Unloading in CA?
Got a question for you guys that migrate to CA in the Fall. What time of day do you unload out there? Reason I ask is that last year, and especially this Fall, seemed like the bees that were unloaded in the morning drifted terribly. Hives at the ends of rows and on the outside rows were blowing the lids off, while those in the middle (roughly an oval shape) were weak, still had a queen and brood, but short on bees. Anybody else seen this?
Going to try to have them unloaded in the future late afternoon/early evening to give them time to settle in overnight and hopefully get a little more oriented the next morning. Comments?
Yes Gregg you are right. Unless weather will keep the bees in, good drivers arrive at the end of day to unload. The drifting like you describe is detrimental. Morning is OK but you want the nets pulled and unloading at dawn, not 9 or 10 AM.
Thanks for the response Tom. Although I am still wondering if makes any difference if they are unloaded even at dawn. Our last load was unloaded, I believe at dawn, on November 12. My two partners got out there that morning, about 11 am, and noted that the load that was unloaded that morning was in an uproar, virtually a cloud of bees above the hives flying around, while hardly any were flying around the other 3 loads.
The first flight rush probably can't be avoided, they want to poop and get a drink. Tight set and straight rows makes it worse. But the worst is unloading while the bees can fly, they're jumping off the truck, coming out of those on the ground, then when they return home has been moved. Out to the corners and ends they go. Can really mess em up.
Early mornig is the best,daylight.We use every opurtunite of all the acreage, the bigger the space the better.and every other direction as well,for pallet placement.
We see this every year and I think it doesn't just occur on the first flight but other days as well. We have noticed drift from one week to the next. Those big pods of holding yards with long straight rows are the worst.
Would it help if you blocked part of the entrance, or placed a branch in front of them so they had to reorinate to the hive. It seems to me that part of your problem is the girls are flying without realizing there hive has been moved.......
some of these yards have 60,000 plus colonies and they are on pallets so putting a limb in front of the hive or entrance reducers is not a real option.
would having the hives different colors, or patterns on them, help. It would make it easier to find your own hives.
C'mon now aren't you exagurating just a bit? 60,000? Where exactly are you talking about? Or even approximately? But drift is a problem no Q. Italians are the worst for orientation.
I have seen yards that I bet have 50,000 + not so uncommon. a couple semis of syrup sitting in the yards.
So 10 yards would cover half the state? I bet not. How much you wanna lose?
Pallets per acre
Hum and hum.
25 square feet per pallet. (Pallets not stacked)
43,560 square feet per acre.
43,560/25 = 1,742.4 Pallets
1,742.4 X 4 Hives per pallet = 6,969.6 or 6,970 Hives
No allocation for the following: Roads, storage, pole lines, creek and other natural barriers.
If I deduct only 10% of the area for the above you can only get 6,273 hives per acre which will change dramatically if you spread out the pallets.
Comments may be added.
Every time bees are unloaded when they can fly/ come out of the box in a hurry I see alot more drifting. Bees crawling around on the sides and lids. When the bees are unloaded in the dark and or very cold I do not see this. No its not the ones unlaoded in the daylight are sick etc. It happens every time bees are unloaded when its light out and above 32. But some times things just gotta get done.
This is my third year of working in a stockpile yard with aprox 120 loads of bees in it. (60,000+ some are loads of flats). You need radios and binoculars to find anyone out there.
BeeCity! It is impressive! Question:
Are those 15,000 pallets all broke down? I mean each on the ground as opposed to still stacked. ?
In the fall/winter as the trucks come in they are spread out so they can be worked. Fed, medicated and graded for strength before they get placed into area orchards. When the bees come back to stockpile, the ones that dont go straight home form the orchards, some are left double or even triple stacked.