Short Answer: Unfortunately, we cannot provide free bee hive removal. No sustainable business can.
Real Answer: Why do we charge to come look at where your bees are and to remove them – aren’t we benefiting from getting the bees and/or their honey?
Basically, we have to cover our hard costs (as well as soft costs) to provide a sustainable bee hive removal service and stay in business, included but not limited to:
- Hard Costs, like liability insurance to just come onto your property
- Bee Boxes to put the bees in that we collect from your property (wow, have you seen wood prices lately!)
- Fuel for one (or typically more) visits to your location (gas prices can be all over the place),
- Re-queening the colony that we relocate after quarantine, due to the unknown genetics and diseases she may have and reproduces, in particular africanized traits. By re-queening, we help dilute the number of bees with the africanized traits as well as bee diseases locally, in particular by increasing managed colonies.
- Specialized bee tools, equipment and supplies specific to removing bees humanely,
- Quarantine equipment and space for the wild colonies to allow us to watch for any africanized traits, viruses, pests or diseases before adding them to the apiary. We wouldn’t want these wild bees to potentially infect our whole apiary should they have bacterial or viral disease. Wild or feral colonies often have to be treated for any pests, like varroa mites, for the same reason – to protect all of our bees.
- Sugar water and/or pollen to feed the bees during times of low nectar flow or low pollen
- State apiary registration and inspections,
- Business registration and licensing,
- Business Liability & Property damage insurance,
- Vehicle upkeep,
- Advertising costs so you can find us,
- Hundreds of hours of study and training to be experts at what we do,
- Occasionally, the bees may not survive the relocation because the queen may have been injured during transport, even with the most care in handling and efforts to ensure the bees survival. Fortunately, this does not happen too often, especially when we are able to catch and cage the queen in a special cage for transport and afterwards release her back into her colony at the farm.
- We may not take your bees….unfortunately sometimes depending on your budget, you may decide to call in a pest control company, if the repairs to retrieve the bees exceeds your budget, in particular for colonies that are well established inside walls or areas that have to be physically cut open for removal or if the bee removal would endanger public safety that would not safely allow a “trap out”.
- Did I mention bee stings? literally hundreds per season, yes, even through the protective gear we wear.
These are just a few of the reasons we do not offer free removal.
Lastly, we can also produce more a lot of bees in a lot less time, by simply raising our own bees at the farm without ever leaving the property and without the risk involved going up and down a ladder many times to remove bees 😉
So why do we do it?
We enjoy serving the community we live and grew up in along with our love of the bees. It also allows to do a little outreach with each removal by answering people’s questions about the bees and their behavior. This reduces the fear of the unknown.