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Author Topic: Cut-out & trap outs, what do you charge?  (Read 4328 times)
JP
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« Reply #20 on: June 30, 2010, 08:47:25 AM »

Big Bear, you'd be surprised how many people want to save the bees. I do a lot of this so I know what I'm talking about (for my area) I have people on waiting lists for "live removal".

IMHO, I suggest charging more than the regular run of the mill kill 'em exterminators. IMHO they are not the competition and people who hire them to simply spray them and leave are not the kind of customers I want to attract.

In business it often comes down to what type of clientele you want to attract. I advertise live removal and the vast majority of those who seek me out want the bees removed and relocated.

Besides, why should I compete with someone who is putting in much less work for a job done half way. Its all about educating the customer.

I tell them the scope of the job from beginning to end. I make it very clear that leaving fermented honey and rotting comb in their walls is nothing they want to experience. After a job like that the void space will have to be opened anyway, bees are most likely to come back and they usually have to rent a pressure washer to clean up the black honey stains that appear after the honey has leaked out everywhere and down the side of the house.

I show pictures of past removals to give them an idea of what it very well looks like inside their building. I always stress to the customer that the last thing they want is to hire an exterminator who will kill the hive and leave it. Yes it is the cheaper route but it only opens up much larger cans of worms.

From an ethical standpoint the void space has to be accessed to remove the bees and contents anyway, so why not remove them live?

This is the route I took and I am a licensed pest control operator in a state with a ton of other PCOS.

Don't sell yourself short.

Attract the right kind of clientele and charge appropriately.


...JP
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iddee
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« Reply #21 on: June 30, 2010, 09:01:42 AM »

JP, GREAT post. Really lays it out. My past clients have included Terminix agents and other exterminators who just wanted to save the bees.
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JP
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« Reply #22 on: June 30, 2010, 09:54:01 AM »

Thanks Iddee.


...JP
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« Reply #23 on: June 30, 2010, 11:24:29 AM »

Just to update.  I've had a few (3) other calls for cut outs or trap outs and I've quoted $300.  I've landed none.  I've been in sales for a living for 13 years so I know how to sell a product/service.  In short what I've found is I'm apparently too high as they've balked at the price to this point or said they found someone else who will do it for less.  Nonetheless, I'm not changing my price.  It's not worth my time and efforts to do it for less, and I'm not dying for income.  I can make splits and raise my own queens for quite a bit less effort than a cutout if I'm itching for new hives.
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melliphile
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« Reply #24 on: June 30, 2010, 12:25:00 PM »

Wow! I'm really glad I asked, and thank you for your thoughts. I think that at this point I won't charge, but use it as an education with the aim to eventually charge. Hardwood, how do you become a licensed beekeeper in your county?
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kathyp
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« Reply #25 on: June 30, 2010, 12:30:43 PM »

i do it for free, but i'm picky about the ones i take.  have not done any this year, but have had calls.  i seem to get more and more of the creepy calls, and have been passing on even looking at those places. 

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« Reply #26 on: June 30, 2010, 12:51:28 PM »

Did a cutout yesterday in the soffit, actually might have been two colonies, $500. Took two people. 7 hours. (I can't work as fast as JP, iddee, hardwood, or others.  tongue)
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JP
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« Reply #27 on: June 30, 2010, 12:56:12 PM »

Just to update.  I've had a few (3) other calls for cut outs or trap outs and I've quoted $300.  I've landed none.  I've been in sales for a living for 13 years so I know how to sell a product/service.  In short what I've found is I'm apparently too high as they've balked at the price to this point or said they found someone else who will do it for less.  Nonetheless, I'm not changing my price.  It's not worth my time and efforts to do it for less, and I'm not dying for income.  I can make splits and raise my own queens for quite a bit less effort than a cutout if I'm itching for new hives.

Very well put! Cut outs are only one way to get bees. It can be very enjoyable but also a lot of work. Catching swarms is a lot easier and very fun.

You could get on swarm lists and go and catch swarms.

Making splits, raising queens and grafting is something you could do in your own apiary. There's no one breathing down your neck there! And you can grow at your own pace.

I'm very glad I get paid to do cut outs.


...JP
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bigbearomaha
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« Reply #28 on: June 30, 2010, 05:51:07 PM »

JP, for my market,  I don't think I am selling myself short.  I can appreciate that you have been doing removal s in your market for quite awhile, but I also know different areas have different tolerances.

I have no problem with what  I charge for cutouts and I still get folks who insist that I am too high.
As to how surprised  I might be how many people want to have bees removed live, I might, or , I might not.  I field a lot of calls in my area and have one or two of these cut outs myself.  If you were to come here, perhaps you might be surprised by how many people just want the bees gone and they don't care how.

My point is, what works for you in your market, or works for me in my market, isn't always what is going to work for others in their own markets.

offer a fair price, do the best job you can and try to educate the folks as much as they will accept the information.  That's about the best advice I can give in doing cut outs and removals.
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hardwood
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« Reply #29 on: June 30, 2010, 06:47:55 PM »

Melli, The County license is really just something that lets the county charge you for nothing! I'm already a State Certified Building Contractor and most of what I do would be covered under my State license. For an additional $50 a year to the county I am now able to sell bees and hive products legally here so I just shut up and pay. My Contractor's license costs well over $15,000/year to maintain (license fees, continuing education, and especially that $5,800 for my insurance (even though I've never filed a claim in 30 years)). As far as I'm concerned, it's just another plot, perpetrated by "the Man" to keep the brother down.

Scott
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« Reply #30 on: June 30, 2010, 09:14:49 PM »

I did my second cutout on Father's Day. This was from the same building I did last year. Last year I did the removal during work hours as the building is on our facility grounds. This year was for free as I combined the trip with some a necessary stop at Lowes grin

Tomorrow I will be doing a removal in another work related building (on their time). Two colonies in that building.

I probably forgot to tell my bosses that there is a possibility of bees moving back in next year evil
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gaucho10
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« Reply #31 on: June 30, 2010, 11:10:42 PM »

Hardwood,

I've been removing bees and bats for over 30 yrs.  Last year I decided to open up a web page (beesbatsandbeyond.com) for my job and since then I have been receiving many calls for service.  I have been doing carpentry work for about 30 yrs. so I decided to go and take the Construction Supervisors Course.  I did!  What I found out is that the Supervisor's License costs lots of money and they are allways coming out with new courses that you need to take OR BE FINED!!!!  I decided that I will just work with my Problem ANimal Control (PAC) Agents license and the hell with the Construction Sup's license.  All my Jobs involving bees, bats or problem animal removal which all involve small carpentry work.  Several building inspectors told me not to worry about major permits, etc.  I do have several friends who are licensed for construction and I do send them jobs if required.  I have the knowledge for building and construction and I do everything to CODE.  I agree 100% with everything that JP and iddee posted.  The thought of hurting ELDERLY people with the price does not enter my mind.  I am 58 y/o and I am an elderly person!!!!!  I need the work.  If you charge, they will pay.  I have had organizations/commercial entities who have called me because they previously called an exterminator.  Several times the exterminators did the job but the bees returned.  Most exterminators either do not know or don't want to let the customer know that you just don't kill bees and plug up the hole.  Whatever they leave inside the walls and ceilings will cause future problems and more money for the customer.  I make sure to let the customers know these facts and they are happy to hear what I have to say.  Solve the problem, save the bees, prevent future infestations BUT pay for a well done job.  I guaranty all my work, be it bee removal, carpentry or whatever.  I have never had a problem with the elderly not wanting to pay.
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« Reply #32 on: June 30, 2010, 11:17:56 PM »

Ohhh...I forgot to mention....I don't show up at a job site for less then $300.00.  That's just for show.  I used to charge $25.00/hr. for carpentry work but it is going up to a minimum of $35.00/hr.  I don't work for free!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There are not too many people in my area that do BEE WORK and LEGIT CARPENTRY WORK to CODE.

There are free bee removals-but no carpentry work.  There are carpenters-but no bee removal.

Once again....minimum charge...$300.00...that's my price and that should be a minimum for ANYONE to charge!...Regardless of age or location!!!
Are there any lawyers or doctors that charge $29.95 for their services because of people's age!?!?!?!!?

COME ON!!!!!!!!
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My favorite comedy program used to be Glenn Beck--The only thing is that after I heard the same joke over and over again it became BOOOORING.....

People who have inspired me throughout my life---Pee-wee Herman, Adolph Hitler, George W. Bush, Glenn Beck.
Notice I did not say they were people who I admire !!!
wd
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« Reply #33 on: July 01, 2010, 12:52:05 AM »

 I see the price point but I've heard of senior citizen discounts all my life.
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bigbearomaha
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« Reply #34 on: July 01, 2010, 07:05:29 AM »

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Once again....minimum charge...$300.00...that's my price and that should be a minimum for ANYONE to charge!

I think it's more than a bit presumptuous to suggest that everyone should have a similar minimum fee.

You have something that works for you in your market, fine, dandy for you.  let's leave it at that shall ,we?  telling others how to run their business is awful bureaucratic.

The beauty of being in America is you can do your business your way,  I can do my business my way and the next person can do business their way.

Quote
Are there any lawyers or doctors that charge $29.95 for their services because of people's age!?!?!?!!?

Actually, yes there are many.  You might notice there are many lawyers who normally charge very high rates, will occasionally take on 'Pro Bono' work,

Many law offices and doctors offices adopt what is called a 'sliding scale' fee based on income.

As a matter of fact, why are we comparing bee removals to doctors and lawyers alone?   I know of plumbers, electricians, and contractors of all types of work that will offer discounts and services to people based on age and income.

It's called being part of one's community not just taking advantage of the people in it.

If you don't want to offer these types of prices, then don't.  I for one and many others will never tell you how to run your business.

It's good to see how other business do things and learn why they do it.  It helps build perspective in your own business.

However, you should do what works best for you and the community you run your business in. 

Big Bear
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gaucho10
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« Reply #35 on: July 01, 2010, 08:39:04 AM »

bigbearomaha,

I understand your point...BUT...

<I think it's more than a bit presumptuous to suggest that everyone should have a similar minimum fee.>  I think the discussion here is "how much to charge" and we are all making statements of what "we" charge.  You have the right, as you said, to charge whatever you like.


<Are there any lawyers or doctors that charge $29.95 for their services because of people's age?>

<Actually, yes there are many.  Etc...>
Yes, you are right.  But these lawyers do charge according to their background, experience and to make or keep their name.  Lawyers are sometimes required to take a "free" case by the court (so many cases/hrs. per month).  Some lawyers only charge if they "win" the case.  As far as "sliding scale", don't worry, those doctors do get paid their fee in the long run (insurance, etc.).  I also know plumbers and electricians who do give discounts.....after they increase the price....this is done everywhere.  The job is worth $1,000, they say it will cost $1,500 but they will give the costumer a $500 break.  They still made their $1,000.


WD,

I know that there are "senior discounts" all the time.  These discounts are for consumer items and not for services.  As an example,  food stores allways have perishable losses and they "write it off" at the end of the month.  Discounts are included in this fashion.
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My favorite comedy program used to be Glenn Beck--The only thing is that after I heard the same joke over and over again it became BOOOORING.....

People who have inspired me throughout my life---Pee-wee Herman, Adolph Hitler, George W. Bush, Glenn Beck.
Notice I did not say they were people who I admire !!!
melliphile
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« Reply #36 on: July 01, 2010, 09:00:50 AM »

It still does un-nerve me a bit to consider doing a removal w/o insurance. Accidents do, unfortunately, happen. Anyone ever hear of lawsuits as a result of a cut-out gone bad?
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iddee
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« Reply #37 on: July 01, 2010, 10:22:42 AM »

No, but I have heard of homeowners being successfully sued when someone they hired for other work got hurt.
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bigbearomaha
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« Reply #38 on: July 01, 2010, 11:07:43 AM »

Quote
I think the discussion here is "how much to charge" and we are all making statements of what "we" charge.  You have the right, as you said, to charge whatever you like.

Exactly.  not how much everyone should charge across the board, as you seem to attempt to dictate.

Quote
that should be a minimum for ANYONE to charge!
your words, not mine.

I would like you to verify that all those businesses only give discounts after jacking up the price first.   I am thinking you are doing some assuming there.

I'm sorry you seem to have such a jaded opinion on businesses around you.  I am lucky to know several businesses in my area who actually do not engage in those practices. Yes, there are plenty enough out there that do.  But not all of them.  I choose not to rob my community, but to bring value to it instead.   I hope others feel the same way.

Big Bear
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Tucker1
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« Reply #39 on: July 01, 2010, 12:46:27 PM »

From reading this set of posts, it appears that some insurance is appropriate and wise. So, if you're a side liner, who sells honey and does some cut-outs & traps, what $$$ value of coverage do you need? Do you need two types of insurance?

Regards,
Tucker1

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