Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Cotton Plants

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Memphis, Tennessee
    Posts
    78

    Default Cotton Plants

    Does anyone use bees as pollinators for cotton?

    I saw a report on it but I could not tell from the data if it increases the production.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Boston, Georgia
    Posts
    484

    Default

    I have never had a farmer mention an increase in production. However it makes a very dark honey.
    I am holding on to the hope I have inside... Kutless

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Oxford, Kansas
    Posts
    1,988

    Default

    According to the president to the kansas cotton growers association Cotton does not rely on insects for pollenation. But they will work it. And it does make a crop. The honey I get off cotton is a light honey some almost as clear as water. Down fall is that it will go to crystal fast. one small field I had 3 good hives on this year made about 1 ton cotton to the acre which was good for the weather we had this year. Wether the bees had any impact on that I cant say. but I can say the other fields in the area did not do that well compared to this field.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Fresno California USA
    Posts
    2,496

    Default Gossypium

    According to the USDA bee pollination increases both lint and seed yields, but especially seed. Here the honey is white. Cotton also secretes nectar from extra floral nectaries on under side of leaf, kind of interesting. Like riverrat says it granulates quick and hard. In Calif you can produce cotton honey but if there is no pollen or you don't feed patties the bees will really dwindle from lack of brooding.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Central San Joaquin Valley, California
    Posts
    497

    Default

    Tom, nice summary for cotton. One thing to add is that the taste is excellent, also.
    His Hive Honey Farm - Do all for His glory!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,985

    Default

    at least at one time the largest concern with cotton as a honey plant was the quantities and frequency of herbicide and insecticide application. how these were applied seemed to have been as important as anything else (in regards to the honeybee) although long term use of land for only cotton would suggest to me that at some point the land and water would likely become contaminated also (due to the frequency and kind of products used).

    the land directly across the river from me is likely a good example. although fireants are a problem here in the general area, you will not find fireants on any of the ground used repeatly for cotton. just casually looking at beehives (others and not mine) used for pollinating watermelons on property that not that long ago was used for cotton suggest that the casualty rate for these hive is higher than I would have expected.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Hanford Ca
    Posts
    146

    Default

    I had my bees on organic pima cotton this year. And they made a nice light golden brown honey from it. It tasted wonderful and it did crystalize but no worse then anything else that I had here. I even had people requesting it after they had had some saying it was the best tasting honey they had ever had and that they had never herd of cotton honey. he bees did great making great stores from it. Would I do it again yes I would because putting them there did not cost me anything and I made money off the honey.


    Angi
    Angi of HHH Farms Hanford Ca
    Organic Farm & heritage, rare breed poultry, ducks, quail

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Loganville, GA
    Posts
    2,174

    Default

    I have heard it repeated many times around here that if you have bees you want to get rid of, put them on cotton.

    They have mentioned chemicals but not specific. If it's a genetically altered crop I would imagine it's dumped on with roundup? Could be lack of pollen as someone else mentioned?

    None of it close to any of my hives so I don't bother myself.
    Last edited by Bizzybee; 11-30-2008 at 08:11 PM.
    "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." Winston Churchill

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Hanford Ca
    Posts
    146

    Default

    I will not put my bees on any GMO cotton. Pima cotton is one of the ones before they started messing with cotton. NOw cotton has names with numbers and letters. I will only place my bees on Organic pima cotton as pima cotton is one that still has pollen. Having bees on pima cotton makes seed quality higher and more of them. It also makes the cotten fluf its self beter and fuller due to pollination. I had bees there as well as one other beekeeper for the farmers first year having bees on the cotton. Same aacreage as last year. They had double the yealds this year then last year.


    Angi
    Angi of HHH Farms Hanford Ca
    Organic Farm & heritage, rare breed poultry, ducks, quail

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Oxford, Kansas
    Posts
    1,988

    Default

    cotton here in kansas is less sprayed than that in the south since we do not have the boll weavil. YET. I have found that the bees will work the blooms when they are yellow but once the turn purple they will not work it. I have good land owners that notify me when they spray I block the hives the night before. and turn them out after dark on the day they spray. havent had any problems as of yet.

  11. #11

    Default

    A couple of years ago I helped put about 40 new hives on cotton. We were starting the hives late in the season and we were hoping that the cotton nectar flow would allow the bees to draw out comb. We were assured by the farmer that he didn't use any pesticides as this cotton was gmo. I went down one day to check on the hives and a crop dusting plane was spraying the fields. I asked the farmer what he was doing as they promised that there wouldn't be any pesticides sprayed. The farmer said 'that's not a pesticide, that's a growth retardant'. Made me feel so much better that I removed the hives. I can't imagine what that stuff does to a bee.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Limestone Co, Alabama
    Posts
    1,675

    Default knocked 'him' chin in the dirt.

    Quote Originally Posted by riverrat View Post
    cotton...in kansas is less sprayed than...in the south since we do not have the boll weavil. YET. I have found that the bees will work the blooms when they are yellow but once the turn purple they will not work it.
    The first riddle I learned as a child was:
    "What's white day one and red the next,
    lives three days and then is laid to rest?
    ----------------------------------------
    The answer:
    The cotton bloom.

    Cotton squares produce blooms and pollination occurs almost immediately once the flower opens. I suspect this limits pollen production or availability somewhat. Only the virgin (white) flowers less than one day old seems attractive to bees.

    pollination dynamics in cotton
    http://www.extension.org/pages/Cotton_Squares_to_Bloom

    Latest (I know of or could find) study of honey bee pollination of cotton and benifits
    http://www.alabees.com/impact_of_hon...llination_.htm

    I doubt you will ever have the bowl weevil there now, GMO cotton knocked his chin in the dirt pretty hard down here but then again you probably have GMO cotton there as well. I suspect there will always be a tiny population of bowl weevils eking out a living in some remote corner of the ecosystem just waiting to re-explode if non GMO cotton makes a comeback. I just hope the EPA never declares bowl weevils an endangered species. I was told recently that cotton farmers here don't even scout cotton for weevils anymore.

    Disclaimer:
    There are other insect pest of cotton, especially the pink bowl worm and spider mite, do not think that cotton is no longer sprayed with insecticides or miticides, it is!!!

    Some really bad stuff used to be employed on cotton here, and anywhere near a cotton field was the very last place you ever wanted your bees to be. I have several large cotton fields near me, and I use to get up an hour early the next morning after they treated for weevils, to pick up the dead and dying birds before going to work.

    There are other things sprayed on cotton, Roundup is one. With Roundup ready cotton (another GMO) it is usually only sprayed once before the young cotton plant reaches the 7 leaf size. This gives the new cotton plant a far enough head start that weed competition is unlikely to ever reach the economic threshold, its called IPM. Since cotton starts blooming here about the 4th of July this should not be a problem. Like Tom, I doubt cotton produces much pollen so a pollen substitute or extender may be a good idea.

    Growth regulator harmones are employed to keep cotton from going rank or growing to a size impossible to harvest by machine. A defoliant is also used post flowering, at bowl maturity to knock the leaves off, both to insure a cleaner product for picking and ginning and to promote the uniform bowl opening needed for an efficient machine harvest. I don't know what it will do to your bees, but you have plenty of time after flowering to move your hives anyway.
    Scrapfe---Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.--Otto von Bismarck.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Fresno California USA
    Posts
    2,496

    Default Non food crops

    Gotta luv em

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Hanford Ca
    Posts
    146

    Default

    Well it is a little different if the cotton is organic and the cotton its self is non gmo. That is the only place I will put my bees. The farmer has about 200 acres of organic Almonds right next to the 100 acres of the Organic non gmo cotton next to the 200 acres of the organic Nectorienes and peaches and the 50 acres of organic rasin grapes. My bees are in the middle of all that land the whole 900 acres of it which is also part of a wildlife refuge. There is also 300 acres of organic walnuts and other organic fruit and nut trees and organic seed alfalfa. So I think my bees are safe there. with all of that in one 900 acre ranch butting up next to about a 1500 acre wildlife refuge.


    Angi
    Angi of HHH Farms Hanford Ca
    Organic Farm & heritage, rare breed poultry, ducks, quail

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads