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Author Topic: Liability  (Read 3767 times)
KONASDAD
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« on: March 20, 2007, 03:58:23 PM »

As with everything I do w/ beekeeping, it is all a new experience for me. Nonetheless, I signed up for swarm removal. I have never done this. My question is, I live in area where homes are very expensive. I am reluctant to do cutouts, as i have limited carpentry skills. Do any of you have the homeowner  sign a release for home damage? If so, a sample copy would be appreciated. Do you repair the whole made? Hopefully, my first will be a hanging swarm!( I know, life never works like that, but I can hope, cant I?)
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« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2007, 04:27:02 PM »

Just emailed you the agreement I use.   I'm not a lawyer, so I have no idea how it would hold up in court, but at least it makes me feel good grin

I explicitly state that the homeowner (or representative (ie. contractor)) is responsible for opening up the wall and all repairs.   Now in reality,  I offer up to open the wall as long as the homeowner is present and I explain each step and get agreement as we go.  Be very clear and explain you can not precisely know where the bees are located until you start ripping it open.

I have never had any problems as most people are more than accomidating as they just want to get rid of the bees.  I always bring an extra veil, as I have had homeowners who wanted to jump right in and help.   You can get a good feel for the person just by talking to them up front and explaining the process.  If after the talk, you have any concerns, walk away. 
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« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2007, 04:34:03 PM »

I firmly believe that my years of construction have given me a benefit on dealing with cutouts. My advice would be to get someone who is in construction to consult with you. Bring him along and have him tell you where and how to cut the holes. That way you don't cut a structure beam or something ornate and expensive. He doesn't have to do the cutiing and probably wouldn't want to but he can point and  say cut here with a sawzall and cut here with a keyhole saw. Take a crowbar to this or that. He can also point and say stay away from this or that. Live wires in a wall would be no fun to run into.

As far as a liablity agreement you can get one and have them sign it. The basic just of it is that these people understand they are going to end up with a hole in something and you are not there to repair it or liable for things that are damaged by your need to remove bees. Suppose the hive has wrapped the comb around a water pipe and as you cut it out you cut the pipe and flood the house. The homeowners need to understand anything can happen and will. If you work with a person experienced in construction you will get a jump most others do not get.

I personally do not have homeowners sign anything but I am not charging for it. Also I explain that there will be a hole a big one and they will need to patch as soon as possible so bees do not move back in. because of my expierence I could patch the holes but I want to remove the bees not build their homes. Even if you remove all the comb bees seem to know where a home was.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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KONASDAD
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« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2007, 04:47:39 PM »

Thanx a bunch. I may have minimized my construction knowledge, as I do have many "do it yourself " skills. I know load bearing and can do plumbing, electrical,masonry, etc. But all at a "do it your self" level. I have no interest in re-assembling a house  I just cut a hole in. My finishing skills are a little rough. I can make things work, but not always can I make it  beautiful or pretty. If nothing else, I will be learning more skills about bees and home repair. I am looking forward to first call. I only hope I am available. My work schedule can be a bother at times.
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JP
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« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2007, 09:14:17 AM »

In most cases you can pinpoint where the hive is located. Always try and narrow down exactly where the hive is so that damage and size of cutout is lessened. There are times when you get close and things are uncertain. These are some that may require consultation of a more experienced friend. When removing large, established hives that contain honeycomb, you need to wait at least a week before the opening is closed to allow for any honey that was spilled in the wall, ceiling,etc... to drip down or out. Also, some of these hives will be overstressed once they are removed and that's when waxmoths like to move in. Research " Certan " here on the forums, it can be applied to the brood comb you've removed to fight off the waxmoth. I use it and its been a big help. Good luck!
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« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2007, 11:32:21 PM »

I put my name out there for swarms, minor cutouts, and trapping removals.  Recently I got a call from a homeowner with bees in his walls.  We discussed the options and decided to try a trapping removal.

I realize that trapping removals could be considered to be more trouble than they're worth, and I realize that I could, and probably should, charge for it.  But since I am a hobbyist just starting my second year I'm willing to try it at least once without charging because I consider it a chance to gain more experience. 

Below is a copy of the handout and 'disclaimer' that I put together for this.  I though someone just might find it helpful, but if anyone has any suggestions for modifications in case I do this again I would appreciate it.  Please note that I have no legal background whatsoever. I realize that the 'legalese' in the disclaimer would probably not be worth much in court, but I wanted to make sure I had something in writing.  Use it at your own risk.  Smiley


Handout:

Things you can expect with a trapping removal of honeybees:

It takes approximately 4 to 8 weeks to get all of the bees out. I will stop by about once a week to check everything out, but your observations will help.

A hive box will need to be left at the site the whole time. It should be as close as possible to the entrance, especially during the first 4 to 6 weeks. We will need to work out the details of how to place this hive box and how to secure a screen cone around the entrance so as to not damage your house.

(standard drawing of house wall, cone, and hive box inserted here)

From time to time bees will cloud around the screen cone and hive box, especially during the first week or two. Please don't use pesticide on this cloud of bees. They will typically settle down within an hour. The bees will not be aggressive if you avoid the area immediately in front the entrance (within 5 to 10 feet.) Sometimes bees will 'head butt' as a warning. Walking away briskly is the best thing to do if this happens. Avoid swatting bees near the entrance because this can provoke them. Children and pets should not be permitted near the entrance.

Bees will try to find and use additional entrances. This could include entrances inside the house; in light fixtures, through cracks in woodwork and windowsills, etc. You should try to find and close any additional entrances using caulk, steel wool, expanding foam insulation, or duct tape. If necessary a small amount of bug spray in these cracks should not significantly harm the other bees or interfere with the trapping removal.

Once no more bees have come out for about a week you can seal up the entrance if you so choose. However it is usually better to let the bees have access to the old entrance so that they can remove any honey that is left inside. This process will take another 1 to 2 weeks. During this time 'wax' moths will consume most of the wax. Allowing this process to complete will prevent a 'meltdown' that could result in problems with honey seeping into the house, attracting pests, etc. (This assumes that there is a queen in the hive box. Since it is nearly impossible to get the queen to come out when doing a trapping removal, part of what I will be doing will be trying to get the bees to raise a new queen.) Once I remove the hive box you should permanently seal the entrance.

Some bees will die inside the screen cone over the entrance. I will clean it out at every time I come by, but if it looks like it is getting clogged up please let me know and I will come and clean it out as soon as I can.

When it comes time to remove the hive box I will need to do so after dark in order to get as many bees in the hive as possible. You will probably see at least a few bees clustering near the site of the hive for up to 10 days after it is removed. They will not be aggressive.

I will do this removal to the best of my ability, while respecting your property and privacy to the best of my ability. However please read and sign a copy of the disclaimers provided.


Disclaimer:

1. Fees.
a. I will not charge you anything for removing the bees.
b. I will not pay you anything for the bees.

2. Ownership
a. I retain ownership of my equipment and any tools (such as ladders) that I leave on your property during the removal process.
b. I am the owner of any wax, honey, or pollen that the bees place in my equipment. I am the owner of any queen bees that the bees raise in my equipment. I am the owner of any brood that any queen bee places in my equipment
c. Otherwise the bees themselves belong to you until I remove them from your property in my equipment.
d. If at any time you choose to have me remove my equipment before the removal is complete I will have 72 hours after you contact me to do so.

3. Liability and property damage
a. I will not hold you responsible for any injury that I may incur while on your property involving the removal.
b. I am not responsible for any injuries to you or anyone on your property related to the bees themselves or to the removal of the bees.
c. I am not responsible for any damage that may occur to your property related to the removal of the bees.

4. Access.
a. During the removal process I have the right to enter and use your property during daylight hours solely for the purpose of inspecting the bees and my equipment. During these visits I may add or remove some or all of my equipment
b. I will try to inspect the bees approximately once per week. Inspections will typically happen in the early evening hours or on weekends unless other arrangements are made.
c. If you so request we can set up a schedule for inspections. Otherwise I will attempt to contact you at least 1 hour prior to my arrival for an inspection. If there are any specific times that you do not want me to inspect the bees let me know and we can make other arrangements.
d. On the day the bees are finally removed from your property in my equipment I will have the right to do so after dark (in order to leave as few bees behind as possible.)

5. Guarantees, expressed or implied
a. There is no guarantee that the removal will be successful.
b. There is no guarantee as to the duration of the removal.
c. There is no guarantee that bees will not move back into your house in the future.
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JP
The Swarm King
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« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2007, 09:33:18 PM »

Don't expect the homeowner to read this, no offense, but it is way too lengthly.
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« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2007, 09:37:21 PM »

Don't expect the homeowner to read this, no offense, but it is way too lengthly.
That's OK,

Konasdad is a lawyer he loves long documents with lots of legal mumbo jumbo. He will send you a bill just for reading the post.  Wink

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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JP
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« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2007, 09:54:36 PM »

ok, what I mean is, you might want to condense things for the average client.
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2007, 12:12:39 AM »

I just tell them from the git-go that there is going to be damage and they will be responsible for the repairs not me.

Having said that, I have turned down a couple of cut outs when I thought it would be better to have something in writing just because of the way a person presented them self.
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IndianaBrown
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« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2007, 09:02:24 AM »

Quote
Don't expect the homeowner to read this, no offense, but it is way too lengthly.

The homeowner did read it.  He thanked me for the handout page.  (He is facinated by the process and has been very helpful.) 

At a little over half a page the disclaimer page is really very short for a 'legal' document.  You should see the 10 plus page monster a contractor had be sign before he would replace my roof.
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JP
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« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2007, 11:50:54 AM »

Indiana, I would think that would be the exception and not the rule. I don't always use a disclaimer but I do when dealing with certain types that question everything, not that questioning is bad. There are those types that want to know exactly what the size of the cutouts gonna be, how much mess, etc... and anyone whose done a bunch of cutouts know things aren't always carved in stone. People often underestimate how long the bees have been there, and a lot of times will tell you after the fact that they've done this or had them there before, etc...
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"Good friends are as sweet as honey" Winne the Pooh

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wayne
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« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2007, 10:08:11 PM »

  I make my living doing animal removal which includes Bee removal. We have had many many jobs where the people were happy and there was never a hint of trouble.
  And we have had nightmare jobs where after all was said and done the folks seemed happy. But we hear from a lawyer or some other outfit later with a long list of "damages" they want us to pay for.
  We've had the State investigate our methods and work, and I don't know how many visits from police and game officers.
  Get a good contract and use it. It's well worth the trouble.
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