Texas Polination Contract / Cost Question...

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Hawk, Mar 21, 2013.

  1. Hawk

    Hawk New Member

    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hello all,

    I'm planning on doing my splits early this coming week - and have been contacted by a person who owns a blueberry farm (only 1 acre - about 500 bushes) who would like bees on property for pollination while they are im bloom.

    While I'd love to do it - his location is about 2.5 hours from me - and only 1 acre would only need about 4 hives (that would be placed til the end of April).

    I have a queston about pricing the services... In Texas - to be legal - we have to pay a $35 "intrastate transport fee" when I cross county lines with my bees. I don't want him to think that he's not important.. but - shucks - How can I feel good about charging/asking for $200 for placing my hives (which really covers my gas there & back plus my meals on the road), then an additional $70 for state permits to take them and then to remove them later back to my bee-yard. For only 4 hives for his purposes...

    What do you guys who perform "local" (I define local as in-state) pollination handle this? I know what the state statutes say about the fees - and I really want to be on the up-and-up.. but I'm afraid I'm just going to have to turn him away.... Thoughts? I dunno that small-scale pollination is profitable with the fee structures as they are.

    Rex S.
     
  2. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,752
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    38
    I'm waiting for the answer on this one.
     

  3. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    a snip..
    I have a queston about pricing the services... In Texas - to be legal - we have to pay a $35 "intrastate transport fee" when I cross county lines with my bees. I don't want him to think that he's not important.. but - shucks - How can I feel good about charging/asking for $200 for placing my hives (which really covers my gas there & back plus my meals on the road), then an additional $70 for state permits to take them and then to remove them later back to my bee-yard. For only 4 hives for his purposes...

    tecumseh...
    I am not certain what the $70 is about and for most cases you could likely operate without the $35 fee if you did not load a truck down with bees and drive recklessly thru some school zone or try to run over a group of nuns between point a and b.

    First what I have done in the past...
    I have never pollinated blue berries but I have provide hives for folks with a small truck patch and normally my way is.... I will NOT deliver a single solitary hive since it is much to easy for these to be unattended so I tell folks I will drop you 2 for the price of 1 which is basically $75. for any distance in travel I would have to up this and the price of diesel would make this very expensive if the distance got too long.

    Blueberries are hard on bees which basically means they produce pollen which is of low quality and they also don't produce much nectar. A lot of folks 'feed' bees while they are setting in a sea of blueberry bloom. If there is a benefit to blueberries it is that producer use very little chemicals or insecticides with blueberries.

    Actually what you need to consider/calculate (and I have no means of advising you on this issue) is to compare the total acre production of blueberries with and without pollinators. in a lot of plants/trees that require pollination the difference in these two number time the wholesale price of the crop give you a solid value on the benefits added by the pollinator. often times the numbers (and consequential dollar value) is a much larger number that you might expect.
     
  4. Hawk

    Hawk New Member

    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I just researched the intrastate fee... Looks like transporting within the state is $25, not $35... HOWEVER - after my winter losses - I'm exempt from the fee, as I now have fewer than 12 hives. So that's $50 saved.

    After sleeping on it - my gut instinct is really to have him find someone closer to him. He's been looking and trying to find someone within the East Texas Beekeepers Assn for 2 months - but has run into (a) unresponsive members, and (b) when he does get a response - it's simply to pass along someone else's phone number. I feel bad for the guy - but it really sounds like the ETBA has more hobbyists with only a few hives and aren't interested in providing a pollination service.

    Considering the growth/feeding needs of split hives, as well as the nutrition of the blueberries' pollen/nectar, as well as the distance to the location from me (2.5 hours each way plus load/setup/unload time).. I'm inclined to decline his offer for a place to pollinate. I plan on doing my spring splits this week, and they'll need to be closer to watch. I already know that the location is unattended. (He lives about an hour from the land) and the property is along a semi-major (and heavily traveled) Texas highway - there's also the risk of having the hives vandalized/stolen.

    I guess the bottom line is that I have closer places to house and maintain my hives, and I don't want to make that kind of drive for a minimal personal financial gain. I guess I've talked myself out of it. Thanks for the input, Tec!

    Rex
     
  5. Hawk

    Hawk New Member

    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
  6. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

    Messages:
    8,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I would explain to him that buying and maintaining 2 hives would be his cheapest route to take, and have the extra benefit of honey in the good years.

    Then send him to the forum and offer to sale him 2 hives with telephone support afterward.
     
  7. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,752
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Iddee is the man with the plan, that gives him the control, the incentive to protect from insecticide spray and theft, etc.