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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Calgary
    Posts
    12

    Default Pollenation and less honey

    I have heard that if you are commercially pollinating, your return on honey is less than if you didn't pollinate.. I was wondering what are the reasons for this?

    Cheers,

    Mccheyne

  2. #2

    Default

    competition, moving stresses and so on. Moving bees always sets them back a bit and there is alot of foraging competion when you may have 40-60 hives all within a field of one another.
    Columbia City, Indiana

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Fresno California USA
    Posts
    2,479

    Default Pollination

    Plus you have to give the farmer half of the honey the bees make!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
    Posts
    3,115

    Big Grin

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom G. Laury View Post
    Plus you have to give the farmer half of the honey !
    Well gee, the only thing I give the farmer is the BILL.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Fresno California USA
    Posts
    2,479

    Default KJ Bees

    No butter, just the bill?

  6. #6

    Default

    Hey Tom. I hope you don't mean that. I just give them the bill too. I may give them a 5lb jar.

    On placement. It is usually determined by the grower.
    Columbia City, Indiana

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Calgary
    Posts
    12

    Default

    ahh.. yeah, I guess it would there be some competition for the flowers. How does the setup normally work in the placement of the hives? Can you place all your beeshives in the center of the field to be pollinated or are they normally broken down into groups of X amount around the area in quadrants and such?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,122

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by McCheyne View Post
    I have heard that if you are commercially pollinating, your return on honey is less than if you didn't pollinate.. I was wondering what are the reasons for this?
    I think they lose a significant number of field bees. I pollinated apples in NY for 20 years. I always marked the strong colonies before pollination so I could make splits in the orchard. Many times, when I tried to make the split, the colony was weaker than the week before when I inspected. The brood was still there, but the population wasn't. I figured that I lost at least a medium of honey on colonies that pollinated apples. My bees were all located within 10 miles of the orchard, and were moved at night....once in, and once out. If you figure $1.50 for bulk honey now, then that medium is worth $60. Why pollinate for $40 or $50?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Owen, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,550

    Default

    "I have heard that if you are commercially pollinating, your return on honey is less than if you didn't pollinate.. I was wondering what are the reasons for this?"

    Some years, such as this one, we pull the plug on honey production early and start getting them ready for almonds, before the fall crop is totally in. In the spring, with the bees coming back so big we hopefully make that loss up and then some. This past spring that didn't happen as it rained most of the time during nectar flows. Not only did they not make much honey, because they were larger than they would have been if wintered here, they ate up a lot of what they didn't make. Pollination bees are often out of kilter with the season of where they are at any one time.
    Many pollination jobs usually mean a choice between honey production and pollination fees, cranberries being one that comes to mind. Beeks in FL often have to give up orange if they take their bees to California. With the higher honey prices we are enjoying, this will be a tougher choice than it was for the past several years.
    Sheri

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