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  1. #61
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tulare County, CA USA
    Posts
    1,380

    Default

    1/3 of the almond acreage is in water shortage areas, that means 2/3 of it is good.
    And I'll add that the stuff that's in a water shortage area will likely still get watered as there are alot of other crops that will dry up before these guys just ditch permanent plantings.
    Everyone that pays attention here knows that rain comes in around seven year cycles and we're about due. I don't think we'll see to many growers throwing in the towel unless it's on an orchard that needed to come out anyway. These guys aren't stupid. Most of them are keenly aware that they are farming a desert...alot of time is spent thinking water and backup-plan even in good times.

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,304

    Default

    Heres a nice little video I saw on youtube:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZCoX9tsT1E
    "I'm in it for the long haul" the grower says.
    With the price of nuts down and the water situation,this is a good time to replace marginal orchards.
    I agree ,this is not the time to panic(we can do that later )
    I wouldn't be in any hurry to sign cheap contracts for next year,in view of the Fed screwing with the money supply. If they mess it up ,we may be getting paid in nuts

  3. #63
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Salem, Oregon
    Posts
    965

    Thumbs Up Work together!

    Those beekeepers that have established relationships over the years with their growers and provided quality hives and service will probably do very well next year in the areas with water.
    Those that blindly send out their bees on semis and turn them over to whomever answers the phone will get bit as ususal.
    Upon arriving in CA with my bees and going through them for 14 days, my grower and his foreman told me, "Nobody comes down here and dials in their bees like you do; nobody!"
    Well, I know several beekeepers that do, but was stunned to hear that most hives get shipped and dropped with not as much as a lid popped.
    My grower keeps a veil in his trunk and once a day would walk up and B.S. with me as I worked bees. No surprises or secrets here!
    When I leave to return home, my grower knows that each and every hive has my stamp of approval.
    I have recieved the same price for the last 3 years and if it changes eather way, I expect that my grower and I will not try to kill each other. We will hold a thoughtful negotiation and come to an agreement as always.
    I heard a lot of $165, $175, $185 rumors last fall. Those beekeepers were ones placing at the last second for $20 - $50 dollars less than I recieved.
    LOOK OUT FOR YOUR GROWER'S INTERESTS ALSO.
    OR, if you want to go to a different orchard every year, thats your choice.
    I have exactly ONE hive more than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond question.

  4. #64
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,304

    Default

    >>>"dropped with not as much as a lid popped."

    Ahh, the infamous 'field run' hives

    In reality though,we try to get all the work done just before delivery.We did make 2 feeding trips during bloom to spot feed.

  5. #65
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
    Posts
    3,198

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by loggermike View Post
    >>>"dropped with not as much as a lid popped."

    Ahh, the infamous 'field run' hives

    In reality though,we try to get all the work done just before delivery.We did make 2 feeding trips during bloom to spot feed.
    Yeah, stacked three high & banded.

  6. #66
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    VENTURA, California, USA
    Posts
    3,604

    Default Abj april 2009


    Hey Kieth,
    I saw your name in this April issue of ABj.
    Perhaps the drop and go guys could invest in some patties.
    Ernie
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  7. #67
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,304

    Default

    The north Valley graders just cut the bands.Nothing deters them,neither rain nor sleet, nor stacks.

  8. #68
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Salem, Oregon
    Posts
    965

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by loggermike View Post
    "In reality though,we try to get all the work done just before delivery.We did make 2 feeding trips during bloom to spot feed.

    That sounds Ideal, Mike!
    However, you have to remember that when your temps are in the 60s and 70s prior to bloom, they are in their 30s - 40s here in Oregon. And MUCH lower elsewhere.
    So we move the bees directly into the orchards as early as the grower will allow, bring our overwintered nucs and feed, then work until the hives are all premium.

    My bees were about 40 miles west of yours again this year.
    Hope all went well as always!
    Harry
    I have exactly ONE hive more than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond question.

  9. #69
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Bear Creek, Outagamie & Waupaca Counties, Wisconsin 54922-0176
    Posts
    26

    Default

    1/3 is 33.33% bad for bees, and that's a lot of bees.....or were.

  10. #70
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,304

    Default

    Harry,I do understand that we all have to manage our hives differently based on location. Usually we can start in the 1st week in Jan inspecting and feeding the bees in the Valley.It will be in the 50s .So we are trying to do what you do,just can get into them a little earlier.
    We both know its what is done in late summer/early fall that really determines what we will have in Feb.
    While looking at some lousy hives in January,my son commented that they looked great in October. I pointed out that something went wrong and it was our job to find out why.No excuses.

  11. #71
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
    Posts
    3,198

    Big Grin

    Quote Originally Posted by BEES4U View Post

    Hey Kieth,
    I saw your name in this April issue of ABj.
    Perhaps the drop and go guys could invest in some patties.
    Ernie
    Ernie, I read that too, Randy must be mistaking me for someone else.

  12. #72
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Bear Creek, Outagamie & Waupaca Counties, Wisconsin 54922-0176
    Posts
    26

    Default

    Personally I beleive that if you have Bees doing Pollination you need to personally check on them once a week, not just send them and hope for the best, not check on them once a month or once during the bloom or just before or just after and not even once every two weeks like Best Practices Management would dictate in your own yards if you were checking for swarm cells. Once a week. If you can't afford thetime or the money to do that yourself or with your own employees, then you don't really have a close relationship with your Growers and certainly not with your bees.
    I thought it was a good video clip also:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZCoX9tsT1E
    Last edited by RobertLorge; 03-30-2009 at 01:49 AM. Reason: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZCoX9tsT1E

  13. #73
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Lancaster, Ky. / Frostproof Fl.
    Posts
    985

    Default

    Got bees back from Ca in Fl Monday last week.....missed a week of orange. Bees were in great shape...bothboxes full of bees with about 8% drone layers/queenless....about normal. We headed back to Ky to get another load of supers....orange comming in fast! I put deeps on bees Wednesday....Thursday afternoon nectar in all frames! Orange flow looks to be a good one....in peak now. Got home last night....heading back to florida in the morning!

  14. #74
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,496

    Default

    Robert,

    We have been using the same two brokers for years. These guys are well known and liked by the growers and ensure sound practices with both the growers and the beeks. I don't need to be in Calf. with these guys handling my bees. Never had a problem and never heard of any complaints about the bees from the growers. There is a standard that is set and adhered to by us and quality check by the broker who also looks out for the welfare of our bees until they get back to us. This program works well for us, but like I said we personally know these guys and have dealt with them for years.

    If I didn't know a broker like these guys though...I would not even consider sending my bees to Calf. unless I went with them.
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid. John Wayne

  15. #75
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    LA Co, Calif, USA
    Posts
    86

    Default stackyards

    How do the large stackyards work? Does a broker arrange for the area? Is each beek assigned a spot? I saw thousands of hives off the fwy; (some of these hives looked to be the same ones that sat there the week before - unique paint colors). I saw 6 semis being loaded at the same time - impressive. I'm guessing 10-12 semi loads of bees sitting there, with no bloom around. Does a beek sending bees across country figure 5-6% loss when bees are delivered, and same % loss when returned home?

  16. #76
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Owen, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,549

    Default

    Yeahhhh, the bees are back!!
    We got the first two trucks back yesterday. So far they are looking very good. Some were a little light, but not nearly as many as we were expecting. Some are fairly heavy. John is out feeding now. Despite the fact it was in the low 40s, earlier, when the sun was out, there were some nosing around the yard trying to figure where the nectar was coming from.
    The next two trucks come in tomorrow, then only one more later in the week.
    Once they are on the ground and fed, we need the weather to cooperate a little. It may technically be spring, but it is still very cold up here. Snow mostly gone but more may be on the way. It looks like John might be unloading the trucks tomorrow in a blizzard. Wouldn't be the first time but I sure don't envy him. Or the bees. Quite the change from California.

    mbholl
    Some beeks send their bees directly out to the growers they have arrangements with and the holding yard is part of the deal. Or to other landowners who have agreed to provide holding areas. In our case, we
    send the semis out to our broker who unloads them into the holding yards. Some hold tens of thousands of colonies. How they keep them straight is beyond me, but they manage. The brokers have made arrangements with landowners to allow the bees to be unloaded and stockpiled there. Sometimes they are on the almond growers land where ultimately they will be spread out to pollinate, sometimes it is a straight rental fee per colony on pastureland totally unrelated to almonds. This year ours sat in the holding yards from early November until they went into the orchards. Once released by the growers they are sometimes loaded directly out of the orchards or trucked back to holding yards to be put onto the semis.
    Yes, we allow for a 10-15% winter loss, which is comparable or better than we would have leaving them sit in Wisconsin over winter. This isn't from the trip so much as normal loss due to colonies going droney or queenless.
    As for there being no bloom, that is correct; there is about the same amount of bloom as there is in Wisconsin that time of year. We carry the bloom on the back of the truck in big syrup tanks and in boxes of pollen sub..

    Robert
    We too have been using the same two brokers for years and haven't had any complaints. We do go out to tend the bees a couple times, but this is because we basically don't have time to get our work done here in Wisconsin. The weather catches us (every year!) but we also go because we want to feed sub and syrup to keep them broody. We certainly don't feel it necessary to be out there on a weekly basis and some beeks never go out at all, trusting their growers or brokers to keep an eye on them. As for a personal relationship with the growers, in our case, that is the brokers job, not ours. Any beekeeper that kept in weekly contact with the growers would probably wear out his welcome, lol. We don't even know where our bees are physically for the month or so of the bloom. We kiss them goodbye mid January and welcome them home late March. Been doing this for a few years now and it works fine. (knock on wood!) And not only for us, this is the way it is done pretty much across the board.
    Sheri

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