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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clackamas Oregon
    Posts
    1,151

    Default How do you find small, local pollination contracts?

    Running about 2 dozen hives and I keep talking to others at the bee clubs (and recently a father at my daughter’s high school) that fall into pollination contracts for little U-picks for blueberries, raspberries and orchards. It seems that there is a market for small time pollination that only needs 5-20 hives.
    How do I find these guys? Is there some means to locate / approach these small operators?
    It sounds like they make more on a pollination contract than I make per hive on honey and that it is not mutually exclusive.
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Lee\'s Summit, MO
    Posts
    2,336

    Default Re: How do you find small, local pollination contracts?

    I've not done this but considered it so far. I've found local berry/fruit orchards but I'm too busy to pursue them to this point. My plan of action when I do is I'd figure out the going price and how many hives I have to offer. I'd cold call in the fall and winter with a price list and a bottle of honey with my business card on it.
    Ninja, is not in the dictionary. Well played Ninja's, well played...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Stafford, Virginia
    Posts
    317

    Default Re: How do you find small, local pollination contracts?

    Two ways. Bring honey and knock on doors, or send postcards which I have found to be somewhat effective. Also make sure your pricing is comparable to others in the locale.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Morro Bay, California, USA
    Posts
    1,879

    Default Re: How do you find small, local pollination contracts?

    You need a reputation as a "non-flake". Little holdings have been burned by amateurs that promise hives and cannot deliver. Guys with pipe dreams and attitudes. Folks that wildly overcharge.

    You get the first location, and its easy from there if you deliver.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clackamas Oregon
    Posts
    1,151

    Default Re: How do you find small, local pollination contracts?

    Quote Originally Posted by matt1954 View Post
    Two ways. Bring honey and knock on doors, or send postcards which I have found to be somewhat effective. Also make sure your pricing is comparable to others in the locale.
    I need to get a list somehow to be able to go out and find these operators. Larger operators did not even want me within site of their berry farms for fear that they would drive off the pollinators that they had a good relations with.
    Oregon has gone to a ‘cottage industry law’ so if you grow it, you sell it. No registration for the little guy that I want to court. I left voice mails and cards at a couple of the U pick farm stands close by here last year and got no call backs.
    I did not think of the postcard idea. I suppose with all the online card adds I keep getting a guy could print out postcards fairly cheap (need a list).
    My wife came home one day and told me that we had too much honey laying around (half gallons and years of honey completion jars). It all got heated bottled and sold. This would have been an excellent marketing tool to give away!

    how do I find out what the local price is?
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Lebanon Pa
    Posts
    672

    Default Re: How do you find small, local pollination contracts?

    I was going to make a flyer to put up at a few local produce auction if I ever wanted to look for any contracts I think it would be good place seeing how all the growers bring there fruit and veggies to one place
    Friend tells me take time to stop and smell the roses I say "I do then I take 10 steps quicker to make up for lost time"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Lebanon Pa
    Posts
    672

    Default Re: How do you find small, local pollination contracts?

    I was going to make a flyer to put up at a few local produce auction if I ever wanted to look for any contracts I think it would be good place seeing how all the growers bring there fruit and veggies to one place
    Friend tells me take time to stop and smell the roses I say "I do then I take 10 steps quicker to make up for lost time"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Ferndale, WA
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: How do you find small, local pollination contracts?

    Craigslist is a good place to start in the farm and garden section. Appeal to small growers and also home gardens. Lots of Blueberries and Raspberries in this area. Been placing about 28 hives in one location for the last six years, started there with six. This grower has put other growers in contact with me for their pollination needs. Currently running about 70 hives. If I had more bees they would all be rented out. Be fair, be honest, be stable, the growers are putting their livelyhood in your hands.

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