Like JP I too derive my living from removals, though as NWCO I also deal with every other species of wildlife as well. For me though the bees are very fast overtaking everything else I do. At this point I am avoiding everything other than bat work at this time of year.
Pricing questions used to cause me to go into a hair pulling fit but now I just shake my head and wish you luck with it. The prices already quoted in this thread are a prime example. If I'm not hitting the 100/hr rate with my prices, on any species, I might as well park the truck. When you consider my fuel, materials, advertising, insurance, uniforms, phone, meals, maintenance and various sundry taxes and other costs such as licenses and permits I'm already in the hole befire my phone even rings.
If the hundred dollar mark causes you to blink or think how do I justify lawyer rates let me remind you that as a beekeeper, and not just any beekeeper, that has the skill and knowledge to safely remove a living colony of stinging insects that your knowledge has actual marketable value. Why should you give it away or sell yourself short. We are a valuable commodity and should be paid accordingly. JP, is right there are much easier and cheaper ways to aquire bees. Heck, as a beek with just a modicum of skill splits will procide you with all the bees you could ever want.
I now quote my fees over the phone this way. After quuzzing the potential client about size, location, length of occupation, construction materials, history, etc I clearlyvstate that I have a base price of 650 for most residential work. This quoted price may go up if upon arrival it is determined that difficulties or out of the ordinary circumstances exist. If this happens to be the case the adjusted fee will be quoted and agreed upon before any work begins. I also reserve the sole right to lower fees as well.
Before anyone squalls do a google search for bee removal in my market. My quoted fees are in line with our well known bee remover from Athens and others. I also have a better than eighty percent sales rate on bee removal calls.
If anything I urge all my fellow beeks to realize just how special our skills are.