Yard Rent Jugs

In a previous post, I asked what the standard arrangement is when a beekeeper sets his hive on someone else’s property: do you pay rent? how much? Or ought the property owner being paying for the pollination.

The consistent response I heard was that beekeepers generally won’t pay money to put their hives on someone else’s property. If the hives are being placed to pollinate an orchard, then it’s the orchard owner renting the bees, and if it’s just hives looking for a place to settle, it’s just neighbors being friendly.

One interesting tidbit came from Lou of the Gotham City Beekeepers, who said:

A landowner with crops or a garden most often welcomes the bees without expectations of being paid. Beekeepers always get paid for short-term placements of hives for specific blooms, rarely for long-term placements. Regardless of expectations, “yard rent” is often paid (or gifts are made in lieu or rent) with 5-pound containers of honey. If you Google for “yard rent jug” you will find that a specific class of low-cost large container exists for this specific purpose.

I did Google “yard rent jug” and found that a 3 – 5 lbs jug (a couple of quarts or so) is apparently the standard unit for renting land. Who knew?

Legalize Beekeeping!

I got an interesting note from Lou of the Gotham City Beekeepers today:

You may not have known, or even cared, but beekeeping is illegal in NYC.

This became a problem for a number of different efforts to raise veggies in various community gardens and urban farming experiments. Suddenly, beekeepers were in demand, but we were considered to be slightly less socially acceptable than skateboarders.

There is now a bill before the NYC City Council to legalize it, so we (a formerly somewhat low-profile set of people) have filed a non-profit registration, formed a Co-Op, and put up a web site: http://gothamcitybees.com/.

I didn’t know it, and I find it amazing, if not surprising. Apparently, bees in New York are considered “dangerous animals, naturally inclined to do harm or capable of inflicting harm”. (If you gives you any perspective on the ridiculously of this claim, my hives are about 10′ from my deck, where I regularly have dozens of people over for bbq’s. Haven’t had a guest stung yet.)

So visit their web site and sign their petition. They’re also offering free classes on rooftop beekeeping, underway now (not sure if it’s too late to sign up).

Who pays whom what?

I got this question from a reader the other day:

I have someone that is interested in putting bee hives on my property, what would be the norm for compensation for such an arrangement? Are there any concerns I should be made aware of? I would really appreciate any info you could give me.

My answer was:

I’m actually not sure. I’m a hobbyist beekeeper with just a couple hives in my yard. I know that some farmers pay beekeepers to park their hives near their crops for pollination purposes, and I know smaller beekepers will prevail on friendly neighbors to let them park their hives on their property, sometimes in token exchange for some honey, but I’m not sure what the standard arrangement is. Just know that beekeeping isn’t big money, and if it costs you nothing, best not to try to make it cost someone else a lot.

What’s the real answer?