What are the rates for apple/blueberry pollination in the midwest this year?
Same as last year($35.00-$50.00) depending on travel and amount needed?
Sounds about right. Mostly depends on labor involved and distance. We split bees coming back from amonds and send in. Even with a split pulled those hives look better than the local hives.
Apple growers have had tough times so I try to work with those guys. To keep us from raising the price the largest grower offered to place pallets in the groves and bring out (like in blueberries) . has worked great ( especially last year in pouring rain and mud). We pull in and they transfer pallets to their trucks and forklifts and place into the groves.
When we return the semi load of pallets are all stacked and ready to load for the trip home.
All for a couple bucks a hive off the price! Wish California brokers would work as cheap.
California brokers placing hives in and out of amonds for a couple bucks a hive! letting us meet the grower and collect the money. My dream was getting interesting and then I woke up to reality!
Make sure you ask about sprays they plan to use as some have been sprayiing asail during bloom.
Here in Calif apples are thinned with liquid Sevin
doesn't hurt the bees though
The Other Guy
Sevin is very toxic to bees if not applied correctly.
Almond growers pay $160 and apple growers pay $20.
Not sure which party is the dumbest.
About a year ago I joined BeeSource and first postings were under " Welcome to Calif. "
How would you like it if your home was invaded like the Central Valley?
Man, it's intense Tom
Speaking of apple polloination has anyone experienced an unusally high amount of dead-outs by fall in yards that come out of the apples? Three years running now I'm running about a 40% loss in those bees. I'm looking at the fungicide sprays interacting with other chemicals that the bees are already exposed to. The apple bees come out of citrus. These are fungicides that the apple growers have used for years. So no change there but the bees response is different. Comments. Others seeing the same thing. I'm thinking I need to adjust pollination fees to compensate.
Captan is real hard on bees, damages the brood.
I only pollinated one apple orchard last year(then relocated the colonies) and had 2 other yards each within 1 mile of an apple orchard. After reading your post I went back in my log. Those 3 yards had the highest number of deadouts(15 yards total). Not saying that means anything just my observation after you pointed it out. I also had nosema problems
Welcome to beesource!
I believe your problem is related to orange and not apples. All the beekeepers doing orange in Florida are seeing the same losses as you speak of. Both temick ( against label) and imidacloprid (by label) is being used on orange.
The year both were first used problems started. Both are systemic. temik is banned in the U.K. but not in the U.S.. label changes were made but 1000's of bags sit in grower warehouses all over Florida.
What we see:
you usually do not see the bees crash while in orange but you will see a decrease in production in the last couple weeks. Once you move out you will see up to 50% start on a downward trend and normally crash. The rest will recover slowly ( very slowly) with feed and pollen patties. Patties are important. Megabee is NOT worth double money. hackenbergs formula is what I use and is now at Randy Olivers web site. Buy the better grade of powdered eggs.
The only apple problems I hear of comes from asail being sprayed while the trees are in full bloom with bees in the orchard. The label is very vauge and does not say its ok to spray when bees are in the orchard but the way it reads many growers have thought so an sprayed. The bees were not killed right then but died after removal kind of like you said. You might check with the apple grower and see if that is what happened. David Hackenberg had two apple orchards sprayed with asail while his bees were in the field and had losses once out. Both growers admited to what happened.
We have been doing apple pollination for decades with no problems but our grower knows we will kick his door in and drag him out in the yard and kick his --- if he dares to spray his chemical of choice Penncap M when our bees are anyplace near his groves.
We had a discussion in the middle of his grove years ago ( beekeepers & his workers) about his trying to go ahead and spray while our bees were within flying distance. Was not pretty! We pulled the keys to the spray truck.
You can never get the bees out fast enough for apple growers wanting to spray the first spray.
Shannon and Missoura,
Thanks for the response. All my bees go through citrus and as you state are exposed to at least two systemics as well as some exposure to the growers battle with psylliad(sp?). I only go into apples with only one semi-load, three orchards. Its these bees that take it on the chin by the end of the year. So I'm presumng that it's something other just citrus and other environmental conditions in Florida and Wisconsin. Again, the fungicides they've been using are the same products that they've used in the past with no apparent damage. I've been doing business with these guys for 25 or 30 years. I'm trying not to point my finger at anybody but something is going on. Shannon, your bees are coming out of almonds and if they're getting hurt by apples then it makes me think that maybe it's an interaction with something that we're putting in the hives and the fungicide that being applies at pink stage of bloom.
Nonetheless, I just need to adjust my fees to account for the losses. Like I said before it's been three years of the same problem.
I should add that almost all of the pollination hives have that spring's queens in them. Been laying for approximately three brood cycles. The first year or so I just chalked it up to bad mating. Now, I don't think so. I may try some hives coming out of honey production with their older queens and see if that makes any difference. It's been my experience those young girls are pretty sensitive to chemicals of any flavor.
Thanks for your thought and input.
Another thing I noticed(observed) that you can use in your "troubleshooting"
was evidence of pesticide kill( had Gordon over) during dandelion. That was happening coincidently at the same time as corn planting. No-Till planting with pesticide coated seed in fields of dandelion( Isn't that the same as spraying pesticide on a field in bloom?). Again I am not blaming this is just an observation.
i charge $60 for apples in southern WI/MN
no insecticide needs to be used in an orchard before bloom. check with the grower and get it in your contract no insecticides until petal fall and 48 hr advance notice to pull out.
fungicide is used often during bloom to protect against scab. scab only happens when the spores on the orchard floor get active and that happens with a rise in temp and rain.
a smart grower will put down a protectant fungicide like captan BEFORE bloom at the prebloom stage before the bees are moved in.
if bloom lasts 10 days you can skate by with no spray during pollination if it does not rain frequently. a kickback fungicide like Nova or many others kill scab "backwards" up to 72 hrs from the last rain and infection event.
its all driven on the moisture and temp during bloom. understanding the apple growers spray needs can save your bees in the end. i have been able to get grower cooperation on this or I don't rent bees. most growers are receptive to whatever is best for the bees.
thinning happens about 1-2 weeks after petal fall if you're worrying about Sevin get out after petal fall. I grew up on a large apple orchard so I know the business well.
I'm sure you do know the apple business well. Just that out here all the growers want to set is the " king bloom " the very first blooms in other words. Biggest & earliest fruit. SO, they spray liquid sevin in more or less full bloom. 48 hours goes fast!
thats in interesting twist I never heard and is not needed since modern thinning practices using NAA and Sevin work well after bloom. In fact a combination of Sevin and NAA can over thin in warm sunny conditions.
Spraying Sevin on a bloom would be a violation of the EPA label law on Sevin.
The label clearly states on page 2 to not spray on blooming crops.
Contact your local State Ag Dept and have them look into this illegal practice.
Any use of an agricultural chemical beyond the label directions including miticides in hives is illegal. Its under this premise that beeks in NODAK and MN have been fined in recent years for illegal mite treatments (i.e. Maverik, Tactic) .
Fruit and crop growers should be held to the same standard and many beeks out here have complained to state ag depts that they have been singled out. In 2008 there were few if any beekeeping fines after the complaints.
Ever had the WI bee inspector over at that time? Just curious.
Originally Posted by Beeslave
This is interesting as I have been noticing this more and more the last few years. Rather than attribute it to the seed coating, I was thinking along the lines of the herbicide used. Herbicides are not supposed to be toxic to the bees but the emulsifiers added to break down the plant cuticle may also be detrimental to the bees. I have been seeing a small die off just after planting in fields that had lots of dandelion blooming.
Originally Posted by Beeslave
Interesting, but disturbing too.