In renting out hives to apple, peach, etc. growers for pollination, do the bees actually produce excess honey for you to make it worth a super or two to be added on a hive for the excess? I have a friend that claims his father gets a lot of honey through pollination services, yet I've never seen apple honey or peach honey in the stores.
It depends greatly on the crop and the strength of the hives. In ohio the bees are only in the middle of their buildup typically when apple and peach are blooming, so you rarely every get any crop from it. It typically all goes into raising young. On a good year with a really strong hive you would likely make some. I never have, but know one beekeeper in my area that did get apple blossom honey one year out of the past 30. I suppose If I overwintered down south and moved them in for apples they would be strong then and stand a good chance of a surplus.
Some crops you will make some honey on every year, and there are yet others where the bees will come out lighter than when they went in. Plus all the moving seems to be more stressfull on them, I always seem to have more problems with the hives used for pollination than those that were not.
So I don't base my price on any forseen honey crop. I expect cash up front. If the owner wants to rent is land to me for the privilege of maybe getting some honey and spending extra time moving hives and taking care of another location, I'll leave my bees in my apiaries.
I also should add, the weather here during apple and peach bloom can be very variable. Somtimes this leave only a few good days for pollination/foraging during bloom as happened this past spring.
[This message has been edited by tarheit (edited September 14, 2004).]
Growers typically think that you will make lots of honey, therefore they shouldn't have to pay you for you to make honey off their blooms.
This simply is not the case. It is rare to ever get any honey out of a pollination situation. More likely, you will break your back, tear out your transmission, tip a load of bees off your trailer, get sprayed with insecticide, then have the growers check bounce.
but remember.....you're going to make honey, so you should be paying the grower for this opportunity!!!!!
Beeman 202:you ain't right, hehe,But I love it.>>>>Mark