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Posted: July 1st, 2015, 11:27 am
Posted: July 1st, 2015, 7:27 pm
He has to charge $1500 to be able to buy a brand new beesuit for every job.
I always charged $100 an hour, with a minimum fee of $200. I tell folks most removals take 2-3 hours. That $100 an hour pays for a 2 man crew, me and another guy. (I always split the money with the other guy.)
I did quote a removal once for $4,000. It was an A-frame house, and there were 4 separate colonies living in the eaves and wall, with one colony at the very peak of the house 30 feet in the air. I would have to rent a man-lift or scaffolding to do the job. If he wanted us to repair the damage, that would cost extra.
I knew it was going to be a nightmare, so I priced it accordingly. I knew if much went wrong, it would not be difficult to end up with over 30 hours in the job. So I bid the job at $4K, or if the owner preferred, he could hire Jason and I at $100 per hour.
I never heard back from the guy, which didn't bother me. I didn't really want to do the job.
A year or so later I ran into a guy I went to school with who is an electrician. Dusty gave me the story on the house. The guy hired an exterminator to kill the bees. The bees survived the first spraying, so the exterminator had to come back a second time and spray again. The stench of the dead bees in the wall was supposed to be pretty bad. Then the honey started coming through the wall. The owner ended up having to gut the whole wall on the end of the house and completely rebuild the wall.
I don't know what his total cost was, but I bet he spent more than $4,000.
Posted: July 1st, 2015, 10:33 pm
And here I never charged anyone anything...
Posted: July 2nd, 2015, 12:31 am
I did a few freebies when I started, thinking I would get free-bees. It didn't take me long to realize that you do removals to get bees out of someone's house or building...you don't do it to get bees. The queen gets killed in the removal, or they die the first winter, or you go through the pain of rubber banding combs into frames, and then culling those combs later because they aren't flat, the bees are mean, the genetics are duds, etc.
Simply put, there are a lot easier ways of getting bees. I can split a hive quickly and easily. (I still go get swarms that are easily accessible if I have the time and motivation, but I'm not shy about forwarding swarm info to other aspiring beekeepers.)
It's work to remove bees from buildings. I spend my time and gas to go do the job. I may or may not end up with a viable colony, but even if I end up with a viable colony, I have to put more work into it than I put into a split. It's a LOT easier to do removals with 2 people. (I find I need 3 hands when need to hold a piece of comb in place in a frame, and then put rubber bands on it.) My beekeeper friends don't want to work for free, and I don't want to have to pay them out of my pocket to help me remove a colony from someone's building.
I don't enjoy doing removals. But I do it as a service for other people. So I try to charge a fair price, and I am a lot cheaper than an exterminator.
If I want more bees, I will buy a $25 queen (or raise my own) and split a hive...and I will still be money ahead of doing a removal when I factor in my time.
If the homeowner wants me to remove bees from their building, I want paid. It's work, and I don't like working for free. I didn't like working for free when I was a kid, and I don't like working for free now.
As I tell people, bees in a box are a blessing, but bees in a house are a nuisance, and it doesn't bother me if the homeowner buys a can of Raid to cure the problem. (But I encourage them to remove all the combs from the wall after they are dead so the honey doesn't cause any damage if they do spray the bees.)
Around here, the people willing to do removals for free are the ones you DON'T want doing it. They have little or no experience, and don't know what they are doing. (and often cause much more damage to the building than is necessary.) Or it takes them 10 hours to do a 2 hour job.
If I knew someone who did quality work doing removals and did them for free, I'd send every removal their way.
Posted: July 4th, 2015, 8:35 pm
I didn't charge the lady for the last one I did. She is a widower and it only took a few minutes to remove a dozen screws and open the wall. I was not gentle when I vacuumed them and it only took a couple of hours. She offered to pay but I felt better just knowing I put her mind at ease and declined. She's happy and I've got 2 deeps of gentle Italians(jocularity). Besides she is getting her son to close up the wall so I won't be going back to do that but the wife and I will go visit her because we made a new friend.
Posted: July 23rd, 2015, 2:18 pm
I did a little googling on the fellow when this article came out. Apparently he's got several hundred hives which makes one wonder why this would be worth his while. It turns out that he's involved in a pesticide related lawsuit. One speculates if this was just done for the sake of public relations.
So many swarms and cutouts are done without any fanfare that I always find myself wondering what the agenda is when these things become publicized.
Posted: July 27th, 2015, 10:52 pm
We were catering an event south of Lethbridge last week and I was asked by the community hall if I could remove 2 hives of bees from the eves of their hall because no one was interested in doing it. I gave a price of $1500 because of this thread, they didn't blink an eye. I will be doing it in mid august when I have a few weeks off, they will close them up, I will keep the bees and honey. The hall is right next to a beautiful field of Canola so there could be some nice white honey.
Posted: July 28th, 2015, 5:59 am
I hope you specified US dollars.
Posted: July 28th, 2015, 8:43 am
Allen Dick wrote:I hope you specified US dollars.
Nope I just don't think that quick.