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