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Author Topic: Consultant Charges  (Read 6048 times)
ArmucheeBee
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« on: August 23, 2010, 07:03:07 PM »

I have been asked to set up and run 10 hives for a local resort.  I would be the beekeeper and handle the bottling, etc.  I would be starting the apiary from scratch.  This is not a full-time job, I have one.  This is only the set up and operation of the apiary.  Excluding charges for boxes, supplies, etc....How much should I charge for my time and expertise?Huh
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Stephen Stewart
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kathyp
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« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2010, 07:06:42 PM »

do you get to keep the honey?
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AllenF
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« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2010, 08:41:57 PM »

How much is your time worth to you by the hour? 
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ArmucheeBee
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« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2010, 09:32:43 PM »

Honey will be sold retail at the resort, while a large portion will be used in the onsite restuarant.  So none is coming to me--I have my own hives.  These would be property of the resort.  As beekeeping is a hobby and not a career, my time and what it is worth is up in the air.  I wanted to hear some examples of what others have charged.
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Stephen Stewart
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AllenF
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« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2010, 09:47:15 PM »

Trade it out.   Get a membership or two through the resort.   Or a full access deal on the golf course.   Quail on horseback sounds nice to me if it is the resort I am thinking of. grin
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2010, 12:19:13 AM »

I'd pick an hourly rate worth your time, an number of hours you're willing to spend on it, multiply the two and write up a contract saying you will take that much money to work a maximum of that many hours on it.
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« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2010, 09:21:05 AM »

I'd pick an hourly rate worth your time, an number of hours you're willing to spend on it, multiply the two and write up a contract saying you will take that much money to work a maximum of that many hours on it.

Yup, because you better believe that they will charge the hound out of people for the honey that you've put the work into producing.  Make it worth your while and get it in writing.
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Highlandsfreedom
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« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2010, 07:26:44 PM »

I like the bartering idea you can avoid the taxes that way and have allot of fun in the process.
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ArmucheeBee
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« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2010, 10:00:04 PM »

Thanks for the replies.  I had thought of charging a per hive rate.  Something like $50 - $100 per year to run the hives.  I plan on starting with 10 hives in March.  I like the trading out thought but I need cash to grow my home hives and expand them.  Thoughts on a per hive rate?
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Stephen Stewart
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« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2010, 10:30:41 PM »

You'll most likely get more if you go with an hourly or per hive rate instead of bartering, even after paying taxes on it.
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Keith13
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« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2010, 10:49:28 PM »

What  happens if its a bad year and you don't have excess honey? or no honey for the club in other words?

Keith
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winginit
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« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2010, 08:09:44 AM »

$50-100 per hive? Did you include cost of equipment? You're worth that little?

Try it this way...$50 per hour times how many hours per hive? Plus cost of equipment. You have to estimate hours spent on the hive. I'd use $50 as a minimum since you will spend probably twice as many hours as you plan on.  And the drive time generally isn't included in the hours, but you can write off the mileage. Plus you have to pay income taxes on that hourly rate, PLUS don't forget the 15% independent contractor tax (to cover social security, etc).

If the cost is really high, you might want to scale back the number of hives.

Michael's suggestion of a lump sum bid is a good one and lets everyone know what to expect.

Formula is:  (Hours x Cost per Hour) + Direct Expense = Lump Sum bid

If $50 seems high, you should know that lawyers charge $400-450 and engineers charge $200-$300 per hour. Engineering consultants are now charging about $60-70 for secretarial and $90-100 for technicians, which are their lowest brackets.

You are an experienced beekeeper, one of very few in the country, compared to all the lawyers and engineers. This is a dangerous job (dangerous I tell you!) and of high social value. Don't undersell yourself. You're worth at least $100 an hour, though they might not pay that. How successful is this little resort? Do they want an observation hive, too?
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bigbearomaha
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« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2010, 12:49:53 PM »

Stay at home moms are worth a whole lot per hour too, but they will never see that in cash.

It's one thing to value one's experience, but it's another to set a realistic hourly charge.

Realistic expenses are fuel to get there and back home,
any tools or equipment you will use that they will not provide.
the actual value of your time, how much would you be making if you went to work instead of being there?
(you want to consider that the more experience you have, makes you more efficient and effective at your tasks and having the knowledge to know what to do, when to do it)

As MB suggests, estimate the total number of hours you will spend and multiply it by the $ value you think those things above add up to.
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rdy-b
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« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2010, 12:41:50 AM »

run there bees and they buy the jars-I would price the honey out at 3lb and that would be my compensation
they would have a precious commodity and would be able to double there money-only question is will the location produce
if not it is not worth the time for them or you- RDY-B
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AllenF
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« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2010, 01:21:23 PM »

If you need the cash instead of trading it off, make it where  you own the boxes, the bees, and your gear.  You use their land, and let them show off the hives.   Just like leaving hives at any farm anywhere.  Then you bottle the honey for them using their labels for resale.   This is where you make your money.  Wholesale the honey to them at a good price.   And do they just want 10 hives?   How many hives can you put on the fields there?
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ArmucheeBee
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« Reply #15 on: August 27, 2010, 06:21:10 PM »

Thanks for the replies.  Good info, but some did not read the original post.  This is set up and run the hives--they purchase all equipment, jars, labels, and bees.  It is their property (hives and bees).  A resort employee will probably take over after I train them in 2-3 years.  So it sounds like I need to charge by the hour.  The question is, how much per hour?
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Stephen Stewart
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JP
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« Reply #16 on: August 27, 2010, 06:47:51 PM »

I think $100.00 per hour is what I would charge. For that price any problems and headaches are covered.

Its fantastic that they will be purchasing all the equipment.

This sounds fun (potentially) to me.

Definitely, definitely definitely have something in writing spelling out your responsibilities and don't fail to mention how bee keeping is a form of farming, dependent on many weather related variables.

You don't want to be responsible for a bad crop that is beyond your control.

What happens if the bees need to be fed?

I say they pay for ALL expenses including feed costs and your fuel costs to and fro.

Please keep us updated as this sounds very interesting albeit if you have the time for it.


...JP
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asprince
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« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2010, 07:06:02 PM »

I am currently in a similar situation with a Mexican gentleman. He grows produce to be sold in the family owned market and restaurant. He wanted constant pollination. He paid for the package bees and equipment. I look after them for half the honey and any splits. In addition I can place as many hives as I want on his property for free. I usually park my pollination trailers on his farm for the winter.

Steve
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ArmucheeBee
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« Reply #18 on: August 29, 2010, 11:57:36 AM »

Thanks for all the replies.  I am going to give them three proposals.  1. they pay for everything, and pay me by the hour  2. i bring in my boxes they buy the honey at wholesale   3.  some combination of 1. and 2.    If they want #1 it will be two years from now before they see honey.  If I bring mine in they can get honey next June.  Thanks again. 
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Stephen Stewart
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rdy-b
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« Reply #19 on: August 29, 2010, 04:14:17 PM »

yes cool but we are still curious about the location will it produce? RDY-B
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