Southerns Beekeeping Association

why should I have to pay for bee removals

Bee keepers who carry out pay bee removals provide a service to the community. Many people who ask for bees to be removed from their property complain when are advised that there will be a fee for this service. “I am giving you the bees, why should I have to pay for bee removals?” is the type of comment often made.

There are several reasons why a fee is justified.

First of all why is the request made in the first place? Because the person asking for the bees to be removed does not the expertise to do so.

Why you should pay bee removals.

A beekeeper who provides the community this service should be paid for the time and effort required. A swarm which arrives and hangs in a tree can easily be shaken into a card board box and then left on the site until dusk when all the flying bees will have gathered in the box, which the beekeeper can close and take the swarm to a place where he keeps his bees and put them into an empty hive. Those are the easy jobs.

The problem jobs are for removal of bees that have been living in a situation for a long time. Sometimes situations are easily accessible but in many instances they are not. Bees in Chimneys and in roofs for example. Most bee removals are for established colonies.

Sometimes bees live in situations that are high off the ground so there is a danger for the bee remover if appropriate equipment and safety measures are not in place.

To provide a bee removal service the beekeeper needs various tools and a suitable vehicle. These involve an expense to the bee remover. In addition a beehive is required to put the bees into. These are not cheap. A basic new hive without honey supers, but with new brood frames fitted with wax foundation sheets, is in the region of R1000.00.

Travel expenses can be considerable, as the beekeeper’s apiary maybe a considerable distance from where the bees were living. I have often driven fifty kilometres, some times more, to do a bee removal. Fuel does not come cheap!

Time is money. Many bee removals take hours to do. As removals of established colonies should only be undertaken as the light is fading, to avoid any disturbances in the vicinity by angry bees,  the bee remover of large colonies often arrives back home VERY late, when everybody has already gone to bed!

Thank to Tom Cain for the article and a very big thanks to our members for submitting the photos.


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