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When a New Beekeeper Loses Interest


I don’t ask for any money over the phone if I remove a swarm, unless it’s a business that wants them removed in a hurry.

If people ask me if I need payment after I catch the swarm & I didn’t mention payment over the phone, I just tell them no, otherwise I would have mentioned it before I came.

The expensive yard, manicured cottage garden etc. describes the bloke I’m talking about.

Swarms might be a bit fewer & far between. A young bloke who picked up a colony from me is trying to catch one. He reckons he’s always too late because as soon as they show up on facebook, they’re picked up in no time & he misses out. Also there are blokes advertising free bee removals on Gumtree. I’m only getting a fraction of inquiries about swarms etc., compared to a few years ago. That suits me, I’m just sitting down, relaxing a bit right now, knowing that for the time being I’m virtually caught up.


yep- here there are adds on gumtree here where it is for free. It’s funny last year one swarm catcher rang all the others, me included, and suggested that we all start charging a minimum of $50. He said the ones that do it for free are letting the entire team down. Most people agreed- I agreed in principle but retained my right to do it for free on a case by case basis. In some cases- if people are obviously poor or if the bees will suffer if they are not collected- then i would rather do it for free.

the swarm I caught the other day required two round trips of 40 km- and maybe 4 hours of my time. I can’t really afford to do that type of this too often for free.


Like you say Jack, it’s on a case-by-case basis. Sometimes I think, after I finish, “why didn’t I ask for a fee over the phone”. There are always lessons learnt.

In the case of the bees I removed out of the cable drum for Energex, I didn’t ask for a fee over the phone. Later on the bloke gave me the chance to present them with a bill. A declined the offer because I didn’t mention a fee at the start, plus they could have easily killed the bees, which would have been easier for them. They cared enough about the bees to save them, it was only fair that I didn’t charge a fee.

That was also a valuable learning experience for me. It’s hard to put a price on something like that.


15 days later, still no call. Every so often I say to Wilma “we still haven’t heard from you know who”.

His split has been a useful convenient feeder hive. I have to let it recover for a while now. It’s been VERY convenient.


It’s like collecting interest. Only fair enough as you are the ‘bee bank’.


It’s been another 16 days but still no call. I heard from his brother however, who also owns a flow hive. He got me to inspect it because it swarmed for the third time but this time didn’t recover. I found no queen but enough bees to cater for 2 frames of brood. I sold him 2 frames of brood. Guess where those 2 frames of brood came from.


“The Lord giveth” I think is how it goes Jeff.:grinning:


Yes I agree Pete. I have a bloke meeting me to grab 2 frames of brood in the morning. I’m tempted, If I can, I will.

PS, I finished up taking one out of it & one from another colony. I found one colony with chalk brood issues, I didn’t take one out of it. I’ll give the banana trick a try. I’ll put a small cut banana above the hive mat. Then see what’s happened after a week.


Since Oct 3, still no call to see how his brood box is going or to tell me where he wants to put it when I bring it back.

I had to go back to his brother’s hive with 2 more frames of brood. His brother told me that his honey super was full but apparently he didn’t have time to harvest the honey.

In the mean time I put his colony in one of my boxes to use myself. I brought his stuff home to put in storage.

His brother is going to contact me after Christmas to get me to see if the second attempt at making a queen was successful.