extremely tough, especially when you are up in the air underneath a soffit. Many times I think that I'm not charging enough money...
Extractions are extremely stressful on the bees and many times they simply do not make it through the winter anyhow, so don't sell your selves short, and don't do it just for the bees. They may not make it through the winter.
A forum community dedicated to beekeeping, bee owners and enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about breeding, honey production, health, behavior, hives, housing, adopting, care, classifieds, and more!