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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Randolph County, Indiana
    Posts
    694

    Default Size of hive for pollination

    Another thread brought up a question that I've been meaning to ask. What size hive do you guys usually use for pollination? Do you usually send single deeps, two deeps, etc?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Delta, Utah
    Posts
    494

    Default All of the above

    Singles, story and a halfs, double deeps - all work. Some growers like to see double deeps but if you're getting paid per frame of bees 8 frames in a single is the same as 8 frames in a double. In fact, some say a single will pollinate better than a double, the frame count being the same.
    -Rob Bliss
    Bliss Honey and bee supplies

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,497

    Default

    We run all doubles. Mainly because of food stores. We send um heavy plus it gives the bees more room to expand before swarming in the spring. I wouldn't chance a single unless you can tend them in Calf or are from there.
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid. John Wayne

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Randolph County, Indiana
    Posts
    694

    Default

    Alpha,

    I'm not sending any to Cali. I'm mostly talking about local pollination, within 200 miles.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Wheatfield, IN
    Posts
    2,069

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by IndianaHoney View Post
    Alpha,

    I'm not sending any to Cali. I'm mostly talking about local pollination, within 200 miles.
    I usually use 2 deeps or the equivalent for blueberry pollination here in Indiana. I start feeding 1:1 and pollen patties Mar 1st and move them into blueberries around May1st. I usually make up nucs about mid April from these colonies or they will swarm while pollinating. Many of my colonies will have both deeps full of bees by May1st due to the two month lead time I give them with the stimulant. It is critical that you keep them supplied with feed and pollen patties at least until there are natural sources available.

    Making up nucs from these colonies reduces the swarming and gives them foundation to work in the brood nest.

    2 years ago I made approx 1 1/2 supers of honey per colony on blueberries. I got half that this past season due to cooler windy conditions. Strong hives will impress the growers.

    I started out trying just filling in shortages when other beeks didn't have enough but when the growers saw my bees I ended up getting two different accounts when they realized that they had been getting the equivalent of packages in double deep boxes for the past number of years.

    Make the extra effort and it WILL pay off!

    I don't think it matters if they are doubles or story and a half.... Its the number of bees present and the pollinating work-force that makes the difference. If I have 1 1/2 story colonies I always have to have another super on top or they will plug out the bottom box and swarm before I get them home. I almost always have to make a second round of splits after they come out of blueberries.

    Good luck.
    Dan Williamson
    B&C Honey Farm http://www.flickr.com/photos/9848229@N05/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Randolph County, Indiana
    Posts
    694

    Default

    Thank you Dan. That was great advice, and clears up lots of questions. Right now I have one contract for pumpkins, and plan to limit myself to that this year. At the moment, I'm trying to learn all I can about pollination. I don't want to dive into it without knowing what I'm doing, and what to expect. When I'm ready, I plan to get a couple trailers, and hand truck, and start small. My biggest problem has been finding a commercial, or even a sideline beekeeper who pollinates, and is close enough to me. If I could find one, I'd love to ride along and help a few times to learn all I can. Shenifield, and Howard are both too far away, and the guy that was near me in Ohio has retired and sold off all his equipment.

    Anyway, thanks to all for the answers. And please keep it comming. Us new guys can use all the advice you guys can give.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Sacramento Ca
    Posts
    29

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Williamson View Post
    Many of my colonies will have both deeps full of bees by May1st due to the two month lead time I give them with the stimulant.
    Does this apply also to hives that you want to use for almonds? Because this seems to be going against what the bees are wanting to do. You would have to start feeding around the end of November, and at that time they are wanting to shut down for winter. Or is there a different method used?

    Thanks!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
    Posts
    3,166

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pahvantpiper View Post
    In fact, some say a single will pollinate better than a double, the frame count being the same.
    A single will jam out with pollen on most years.

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