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Author Topic: Bee stewards...what's fair payment?  (Read 1383 times)
TwoHoneys
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« on: June 28, 2011, 07:19:28 AM »

My neighbors love that I keep bees, but I don't want to test their neighborly limits, so I've begun placing 2 or 3 beehives in the yards of several friends, too. These are my bees in my woodenware living in friends' yards...I manage the hives, but my friends have been involved in almost every inspection and every decision. They're learning, as I am.

As a "thank you" for letting my bees live in their yards, I've supplied each host family with a veil, a hive tool, and a small smoker.

I don't expect to harvest any honey from any of these hives this year, but I'd like to get some idea of how this arrangement may eventually play out (because I can already see that a couple of these families are feeling a sense of ownership. They were a little unsettled when I began borrowing frames of larvae from their yards to resource queenless hives in other yards! I had to gently remind them that all the bees are mine.)

1. What kind of payment (in terms of honey) do you think is fair for these bee steward families?
2. If the host families get to the point of wanting to purchase and manage the hives currently on their property, what should I reasonably expect to be paid per hive?
3. What should I consider that I've overlooked?

-Liz
(I need to find a big field somewhere and load it up with hives. How do those arrangements work?)



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G3farms
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« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2011, 08:34:33 AM »

If you have already supplied them with tools and a hive and mentoring and friendship................

You say you are not going to harvest any honey this year but are wanting to give them some?? you buying that also??

A fair price is one that the seller and buyer agree on and are happy with no matter what anybody else thinks (at least that is what I was taught).

I wish you were my neighbor also!!

Next year when one of the hives swarms into THEIR tree, who will get to claim it?

I gave a very large bee tree to a beginning beek last year and only asked for the first swarm it cast off (I even hauled it to his house and helped him set it up). Good to his word he called very excited about the bees had swarmed and hurry over. Swarm about 20 foot up in a very little tree, used the bucket and pole to get them down, he found the queen, we hived them and I gave them back to him. 
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see my swarms and cut outs at https://www.youtube.com/user/soapy22bullet?feature=mhee

those hot bees will have you steppin and a fetchin like your heads on fire and your @ss is a catchin!!!

Bees will be bees and do as they please!
kingfisherfd2
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« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2011, 09:40:50 AM »

I would do that for 50% of the honey from the hive.  Some hives produce more then others.  Some locals do as well.  Think of it as rent for the space on their property that you are using.
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2011, 11:47:27 AM »

I would do that for 50% of the honey from the hive.  Some hives produce more then others.  Some locals do as well.  Think of it as rent for the space on their property that you are using.

50%!!!!!
The standard price is a quart of honey per hive. Thats providing you haven't already provided all of the bee equipment.
Jim
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jaseemtp
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« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2011, 11:59:17 AM »

Im with Jim,
I think a quart of honey is ample payment for the RENTAL of space, I mean come on its probally no larger than a 10ft x 10ft space.  You have gone far above and beyond already by supplying them with equipment and mentoring.  Dont get me wrong I think it is great because you are possible growing some new beekeepers.  If your not going to harvest honey then let them know that since this is your first year that there will not be a honey crop. But next year when you harvest honey you will be happy to give them some of the honey for payment.
Jason
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indypartridge
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« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2011, 12:10:35 PM »

A fair price is one that the seller and buyer agree on and are happy with no matter what anybody else thinks.

That's the essence of it.

I do have a couple other thoughts you may want to consider as you ponder things...
...gas is expensive and your time even more valuable. Having multiple locations with only 2-3 colonies each represents a lot of work. Many beekeepers want outyards where they can have a least a dozen colonies.
...I've got a friend who charges a monthly fee to place colonies in people's yards (http://www.beefriendlybeekeeper.com/)

As for finding "a big field", it can happen any number of ways. We've had folks contact our local bee club asking for bees to be placed at their farm or orchard. I've seen ads on Craiglist and local papers of beekeepers looking for outyards. I've know beekeepers who simply go up and knock on doors at a site they've scouted (I saw this awesome grove of black locust trees this spring where I'd like to place a few colonies!).

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mikecva
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« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2011, 12:31:06 PM »

50% seems a bit steep to me unless they are doing all of the work/feeding for the hive. As for the price of the colony, I would go with the cost of the boxes + the cost of a nuc and throw the established colony in for friendship. The other equipment is a non-issue for me since you already gave it to them.

Just my two cents worth.
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Scadsobees
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« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2011, 12:33:38 PM »

From the sounds of it rather than discuss rental fees, you may want to start discussing how much they are willing to purchase the hives for.  grin
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Rick
annette
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« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2011, 12:39:48 PM »

I did this same thing this year. Placed a hive in another women's garden a few miles from me. She wanted the bees to pollinate her fruit trees and just to have them around.  She gave me a storage area to keep supplies and never asked anything of me. I promised to give her honey from that hive whenever they make enough to give.

She is never around when I am working the bees and I have full permission to come and go as I please. She hasn't shown any attachment or anything. I have often wondered what if she did show some ownership one day, so your post brought up a good question.

If things work out with her, I might ask her if I can put another hive there.

Good Luck in figuring out what to do. I always like to settle things as peacefully as possible and give in a lot to keep peace.

Annette
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Boom Buzz
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« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2011, 01:18:52 PM »

As for what to charge for a working hive, I recently bought 5 hives worth of wooden ware - bottom board, one deep, three mediums, all the frames, inner cover and telescoping cover and with shipping it came to about $120 per hive - (not including the labor for assembly or painting/treating the woodenware).  I have also seen advertised in our area complete working hives for $250 - $300, but these typically include 2 deeps and one medium, with thriving bee colony. 

Based on the above, as I accumulate swarms and removal colonies I have thought about advertising and selling complete working hives for $300 to help supplement my habit.  This easily covers the cost of the hive material, and populating the hives with bees.  If people are willing to pay $300 I would be agreeable to sell.  I am not sure I would sell at $250 though.  Given you are considering selling to friends you may be more willing to consider the lower end of the price range.

My 2 cents...

John

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iddee
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« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2011, 02:03:00 PM »

kingfisherfd2, I have 116 acres about 12 mile from you. At 50%, please bring 50 to 100 hives down and set them up. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE.

Two honeys, the veil, smoker, and hive tool is a most generous down payment. The education and a quart of honey is a fair annual payment. Minimum price= the cost of the hive, + the cost of a package or nuc. The maximum is whatever you feel is right.
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G3farms
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« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2011, 03:20:53 PM »

King fisher I also have several places that would make great out yards in the Great State of Tennessee, I will personally look after your hives for 1/2 of the honey (prefer quarts and pints, could you make that queen line jars also  evil). Will also need a truck and gas card to run each yard and be sure to send plenty of assembled wooden ware also.

Just pulling your leg a little of course but 1/2 of the crop!?!?
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see my swarms and cut outs at https://www.youtube.com/user/soapy22bullet?feature=mhee

those hot bees will have you steppin and a fetchin like your heads on fire and your @ss is a catchin!!!

Bees will be bees and do as they please!
TwoHoneys
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« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2011, 04:23:48 PM »

Thanks for the feedback, all. Now I think I've got a good idea of what's fair as far as honey payment goes (and to clarify: I won't pay honey until I harvest honey...next year, I hope).

If I end up selling the established hives to my friends, I think I'll work out some arrangement in which I can also take splits.

-Liz

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iddee
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« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2011, 04:50:39 PM »

I often pull the queen and 4 or 5 frames and sell as a nuc, then let the hive raise a new queen. You could do the same, making them buy and assemble their own hive and take your hive, queenless, home and let it raise a new queen.
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

*Shel Silverstein*
kingfisherfd2
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« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2011, 05:21:10 PM »

This is what I offered my friend for the hive that I set up.  His equipment, My yard.  He refused my offer.  We still set up the bees in my yard.
 I guess I thought if I get 50% of the first harvest then great.  That is me taking care of the bees. and in the end probably giving his wood ware back to him once I establish my own colonies. 
Instead I traded some work for the deep box and frames bottom board, cover etc. 
Basically it is set up as my hive in his equipment. 
Once I buy more equipment I will return him freshly painted boxes. 


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TwoHoneys
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« Reply #15 on: June 28, 2011, 06:19:13 PM »

I often pull the queen and 4 or 5 frames and sell as a nuc, then let the hive raise a new queen. You could do the same, making them buy and assemble their own hive and take your hive, queenless, home and let it raise a new queen.

Awesome! Now THAT's the kind of thinking I'm looking for! Thanks, Iddee.
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AllenF
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« Reply #16 on: June 28, 2011, 08:00:54 PM »

A quart is always been the standard payment.   I sent unfiltered straight from the extractor pound squeeze jars home with the ladies that wanted to help with the extracting last Sunday after church.
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