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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Campobello, SC, USA
    Posts
    195

    Default Pollination Question...

    How many hives are usually needed to pollinate an orchard? And what is an average rate per hive? I know this is kind of personal to a bussiness but ballpark figures would be appriciated. A orchard has shown interest in having a local beekeeper pollinate his trees. I dont have enough hives to do it right now, and before I spend too much, I would like to see if it would be worthwhile. Also would a standard trailor, with a ball hookup be suitable to transport hives? I just dont want to get involved in something that will strain resources and be unprofitable. (I will have to purchase/build new equipment to be able to do this.)

    Thanks, Daniel

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,939

    Default

    Each fruit is different, but in our cherry orchard we use about one per acre.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Campobello, SC, USA
    Posts
    195

    Default

    Thanks, The orchard is peaches. I've seen other orchards at pollination time have pallets with about 4 - 6 hives that is visible from the road. They may have more that is not visible.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    El Dorado County, CA
    Posts
    605

    Default

    around here peaches do fine with out hiring hives. the need to thin fruit is more likey than poor pollination.
    all that is gold does not glitter

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Default

    Even crops that do not generally need bees, show improvement with bees in several areas. One is the size of the fruit. Second is the uniformity of the fruit. Even though thinning is done on many fruits such as peaches, growers still want large marketable fruit, with even sides and uniformity.

    Many people think pollination from honeybees has to do with the number of fruit set. But usually, there are more than enough native pollinators to get a good set. But its when you see curled cucumbers, big sided apples, peaches and pumpkins (small on the other side), thats the sign of poor pollination. You can have lots and lots of pumpkins or peaches, but good pollination gives the fruit an even growth, and this demands more money as it is what the consumer wants and is a sign of quality.

    I don't have it available, but I have a report somewhere that was based on research that for those fruits not "thinned" but were traditionally not pollinated by bees, had increases of about 10% in production when honeybee colonies were used. Of course, its hard for a farmer to pay for pollination hives when a 10% increase or decrease is hard to see with all the other variables that go into crop production year to year.
    Last edited by BjornBee; 08-02-2008 at 06:37 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,604

    Default

    Here in my area, it's 3 hives per acre and the price depends on the fruit/nut/vegitable.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Campobello, SC, USA
    Posts
    195

    Default

    Thanks for all the information on this post. Just to clarify, I am not trying to out bid another person for a contract. From the information I recieved I dont think he even rents bees yet. It is something I was told that he just wanted to start. I am pretty sure he was asking to try to get it done free. But I am not interested in that. That is why I ask this question, I would like to offer this service in the future in our local community and to individual framers that want a couple of hives, but I am not going to do it for nothing (I would even need to buy a trailor). With all that being said, I just couldn't find a price per hive, for pollination, is it all over the board varing from person to person? I want to make some profit, but not be overpriced. Thanks, Daniel

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