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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    oneida ny usa
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    128

    Default migrating/pollination

    What is the minimum number of hives needed to make migrating and searching for pollination deals worth the effort. I am sure this is different for everyone, but just wondering what the number is for the people who are doing it .

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    27,689

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by michael-bees View Post
    What is the minimum number of hives needed to make migrating and searching for pollination deals worth the effort. I am sure this is different for everyone, but just wondering what the number is for the people who are doing it .
    It seems like you should expect as many answers as there are personal circumstances which would fit your question. So, here's my personalized answer. Maybe that's what you are looking for.

    I started taking my bees to SC, about 18 years ago, when I figured that I would spend more money buying bees to replace my winterloss than I would in expenses going south and north and staying in SC for 6 weeks every spring. I didn't know of many reliable sources of nucs at that time and didn't have the capital to spend on them. I did, and do, have good credit w/ credit card companies.

    I started going south w/ less than 100 colonies. Slowly built up to a tractor trailer load and what I could get on my flatbed. Drpped down to half a semi and am now back to a full semi and the flatbed.

    As far as pollination is concerned, I deliver as few as 2 and as many as 400. My migrating for pollination is when I bring the bees back north in May to orchards in the Champlain Valley.

    I hope this is what you are after in an answer.

    Are you thinking of migrating w/ your bees?
    Mark Berninghausen To combat Ebola, please consider supporting http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    oneida ny usa
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    128

    Default

    That is the type of answer I was hoping for, thanks. Yes my goal is to migrate.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Owen, WI, USA
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    2,549

    Default

    The only migration we do is taking our bees to California for almonds, the other half year we manage for honey. Our biggest expense in migrating is shipping so we think in terms of truck loads, semi trucks. Loading the trucks as full as possible, with anywhere from 480 to 512, keeps the cost per colony down. Some beeks heading west share semis to pool that expense. So shipping is figured by the semi, but if we want to work on the bees while they are in California it is more efficient to stay out there for more than one truckload, as it costs us the same to drive out there and back for one load or for five.
    As Mark stated, everyone will have a different answer, based on number of hives, payment, distance, time of year, etc.
    You need to do the math taking into account all the variables, adjusting them until you get something that works for your particular situation. It could be as simple as moving bees into the pumpkin patch 10 miles from you or as complicated as being on the road almost year round. Full time migrator/pollinators have a complicated set of calculations because they are scheduling stops for multiple crops, some of which might not even pay.
    Sheri

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,496

    Default

    Bees from my area to Calf last year ran about 3k per semi load one way. Like Sheri said the smaller operators usually piggy back on the larger guys to split up expenses and it helps the bigger guys go into Calf. with more bees. We inspect hives before they ship to make sure they are good enough and usually want about 100 hives to make it worthwhile to add to the shipments. If your hives are not up to par, they won't be accepted, mainly because the main guys rep is on the line and Calf. has really stepped up checking colonies since the prices have gone up.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Clear Lake, WI / Sebring, FL
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    632

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by michael-bees View Post
    What is the minimum number of hives needed to make migrating and searching for pollination deals worth the effort. I am sure this is different for everyone, but just wondering what the number is for the people who are doing it .
    You should really try to get one solid load of bees. Pollination is well worth it .

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    oneida ny usa
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    128

    Default

    Full truckload is the plan but I dont have enough hives yet, still working on the first 100. Full load is approx 500 correct? My goal is for 2 years down the road. I would appreciate any advice anyone has. thanks.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Owen, WI, USA
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    2,549

    Default

    Depending on the configuration (singles, story and a half, or double deeps), and how heavy they are, you can get anywhere from low 400s to mid 500s on a load.
    Many beeks that do more localized pollination do not use semis but move their colonies with their own flatbeds and sometimes trailers. The regionals going into cranberries seldom use rented semis. They often haul them and place them in the bogs usually at night with their own loaders, sleep at home in the daytime, then haul another load the next night. Depending on how far the contract is, even small loads can be cost effective. With the prices of fuel, I would think contracts close to home would be nice to have.
    Sheri

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    Clear Lake, WI / Sebring, FL
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    632

    Default

    Sheri
    I thought you guys didnt want to go to the cranberries?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Owen, WI, USA
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    2,549

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor Mansell View Post
    Sheri
    I thought you guys didnt want to go to the cranberries?
    Nah, we don't, we usually make too much honey during that time to risk it, but that is how some of the folks we know that DO go in do it.
    Of course, this year might just be the year that cranberries paid better, with the rain washing everything out on such a regular basis.
    Sheri

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
    Posts
    3,198

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnK and Sheri View Post
    Depending on the configuration (singles, story and a half, or double deeps), and how heavy they are, you can get anywhere from low 400s to mid 500s on a load.Sheri
    Singels.....
    I used to take a few loads from the Dakota's in singles, 16 rows 768 or 17 rows 816. Weight is a factor, singels.... starving or plugged.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Owen, WI, USA
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    2,549

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Jarrett View Post
    Singels.....
    I used to take a few loads from the Dakota's in singles, 16 rows 768 or 17 rows 816. Weight is a factor, singels.... starving or plugged.
    Holy Moly, Keith, that is a lot of bees. Must have shipped pretty light......or dodged the scales.
    Yeah, we considered singles but like you said, there is not enough leeway between starving and getting plugged up, so we stick with story and a half. Plus many growers are reluctant to go with singles.
    Sheri

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
    Posts
    3,198

    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnK and Sheri View Post
    Holy Moly,
    Sheri
    http://s148.photobucket.com/albums/s...eetruck001.jpg


    Ya Holy ------,

    Ya it use to be madess around here a few years ago, 3000-4000 for one person is tooooo much.

    Those singles are not very forgiving.

    Trucks that don't show up on time, bee beards that grow by the hour.
    I don't miss it at all.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Davis,South Dakota,USA
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    401

    Default

    I should have written a book.or became a bus driver.lol.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    VENTURA, California, USA
    Posts
    3,604

    Default Pallet dimentions.

    Keith,
    Do uou use a 4" gap between the back of the hives?
    regards,
    Ernie
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
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    3,198

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BEES4U View Post
    Keith,
    Do uou use a 4" gap between the back of the hives?
    regards,
    Ernie
    Ernie, on my own hives I beleive it's more than that, 33x48 pallets.

    I built a graber so one person can grab hives so to even up pallets, it works best when there is plenty of room behind the hives.
    Keith

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Wheatfield, IN
    Posts
    2,068

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Jarrett View Post
    Ernie, on my own hives I beleive it's more than that, 33x48 pallets.

    I built a graber so one person can grab hives so to even up pallets, it works best when there is plenty of room behind the hives.
    Keith
    Keith... can you explaine the "graber"?
    Dan Williamson
    B&C Honey Farm http://www.flickr.com/photos/9848229@N05/

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
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    3,198

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Williamson View Post
    Keith... can you explaine the "graber"?
    Dan,

    It works like a ice block graber or battery graber. It ables you to grab a double deep and move it to another pallet without bending over and bear hugging the hive to move it.It works with one or two persons. I work by myself so this helps me move hives around the yard easly.
    A picture is worth a thousand words, I will see if I can post one.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Valley Springs, Ca.
    Posts
    135

    Default grabber

    And it works sweet!
    Last edited by Action; 07-28-2008 at 06:01 PM. Reason: dbl post

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Valley Springs, Ca.
    Posts
    135

    grabber

    And it works sweet!
    Jack

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