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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
    1,961

    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 07:37 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,869

    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
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Davis,South Dakota,USA
    Posts
    401

    Default

    It all depends on wich crop you are pollinating,how much money the farmer wants to spend and how good the bees are.In the sacramento valley Cherries normally take 1/2 of a hive,to 1 hive per acre.Almonds are 1 to 3.It all pretty much depends on the farmer.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
    Posts
    3,280

    Thumbs down

    Quote Originally Posted by RayMarler View Post
    Here in my area, it's 3 hives per acre and the price depends on the fruit/nut/vegitable.
    Ya sure...

    and the price depends on ...

    On how many rouskies are welling to do it for nothing.
    Finding alot of them lately.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Davis,South Dakota,USA
    Posts
    401

    Default

    Lol.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Davis,South Dakota,USA
    Posts
    401

    Thumbs down

    Arent those the guys who do stuff for nothing?:mad:

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
    Posts
    3,280

    Thumbs down

    Quote Originally Posted by high rate of speed View Post
    Arent those the guys who do stuff for nothing?:mad:
    Ya,
    don't worry about the mites, nosema or foulbrood.

    The rouskies do more to bring this business down than anything.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Fresno California USA
    Posts
    2,479

    Default Pollination

    Field Run

    The Going Rate

    They'll Do It For 100$

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Davis,South Dakota,USA
    Posts
    401

    Default

    10-4 good buddy.

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

    Default

    For 100 dollars ha.They are doing clover pollinaton in our area for nothing.:mad:

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Fresno California USA
    Posts
    2,479

    Default For Nothing

    Here today gone tomorrow but there sure are a lot of them.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Davis,South Dakota,USA
    Posts
    401

    Default

    Gone tomorrow NOT.Here to stay,they will be the downfall to all of us.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Fresno California USA
    Posts
    2,479

    Default Downfall

    Naw, we're the locals.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
    Posts
    3,280

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom G. Laury View Post
    Naw, we're the locals.
    Ya ...

    Lost two spots pumkins spots doing it for free.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Default

    I don't see any lost contracts due to the "freebee" types who offer colonies for free pollination. Yes, they pick up the farm that wants two or four, but the farms that want 12, 25 or 100, want more than the unreliable local hobbyist who never has enough bees come spring.

    I would think that for a guy who only sells pollen patties by the "thousands", that your pollination business would be somewhat protected by the very nature of having pollination contracts on a scale large enough that the local hobbyist with a few hives would not be a threat.

    And this site is great! I never thought the commercial forum would be a place for commercial beeks to blame the smaller hobbyist for the ills of the industry. Nosema, fouldbrood, mites......why not just throw in that they secretly pour chems in commercial hives and magically make your comb about 30 years old.... What a hoot!

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Fresno California USA
    Posts
    2,479

    Default For Free

    OK yeah I know sometimes I wonder too about the grower, his loyalty...Funny how they never call you first either, "Oh hi I've been meaning to call you.."

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