questions on picking up side work with cut outs and trap out

Discussion in 'Swarms, Cut outs, and Trap outs' started by Bhodi, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. Bhodi

    Bhodi New Member

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    Part of the "service" the local club does is "Good Samaritan" work. Members will volunteer their time to do cut outs and attempt trap outs. I've gone on one cut out and was ...shocked at the work performed. Their attempted trap outs are unsuccessful, but are said to be good work. :roll:

    I'm considering picking up some side work next summer and marketing myself for honeybee removal. It's going to be tough competing with 30 or 40 people right in the area who will do it for free, but I see a potential to make some money here, not spend it on gas and materials. I've gotten several calls from the club recently and am starting to feel used. No, I don't have to go out on these calls, but I like the work and like the experience.

    I've mentioned to another club member about charging for this service and heard "...insurance... liability... licensed and bonded...can't accept any form of payments..." It was not well received at all.

    I want to learn more about doing this as a side business. My job is flexible enough that time off isn't an issue. I see beekeepers online who get $75-$100 an hour, and I'm doing the same darn thing for free. Plus, as a business, there are tax advantages, too. From what I've seen of local volunteers, know I do better work. If I do this, I'm going to burn some bridges.

    So, for those of you who make money with honeybee removal, how do you find customers? How do you price your jobs? Are you insured? Is this an actual business of yours?

    Anything you can share would be great.
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    One of the first things I tell them goes something like this.

    I can only remove honeybees. If they are yellow Jackets or hornets, you will have to call an exterminator. It is against the law for me to kill anything for you. I am a hobbyist beekeeper, not a pest control. I remove bees to try to save the bees and help the public. I charge enough to cover my expenses, like gas, equipment, boxes, ETC, plus cover the losses when I travel and don't get the job. I do not have a business, am not insured, licensed, or bonded. I am just a hobbyist trying to do a public service.

    I started charging 100 dollars for two men, plus all mileage over 20. That is one way. After getting to the point I felt like I knew enough to be worth it, I went to 200. I am now at 300 for the whole crew, for the first 3 hours, 100 per hour after that. The crew may be as little as 1, or as many as 4 or 5, when training beginners. I cut the time off after the comb is in the box and I am waiting for them to locate to the box. I do not tell the client that I have cut the time off. They are clock watching until I pack up and leave, then I cut the time they are expecting, making them quite happy.

    NOW, I often reduce the price for many reasons. A ninety year old on SS only may get the job done for a glass of ice water or similar. I price at the top and can adjust down until I am comfortable that they received a bargain. I can also hold my price if they happen to be a little hard to deal with.

    I pay my experienced helpers a percentage. The crew plus the equip. divide equally.

    IE: truck and equip., 1/3, each of two men 1/3. OR, truck and equip., 1/4, each of 3 men, 1/4.

    Inexperienced helpers get nothing until they have helped enough to band in comb, cut out comb from the nest, set up vac and use it, know location of all tools in truck, ETC. without help from the experienced ones. Usually about 4 cutouts, but can vary.
     

  3. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    That sounds like a great plan Iddee, I am basing mine pretty close to what you are doing. Have done many freebies for the people who could not afford it. They are the ones who would give the most if they had it and the ones that can afford it are the ones who balk first.

    Bhodi there is some good advice in that post, don't know that I could add much to it.

    G3
     
  4. Monie

    Monie New Member

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    Re: questions on picking up side work with cut outs and trap

    Do you charge the same for a trap out as you do cut out?
     
  5. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Re: questions on picking up side work with cut outs and trap

    The basic 300, yes. Then it begins to vary. The 300 covers 4, or more, depending, trips. Then I charge per trip after the initial trips.
     
  6. Monie

    Monie New Member

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    Re: questions on picking up side work with cut outs and trap

    Thanks. I, finally-thanks to Craigslist, have a homeowner who needs bees removed. He's not entirely sure that he wants his "old farm house" cut into. I'll be going out tomorrow to assess the situation.
     
  7. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Re: questions on picking up side work with cut outs and trap

    Keep the trap out in mind while looking. It is the least preferred way, but works when there is no other way.

    viewtopic.php?f=35&t=1488
     
  8. Monie

    Monie New Member

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    Re: questions on picking up side work with cut outs and trap

    Thanks, Iddee. :)