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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Lake of the Woods, Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    30

    Default Free Bees for Pollination?

    If a small beekeeper 100 to 150 colonies wanted to send his bees south for the winter with a commercial operation for pollination and that commercial beekeeper would use those bees and gain the pollination money from those 100 to 150 bees. Then come the next spring return those bees back to the smaller operation for no fee. For example small beekeeper uses the bees for the spring summer fall, feed medicate and take care of them until time to ship them to Cali. or where ever. Once they are used for pollination the commercial beekeeper who takes them gets the money but then the next spring has to return them back to the small beekeeper and does not charge the small beekeeper for any care for those bees. Would someone be interested in doing this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    VENTURA, California, USA
    Posts
    3,604

    Default Free bees.

    Prepare to get your self scalped!
    Think it over and see what you gain or lose.
    Ernie
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Ohio
    Posts
    858

    Thumbs down Keep your bees at HOME

    I just think your asking for problems. That sound good for the comm. beekeeper. I think Calf. has enough bees and beekeepers to do the job. This moving bees from coast to coast I think is a big problem. Just like SD for the large corps of honey. Come on guy, keep your bees at home.
    The Honey Householder

  4. #4

    Default

    There are a few in Wis that do it that way. They get a new queen and a guarantee that there are bees in the box. all treatments are done by the time they get them back.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,252

    Default

    Boy, not me. Been there, done that. You take care of them for the whole year, and the pollinator reaps the reward. They requeen your hives? They better, because the queens burn out faster than if they wintered up north. And the moving takes its toll.

    I sent 400 to Florida in '98. I was promised back 400 it top shape...splittable. He got the citrus honey. I was supposed to get 1 drum of citrus. Supposed to.

    I got 400 colonies back with 15% hoplessly queenless. 50% of the queens failed on the main flow.

    They came back with AFB, wicked case of Chalkbrood, and mites like I never saw before. It took me two years to recover.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Ohio
    Posts
    858

    Thumbs down

    I'm only a second generation comm. beekeeper. I wouldn't do this kind of business to a fellow beekeeper. We are a dieing breed as it is. This sound to much like bottom feeding.

    If you are a honey producer, this is like the packer offering you $.45 a pound for your honey. The honey producer buys the equipment and the bees and does all the work to produce a crop. Just so the packer get it for next to nothing.

    Just my 2 cents.

    The Honey Householder

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,290

    Default

    You had better know and trust the beek completely. I have talked to guys who got their bees back weak and starving in deals like that.
    Pollination is no picnic and all kinds of bad things can and do happen.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Lake of the Woods, Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    30

    Default

    so all of you are telling me that the beekeepers out in the pollination business are a bunch of quacks and they can't be trusted. It sounds like everyone here is pretty much telling me that everyone going to cali. are not good beekeepers!

    Question, So I am better off selling my bees in the fall to a commercial beekeeper, then buying knew in the spring from another beekeeper who has just came from California or where ever. It just doesn't make sense.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Lake of the Woods, Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    30

    Default

    either way your taking a risk when you buy bees from another beekeeper.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Ohio
    Posts
    858

    Thumbs Up Find a beekeeper friend in the South

    The problem we Northern beekeeper have is the winters. When the queen shut down the bees get to weak. So what I think is to find a friend in the south that you can keep your bees and he or she can look over them. Of coarse If they are needing more bees you can always help each other out and make some splits. Its a win-win deal.
    Ron

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,497

    Default

    No, the guys that send their bees to Calf. are not bad beeks, but moving bees for pollination does have risks and I think that is what people here are saying. Plus no one is going to take care of your bees better then yourself in most cases. I think the word should be that if you go into a deal like this that you get it in writing about what you expect come spring if he uses your bees. An agreement of having a new queen and min eight frames of bees in your hives when they return wouldn't be unreasonable. And if it comes back a dead out then a package of bees to fill the box. Something like that and in writing...you are still going to have to deal with stress on the bees and possibly them coming back with something they didn't have when they left, but you should be able to deal with that.

    my dos centavos.
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid. John Wayne

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,290

    Default

    These sort of deals are done all the time.My suggestion was that you KNOW who you are dealing with.Most of the beeks who have been doing pollination for a lot of years are competent and honest.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,252

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bee luscious View Post
    so all of you are telling me that the beekeepers out in the pollination business are a bunch of quacks and they can't be trusted.

    Question, So I am better off selling my bees in the fall to a commercial beekeeper, then buying knew in the spring from another beekeeper who has just came from California...
    No way was I telling you that any beekeepers are a bunch of quacks. I was relating a situation that I got into with a beekeeper that was supposed to take care of my bees in Florida. Part of the problem was the beekeeper, part was Florida wintering.

    No, actually I would tell you that you are better off learning how to winter your bees in Minnesota, raising new stock from those that do and getting rid of the stock that doesn't.

    That's progress.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,290

    Default

    Really not trying to discourage you.I understand the frustration of wintering in a cold climate and move mine out every year for the same reason( not that the Cascades winter is anywhere near a Minnesota winter).
    Most of these deals work out satisfactorily for both parties.I just think we all knew or experienced cases where it didn't and was a disaster.

    I know if I kept bees in Minnesota, I would be thinking hard about either M.P.s or Rons options .Both have merit.
    Last edited by loggermike; 01-21-2009 at 06:42 AM. Reason: added thought

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kiel WI, USA
    Posts
    2,369

    Default

    Doesn't Sundance do something like this?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Lancaster, Ky. / Frostproof Fl.
    Posts
    983

    Default

    Honey householder Are you a relative of Harry Householder near custar oh?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Jenison, MI
    Posts
    1,514

    Default

    No personal experience like the others.

    But pollination is very stressful on the bees. Moving. Fed artificial bee food for artificially stimulated growth. Put into yards with hundreds of other hives, all "swapping spit" for lack of a better description. The more hives, the higher the likely hood of disease. I'm not criticizing what is done or how it is done, just stating facts of what happens, it has to to get everything pollinated.

    If you know the beekeeper well and are getting appropriate compensation for the possibility of losses, then that is a possibility. Otherwise I wouldn't even consider handing my healthy hives off to somebody who has no investment in them. They have a better prognosis enduring our sub-zero temps for the winter.

    my $.02, take it for what it is worth...
    Rick

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    San Jose CA
    Posts
    5

    Default 150 hives for free? I would buy them...

    Sell blow bees. Said beekeeper comes at the end of your season with his equip and you blow your bees into his boxes, collect and he is off.
    Otherwise you can loan me your hives in the fall and Get them back in the spring around may 4th or so with new queens and fresh off the coast. I could do something like that. But I wonder the benefit for you? I could put 150 hives to work real easy. I also am seccond gen and agree that the few sour Bee owners give our kind a bad name. Most of the keeps I know are well established and trustworthy. But it only takes one kook with a flatbed to run the rest of us crazy.. This sounds like free money. Where is the catch?

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Owen, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,552

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CPeavey View Post
    This sounds like free money. Where is the catch?
    The catch in my eyes is that you are responsible for bringing live bees back to this beek in the spring, a risk unless you are quite sure those bees are healthy going in. How many would fail over winter due to the usual suspects?
    Not picking on this particular OP, his bees are probably stellar and this could be a great deal for all involved, but we have had folks ask us to take their bees to pollination, just bring them back big in the spring and when we went to look at the bees it was obvious few were strong enough to make it through winter let alone earn a pollination check. If the bees weren't treated in a timely manner for mites/nosema the risk is for hard feelings on both sides, the "home" beek wondering what the pollinator "did to his bees" and the pollinator not wanting to replace a bunch of sick bees that didn't even make it to the orchards before dying. Problems aren't always real obvious in early fall. You can't take marginal bees to California and expect a miracle to be performed.
    We prefer to buy blow bees.
    Sheri

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Fruitland ,Idaho
    Posts
    419

    Default

    Sheri definatally hit the nail on the head.
    Been there done that.

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