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Author Topic: Removal Fees  (Read 2691 times)
KONASDAD
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« on: April 21, 2008, 10:22:20 AM »

I committed to do two free removals for the experience. I have completed one so far, the other awaits me. Its a column w/ a hive inside. After doing the first, i found out its hard work. On the other hand, people can just spray the bees in many circumstances and avoid me entirely.
Which brings me to-
what do you charge? Or any other advice for the "business" of removals.
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kathyp
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« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2008, 01:30:26 PM »

i think there was some discussion on this a week or so ago.  see if you can look back.  one post was mine and i think another from someone else.  some of us charge.  some don't.  i just don't think i am experienced enough, and wonder about the liability if it is a 'business'.  you would know more about that and i'd like to hear what you say.
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« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2008, 01:40:37 PM »

After doing the first, i found out its hard work.
grin

Quote
On the other hand, people can just spray the bees in many circumstances and avoid me entirely.

Here is what I tell them when asked why can't they just spray them.

You can try. But success is not always the outcome. The colony could be 10 feet or more from the entrance and using commercially available poisons may not be successful. Paying a professional exterminator may be more expensive than having them removed. Even the professionals don't have a 100% success rate. In fact, many exterminators prefer to refer you to a beekeeper that does removals. Even if you are successful in killing them, that is just the start of your battle. Not only are you exposing yourself, children, and pets to the poisons you have soaked your house with, but you now have a wall or ceiling full of dead bees, larvae, pollen, wax, and honey. Honey has high hygroscopic properties which mean it will suck moisture out of the air. This will cause the honey to ferment and seep threw drywall. Once drywall is damaged, it will not hold paint, and must be replaced. The dead bees and fermenting honey will start to smell and attract other pests like ants, mice, rats, moths, beetle, etc. Please keep in mind that once you try poisoning the bees, there is no turning back. I know of no beekeeper that will remove bees that have been treated with poison.
Quote
Which brings me to-
what do you charge? Or any other advice for the "business" of removals.

Price depends on the area you live in and the type of removal.   Best advice I can give is go by your gut feel.  If they squabble about the price or give any sign leading you to believe they will give you trouble, just politely walk away.
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KONASDAD
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« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2008, 06:56:08 PM »

all good advice. But whats the ballpark? I obviously live in a high rent area of country, but I dont even know where to begin. I spent about six hrs totla on one so far, and I failed at getting the bees successsfully, so I was just pondering is all.....
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Fish
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« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2008, 07:14:25 PM »

I have similar issues KONASDAD.  The recent media attention given honey bees has put them on the conscious of the masses.  This has led to a negative effect when dealing with people that have hives in their homes.  A lot of my recent experiences involved individuals that think they are doing me a favor by "giving" me the bees.  It is a lot of work on some of these removals.  And to many, including myself, it is not a full time job.  Many of us have to go to our regular jobs when we are finished.  I try to come up with a fee based on my effort and the anticipated equipment costs to maintain these bees in the immediate future.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2008, 08:19:45 PM »

I have many times driven 60 miles to get bees out of a tree or a house only to find that they sprayed them before I even got there.  If it's not a close drive, I don't bother with it anymore.  I would charge.  If they are paying you, they may be more likely to cooperate with you.  Especially if you make it clear you won't take them if they've been sprayed.

The first thing I check for is to smell the wall where the hole is to see if it smells like insecticide.

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Scott Derrick
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« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2008, 12:44:43 AM »

Konasdad,

I charge between $350.00 and $750.00 depending on the complexity and the distance from my home and the ground. I many times must to rent a pull behind boom lift to do some high removals. That can become very expensive and I ain't doing it for not bees!!!! The fact of the matter is that its a gut thing. I am a salesman by trade and look for the inflection in a potential customers voice. I can tell if they will be willing to spend the money or not.

I have made a pact with my wife not to go any higher then 20 foot on a ladder. I've been sticking to that because she's smarter then I am.... cheesy

BTW...every time someone tells me they will get back with me tomorrow and let me know or that they have to talk it over with their spouse...I never get a call back. NEVER.
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« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2008, 01:01:15 AM »

As far as removal prices, here is what I am doing in Indy...

Last year was my first year with be removals, so I was mostly just doing them to gain experience.  I was glad to drive up to about 50 miles for swarms, and did not charge for them.  I did a few trap outs, 2 close to home for no charge, and one for $100 for gas since it was a bit farther away.  I got a contractor/beek friend involved in the one cut out call I received.  (You met him when you were out this way last year.) We did not charge for the cut out itself, but my friend did the repairs for the cost of materials plus a bit.

This year my contractor/beek friend and our beek wives have formed an informal 'bee removal co-op', loosely tied to our non profit homeschooling co-op.  We will still be happy to drive 40ish miles for a swarm and not charge for it, although we will be glad to accept donations to the homeschool coop.  Trap outs will be minimum of $100, (more if we have to travel far or if they are high up or very complicated.)  Cut outs will be evaluated case by case, but easy cut outs without repairs will also start at around $100.  We will consider more complicated cut outs and/or do repairs for around $500 plus materials.

Since we are not doing this for a living we will turn down anything too dangerous or complicated.  I am sure that 'professionals' charge more than this, even in the midwest.  In New Jersey you could probably charge for urban/suburban swarms since people may be freaked out and just want to be rid of them.  You could probably get several times what we are asking for removals in your area.

I agree with what Fish said: People think they are doing you and the bees a favor, and may be reluctant to pay for a removal.  I tend to agree that getting a free swarm is a bit of a favor, but removals are different.  Explain the potential property damage if they are not removed.  Point out that you may end up with diseased or queenless bees for your trouble.  Make them aware that even with CCD around, you can buy (a nuc of) healthy bees with a queen for less than $100 without all the time and effort involved in a removal.
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JP
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« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2008, 01:16:59 AM »

Like Rob said, price may be dependant on the going rate in your area. If you charge you have to give a competitive price, so it would be good to get an idea what the going rate is in your area.

If you are just removing the bees and not doing any repairs, depending on the size and difficulty of removing the colony, I would start at $100.00 for easy ones. Most well established colonies a minimum of $200.00.

On ones you are not sure of the difficulty, you could give a price for the first 3 hrs and then charge an hourly rate after that.

You need to consider travel time, fuel, and removal time/effort.

I usually size up a job and give my top price or less, ie: $350.00 or less. They then know the job may cost $350.00 and are pleased when it costs less.



...JP
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TwT
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« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2008, 05:40:41 AM »

Scott has become the removal Pro, I charge $150 to show up and $50 and hour, now because of gas I charge a small fee to pick up swarms to unless they are real close, usually the price of gas estimated using and a 6 pack  evil grin Wink ....
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KONASDAD
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« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2008, 02:26:21 PM »

Thanx for input. I just got a call and will do my third removal fro $150. Its in a garge wall, easy access it seems, the getlemen is 76 and is allergic to bees. I told him if they are up in ceiling of garage, i have to charge more. If they are in the one wall the 150. Appears to be big. Swarmed three weks ago too.
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Scott Derrick
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« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2008, 12:07:51 AM »

Hey TWT,

I owe everything I know to you. You taught me. Miss seeing you in here my friend! Good to hear from you!
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Angi_H
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« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2008, 03:13:54 AM »

Well if they are in my county I wont charge for swarms. But I did one tonight and I told her since it was in the next county and it will take me 45 min to get there it will cost her 20.00 she gave me 40.00 she said she had no idea what time it involved to remove bees. These had just started to build comb in the compost bin. Then last week I did one in town here for 0 had to rent a 24 ft laddar cost me 10.00. Then last monday I went to a different county and the guy gave me 60.00 I did not even ask for money. I told him I was not going to charge but he insisted. We are in a por county where I live but big on ag. For me swarms in county if it is in the 3 towns close by no charge. Tulare or fresno close 20.00 farther out 30.00 up to 40.00/ Then cutouts are something else as I have to buy yet new equipment again. And I just bought enough for 2 more hives last week. And it is allready used lol. I figured charging what it would cost me to hive the colony with honey supers  which is about 125.00 to 150.00 picked up.


Angi
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Cindi
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« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2008, 09:40:56 AM »

Ted, ya, I been missin' ya too, where have you been?  Beautiful day in this great life, Cindi
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« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2008, 07:26:30 PM »

I don't charge for mine to avoid conflicts with licensed professionals and the state.

Sincerely,
Brendhan

 
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KONASDAD
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« Reply #15 on: April 24, 2008, 11:42:28 AM »

I don't charge for mine to avoid conflicts with licensed professionals and the state.

Sincerely,
Brendhan

 
Do you at least ask for a donation to the club? I do whenever I do anything free regarding bees. I usually get something for the club. This resulted in an uncapping knife and uncapping tank for club. I expect more to come in too.
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« Reply #16 on: April 24, 2008, 05:23:38 PM »

I don't charge for mine to avoid conflicts with licensed professionals and the state.

Sincerely,
Brendhan

 
Do you at least ask for a donation to the club? I do whenever I do anything free regarding bees. I usually get something for the club. This resulted in an uncapping knife and uncapping tank for club. I expect more to come in too.
A brilliant idea.

Sincerely,
Brendhan

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JP
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« Reply #17 on: April 24, 2008, 11:33:43 PM »

Brendhan, I have said that I would do removals even if I didn't get paid to do them, but Dude, you walk the walk, I bow to you. Removals are sometimes very challenging and time consuming to do them all for free, my hat is off to you.

Yeah, get some donations or something man, you're making us feel like heels! grin


...JP
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KONASDAD
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« Reply #18 on: April 25, 2008, 10:26:32 AM »

I don't charge for mine to avoid conflicts with licensed professionals and the state.

Sincerely,
Brendhan

 
Do you at least ask for a donation to the club? I do whenever I do anything free regarding bees. I usually get something for the club. This resulted in an uncapping knife and uncapping tank for club. I expect more to come in too.
A brilliant idea.

Sincerely,
Brendhan



Alas, a brilliant idea, but not good enough for a t-shirt. Back to drawing board!
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JP
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« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2008, 07:12:10 AM »

I don't charge for mine to avoid conflicts with licensed professionals and the state.

Sincerely,
Brendhan

 
Do you at least ask for a donation to the club? I do whenever I do anything free regarding bees. I usually get something for the club. This resulted in an uncapping knife and uncapping tank for club. I expect more to come in too.
A brilliant idea.

Sincerely,
Brendhan



Alas, a brilliant idea, but not good enough for a t-shirt. Back to drawing board!

Why not a t-shirt? 

I Love Honeybees, will work for donations!

If I removed them for free, I would wear this shirt on every removal, seriously.


...JP
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