Jump to content
northernbee

What different types of management arrangements are there

Recommended Posts

Long title I know but I have taken over running some hives for a group who have no idea. They bought a farm with an existing beek there, gave him a rather large check to manage their hives and grow to 120 odd. Long story short the beek pulled out and left 50 odd in mixed states to try and get through the winter.

After some heavy feeding and blending I'm happy where they are at and at the moment afb under control,(yes burned a few)

Looking forwards to next year I'm try to work a way that would benefit us both better than an hourly rate.

They are open to investment and in the next 5 years there is big expansion in the pipe line as far as more farms. So say up to 800- 1000 hives with a guaranteed purchaser of produce at farm farmgate price(clever accounting) so need some help submitting a plan, any ideas??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there room for another 1000 hives ? What's the current area hive density/forage like ?

Edited by yesbut
  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Current sites over 500 hectares borders doc land, intention is to purchase 4-5 farms of similar size, bees are part of the whole business plan with honey being a benefit secondary to pollination of crops, clover and orchards. About 6 different aspects to the farms and bees a part of each section

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, northernbee said:

big expansion in the pipe line as far as more farms. So say up to 800- 1000 hives

 

Does expansion mean some other beekeepers are getting moved kicked off??  If so, it's like a horrible game of musical chairs.  

 

Edited by Lindaloo26
  • Agree 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've heard a few yarns regarding arrangements like this where a few cockies get together and employ a bkpr to run hives for them.. as a sideline, usually through not trusting the bkpr they each had on their farms. 

I think I like the idea.. but I'm not 100% , cockies often don't see the whole picture, after a 30min yap about keeping hives alive, pest and diseases, seasonal management, failed honey flows, often  the reply is "sheez there's a lot to it isn't there.. think I'll stick to the cattle/deer/sheep" 

  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

northernbee, do other beekeepers get moved on when you establish your bees??  I know, I have already asked- just maybe you ignoring or 'not your business' but it could also mean "yes" -   not sure I would want to give advise if your the later.  The current beekeeper/s could be rubbish, but they do get moved someone who is a nice/good beekeeper will be affected down the road.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 24/05/2018 at 9:16 AM, northernbee said:

Long title I know but I have taken over running some hives for a group who have no idea. They bought a farm with an existing beek there, gave him a rather large check to manage their hives and grow to 120 odd. Long story short the beek pulled out and left 50 odd in mixed states to try and get through the winter.

After some heavy feeding and blending I'm happy where they are at and at the moment afb under control,(yes burned a few)

Looking forwards to next year I'm try to work a way that would benefit us both better than an hourly rate.

They are open to investment and in the next 5 years there is big expansion in the pipe line as far as more farms. So say up to 800- 1000 hives with a guaranteed purchaser of produce at farm farmgate price(clever accounting) so need some help submitting a plan, any ideas??

 

well 120 hives is a part time job. so billing for time and expenses is probably a good way to go for now.

how you fit that in with your other work will be an issue. part time beekeeping is difficult.

 

when they get bigger, its will be a different ball game entirely. you need buildings etc.

but the single biggest issue will be staff. unless they spend some big $$$ they will probably not get an experienced commercial beek let alone a lot of them to run the numbers of hives your talking about. inexperienced staff running a lot of hives can be a disaster. 

 

whangerai, get used to burning hives.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Lindaloo26 said:

northernbee, do other beekeepers get moved on when you establish your bees??  I know, I have already asked- just maybe you ignoring or 'not your business' but it could also mean "yes" -   not sure I would want to give advise if your the later.  The current beekeeper/s could be rubbish, but they do get moved someone who is a nice/good beekeeper will be affected down the road.  

what current beekeepers are you referring to, i haven't established any bees, the farm owns the bees, they intend to buy 4-5 more farms later on of similar size and close location that will fit all their needs not simply bees, they dont know what farms they intend to buy or if there is currently bees on them, simply a rough plan

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, tristan said:

 

well 120 hives is a part time job. so billing for time and expenses is probably a good way to go for now.

how you fit that in with your other work will be an issue. part time beekeeping is difficult.

 

when they get bigger, its will be a different ball game entirely. you need buildings etc.

but the single biggest issue will be staff. unless they spend some big $$$ they will probably not get an experienced commercial beek let alone a lot of them to run the numbers of hives your talking about. inexperienced staff running a lot of hives can be a disaster. 

 

whangerai, get used to burning hives.

we run a business from  home which my wife mainly does and i do part time contracts which i am reducing so the 120 for now isnt an issue, im more thinking along the lines of the fact i'm intending to grow their numbers 3 fold but would rather be vested interest in their growth and production vs an hours rate, as i say a percent of honey doesnt interest me because it sold at cost to another side

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, northernbee said:

we run a business from  home which my wife mainly does and i do part time contracts which i am reducing so the 120 for now isnt an issue, im more thinking along the lines of the fact i'm intending to grow their numbers 3 fold but would rather be vested interest in their growth and production vs an hours rate, as i say a percent of honey doesnt interest me because it sold at cost to another side

sounds like your after a cut of the profits or a bonus. just a matter of working out how to measure success and attach a price to it. typically % of crop is used because thats how they make their money. you could use market rates or even retails rates. trouble with a bonus system or cut of profits is when there is low production especially due to something the owners do eg if they favor rapid expansion at the expense of honey crop then you loose a big chunk of your bonus.

keep in mind it usually the owners who like to have a bonus system as that can keep workers motivated, a little unusual for a worker to ask for it as they get paid regardless anyway. it can also been used to cut labor costs in poor seasons and be a source of conflict.

 

the other thing is expanding from 50 hives to 150 is not a big deal that would normally warrant a bonus for.

 

i would just make sure you get paid well for the work done.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thats kinda where im at, i dont know what value to put on it because its not your usual situation, they are aware that the need to grow will hinder production so unsure how to price that out

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the other option is to use some of mine to boost numbers but again it puts a different angle on how to price it

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like an agony aunt column. Last beekeeper took the money bags for a ride, which means the landowner will be shy to go down that track again. Without land you are screwed, so curry favour with the landowners , bite the bullet and grow your own business. maybe even approach Comvita or the likes and offer a JV heavily in your favour that will supply you with operating hives and   preserve their hive base. 

Go to the Bee conference and mix and mingle and get a feel for what is happening in the market place. 

Make sure you build your skill base. Be honest with yourself. If you are not a people person It's probably not a good idea to be relying on staff. If you are not a confident bee keeper, then then don't get out of your depth too soon.

But if you are both ......

I see opportunity here. Don't be too greedy and enjoy the ride !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe your hourly rate could reflect the importance of your role.

rather than considering it “wages” think of it as consultancy and specialist fees which it actually is anyway.

get paid a decent “wage”/ “fee” that reflects your worth to the enterprise .

if you are already running your own business and are GST registered you might like to look at being a contractor to the farmer. 

Edited by frazzledfozzle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i am currently contracting to them now 

im confident in my abilities and have run plenty of crews of staff before, that side is going to be a couple of years down the track anyway

there is no desire for greed im simply looking for an arrangement that benefits both sides, im thinking investing my own will be the way to do that, and to be honest im not doing it for the money, im doing it because im vested into what they want to achieve, they want to obviously turn a profit across the whole business with 6 different avenues, dairy, beef, olives etc but are realistic they wont be in the black for 10-15 years and what they start will continue beyond them as far as reversing negative impacts on the land  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the difficulties as I see it is that as they aren't beeks, they will take some convincing about your skill if further clinical AFB develops which would not be unexpected. It would be helpful to know why the previous beek really left before you put a plan in place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, northernbee said:

there is no desire for greed im simply looking for an arrangement that benefits both sides, im thinking investing my own will be the way to do that, and to be honest im not doing it for the money, im doing it because im vested into what they want to achieve

doing it for other reasons sounds like you will simply be taken advantage of and eventually you will loose everything you have done.

you need to keep in mind everything you do will benefit them and only them. 

you sound like you want to join with them for the ride. their ideals may be something you like, but you still have to live.

as you will not be an owner, your just a contractor. so bill them as you would any other company.

do not invest your own hives into it. you will not ever get it back and it will be no shortage of problems later on.

 

simply price out what work you do. if that makes them money or not is their problem.

 

the other way that its done is to have shares in the company. however your work is only in the thousands in a multi million dollar setup. the amount of shares you will get is next to nothing and you will get very low returns on it.

 

2 hours ago, Sailabee said:

would be helpful to know why the previous beek really left

thats a good idea. a lot of non-beeks have no idea of whats involved. was it a beek issue or a owner issue and will it repeat ?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i was there during it, it was a combination of over commitment from other sites and not delivering on what was agreed, by a long shot 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

as far as still having to live, i am doing it because i enjoy it and arent out there to make millions but needs to be worth me doing it, so how do you price that out?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i assume that your a farm worker or contractor that was already working on the farm.

no matter what you charge your not going to be making millions.

as your already contracting, then charge them whatever you think your time is worth. your probably not going to be making anything on suppling of gear/feed/fuel/etc.

so all earnings are going to be in the labor. do you want to get paid less than what you are paid now or more?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 27/05/2018 at 2:26 PM, northernbee said:

as far as still having to live, i am doing it because i enjoy it and arent out there to make millions but needs to be worth me doing it, so how do you price that out?

What is your time worth to you? How much do you need out of the 'contract' to warrant the amount of time you spend on it? What percentage of your years income does it need to equate to and what would you like that to be? What are your costs on top of that?

How about they pay you an annual retainer (salary like) and have goal points time lined that give you further payment on achieving them?

I wouldn't invest my bees/gear in their scheme. Determine what they want, how they are happy to see that achieved (buying in Nucs/hives or you creating them from their hives and gear or you creating and selling them to them). 

Make sure you have a binding contract or alternatively a solid employment contract.

Have they any idea really of what their expansion costs (beekeeping wise) will actually be?

 

Edited by Ali

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Ali said:

What is your time worth to you? How much do you need out of the 'contract' to warrant the amount of time you spend on it? What percentage of your years income does it need to equate to and what would you like that to be? What are your costs on top of that?

How about they pay you an annual retainer (salary like) and have goal points time lined that give you further payment on achieving them?

I wouldn't invest my bees/gear in their scheme. Determine what they want, how they are happy to see that achieved (buying in Nucs/hives or you creating them from their hives and gear or you creating and selling them to them). 

Make sure you have a binding contract or alternatively a solid employment contract.

Have they any idea really of what their expansion costs (beekeeping wise) will actually be?

 

And most importantly, how will a plunging honey price affect any proposed contracts viability?

  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, Sailabee said:

And most importantly, how will a plunging honey price affect any proposed contracts viability?

 

Any word on the street If beekeepers are renegotiating their contracts for non Manuka sites ?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, Sailabee said:

And most importantly, how will a plunging honey price affect any proposed contracts viability?

It is a sticky field. If contracted to supply a service/result i.e. hives in place in good order then the resulting honey crop or lack of is really not in the equation regarding the contract in my opinion. It will of course have effects in terms of the owners viability and what they will want to pay for the services. The profit or lack of is the owners rather than the contractors problem so long as the service is well and completely performed. Measuring that performance needs to be very clearly laid down and understood by all parties.

  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 24/05/2018 at 9:16 AM, northernbee said:

Long title I know but I have taken over running some hives for a group who have no idea. They bought a farm with an existing beek there, gave him a rather large check to manage their hives and grow to 120 odd. Long story short the beek pulled out and left 50 odd in mixed states to try and get through the winter.

After some heavy feeding and blending I'm happy where they are at and at the moment afb under control,(yes burned a few)

Looking forwards to next year I'm try to work a way that would benefit us both better than an hourly rate.

They are open to investment and in the next 5 years there is big expansion in the pipe line as far as more farms. So say up to 800- 1000 hives with a guaranteed purchaser of produce at farm farmgate price(clever accounting) so need some help submitting a plan, any ideas??

I have a deal with a farmer with similar land size as yours it works well for both of us we have 120 hives atm with room for more . We both share costs for anything that the bees need also share the work load for building boxes frames and so on but I look after the hives (my resposibility) also I have my own truck and gear. At the end of the season we split the crop or $ 50/50. I like the farmer to have a bit of skin in the game as it keeps him interested and keeps me there which is huge in my eyes also if he decides to sell the property down the track theres a good chance the next owner will just roll it on as I own half the hives. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...