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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Wahington County, Fl
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    111

    Default A mini rant about commercial pollinators

    Let me start off by saying that I do not think that all of the commercial pollinator services are as bad as these folks. You all provide a much needed and valuable service that benefits food production.

    The folks I am talking about put out 4 hive colonies (usual couple of deeps with one having a honey super on it) in the spring right by my house on my neighbor’s property to help with the pollination of the cantaloupe crop. I would post the name of the offending owner but that to me is just not right.

    Up until two weeks ago I had noticed less and less bees coming out of the hives. Yesterday afternoon me and my 9 year old daughter walked over to check them out. They have went from 4 strong hives to a skeleton of bees. One hive is doing somewhat decent, another looks on its last leg and the other two were dead as a hammer.

    The two dead hives had top covers made of particle board which had gaping holes in them due to rot and the hive bodies had at least a ½” gap between them for ventilation. (seems a little to much space) Who knows…disease or pests could have killed them off but I have never once seen anybody check on the hives all season. Maybe even the owner of the hives got sick or passed away, I want to give them some benefit of doubt but if this is how they run their operation then I hope they go out of business since it gives all beekeepers a bad name in the long run.

    I told my wife that I need to go and steal the remaining bees and see if I could get a viable hive out of them but I won’t since they are not mine.

    It just ticks me off that some have so little regard for the industry they are in. Who knows maybe they might be missing some bees since it seems they could care less if they live or die.

    For those of you who do it right….keep up the great work.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Bloomington In
    Posts
    788

    Default Re: A mini rant about commercial pollinators

    Why no speek to the land owner and find out who they belong to. Call them up they may give them to you. Because it sound like they dont care about them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Wahington County, Fl
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    111

    Default Re: A mini rant about commercial pollinators

    Quote Originally Posted by Birdman View Post
    Why no speek to the land owner and find out who they belong to. Call them up they may give them to you. Because it sound like they dont care about them.
    Birdman...great idea actually because the owners of the hives have their name and phone number stenciled on their boxes. Who knows I might get some free bees if they don't want to hasle with picking up their shotty hives.

    I might be able to combine what is left and hopefully get something strong enough to overwinter if I feed them. I live in North Florida so we won't really be getting cold till late November at the earliest.

    I will call them tomorrow.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Ennis, TX USA
    Posts
    5,124

    Default Re: A mini rant about commercial pollinators

    How big is this cantaloupe crop? 4 hives seems more like a favor than a comm beek worring about a pollination contract. Call the number on it and see if he/she will let you have them. And/or call the land owner as stated above.
    Chuck Norris has a grizzly bear carpet in his room. The bear isn't dead it is just afraid to move.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Wahington County, Fl
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    111

    Default Re: A mini rant about commercial pollinators

    Quote Originally Posted by Derek View Post
    How big is this cantaloupe crop? 4 hives seems more like a favor than a comm beek worring about a pollination contract. Call the number on it and see if he/she will let you have them. And/or call the land owner as stated above.
    The cantaloupes by the house were around 10 acres total but the farmer has other places very close by that also had bees. It could be 5 acres here for melons, 10 acres there for tomatoes, etc.

    The number is a out of state # so I don't really think it is a favor type of situation but I could be wrong but I will call them tomorrow.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Dothan, Alabama
    Posts
    50

    Default Re: A mini rant about commercial pollinators

    Scott,

    I feel you on the not taking care of the hives. I would love to expand and hate to see good hives and equipment go to waste. I currently have two hives on some pumpkins, and just got off the phone with the grower who has requested two more. He has done everything in his power to take care of the pumpkins, however feels his fruit set is not that great. He said he did not think it was the bees, unless it was a lack of them. There is only about two acres, but there is also two acres of peas right with them that are blooming right now. What part of Washington County are you in? I am in Houston Co. but most of my bees are in the Slocomb area of Geneva Co. right north of you. My grandad kept bees for probably 30-40 years down on Holmes Creek right west of Vernon.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Wahington County, Fl
    Posts
    111

    Default Re: A mini rant about commercial pollinators

    Adam....I am halfway between Chipley and Wassau and just a few minutes from Vernon. My hunting lease actually has a part that butts up to Holmes Creek off of 277. Since you are close I might seek you out for some advice since your area is not really different from mine.

    As far as your farmer problem....I really don't think it is the bees but the weather. Alot of overcast and rain days of late. Seems like any type of melon/squash crop needs plenty of sunshine to do well. Also to much rain and not enough sun will cause the blooms to rot off.
    Last edited by JohnK and Sheri; 09-28-2009 at 10:43 AM. Reason: unnecessary quote
    It's Washington County, Fl not Wahington....my bad

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Knox County, Ohio
    Posts
    2,692

    Default Re: A mini rant about commercial pollinators

    on my neighbor’s property

    Yesterday afternoon me and my 9 year old daughter walked over to check them out.

    I told my wife that I need to go and steal the remaining bees and see if I could get a viable hive out of them


    Let me get this straight. You trespassed onto your neighbor's property, in order to 'check out' chattel property on the neighbor's land, and you admit to having the desire to stealing that property.

    You are aware that your conduct is highly illegal, don't you? (And having a 9 year old child along in your criminal pursuits would likely be considered child endangerment.)

    Good fences make good neighbors. It's unfortunate your neighbor doesn't have a good fence.

    If the hives were junk and worthless you wouldn't want them. You want them because they have value.

    It's unreasonable and unrealistic to think someone is just going to give you valuable hives for free, simply because their management practices differ from yours.

    While I am aware that the first welfare case in North America was a beekeeper, may I encourage you to approach your beekeeping endeavors with HONESTY?

  9. #9

    Default Re: A mini rant about commercial pollinators

    Ok, so thats dumb. in its entirety. Now here's why. We had a guy down here left a pair of hives on his dead inlaws land for 5 years without ever coming back. So when the boxs started giving way on theirselves a local sideliner picked them up, gave em boxes and did splits for 2 more years off of them. The guy came looking for his hives, and they were gone (like it would have mattered, they would have absconded or died anyway), and calls the law. The local sideliner [I]volunteers[I] that he took care of them, and offeres two boxes of healthy bes with gear to the guy. This guy raises hell, and ends up with 6 boxes, equipment and all. As the bees were the result of his livestock, and I guess the equipment was a punitive measure. So, its just dumb to even think about taking bees. Bees are cheap, sugar is cheaper. Youre better off buying a package, and overfeeding light syrup, and splitting them up as often as they'll fill the box. preaching aside, I don't know anyone I'd call "commercial" that would just drop off 4 boxes... I do know some who will let 1000 boxes die because theyre too cheap to buy fumigillin...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Chippew County, WI, USA
    Posts
    650

    Default Re: A mini rant about commercial pollinators

    This is why you just mind your own business. If you don't like how this outfit keeps there bees thats fine. You can call them and express your opinion to them. Im guessing if they have hives scattered in small quantity in several locations they dont have the time to check in on them all the time. Just the gas alone to drive there would eat all the profit. It also would be the growers responsibility to complain about the health and number of bees in those hives because he/she is the one paying for them. Commercial beeks are not going to have there hives all tidy and fancied up to satisfy nosy neighbors.

    It is much better to just mind your own business. Those bees are not humans, there insects. And Ill have you know that you probably would not like how any of the mammals you eat are raised either. If you seen how the canned food you eat was processed you would not eat it. If you seen the cow get milked you would not drink it.

    I think the best thing you could do is call the beekeeper and tell them that there bees are in bad shape. They probably would thank you for your concern and give the bees some attention.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Boston, Georgia
    Posts
    466

    Default Re: A mini rant about commercial pollinators

    When we pull out of Ga in the spring we often leave a few pallets behind for some of our land owners that want some, sometime as many as 20 that won't fit on the last truck. Most years we come back to big boxes of wax moth, beetles, and mice. It keeps the land owner happy. This past year I found a hobby beekeeper that was more than willing to keep these hives alive for us. I left him some honey supers and access to syrup and almost anything else he'd need. It may be in your best intrest to ask. You could become a "foster beekeeper" to some poor orphaned hives.
    I am holding on to the hope I have inside... Kutless

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,496

    Default Re: A mini rant about commercial pollinators

    Sorry but most commerical guys I know won't place less then 24 hives on a property...just not worth the effort for four hives...unless he is a really small operation...really small.
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid.” John Wayne

  13. #13

    Default Re: A mini rant about commercial pollinators

    dbest, how many do ya'll run. I too find that little meaningless things like a quart of honey or leaving a split to pollinate a garden will suddenly give me 2 acres of clover to leave a little stand of hives on after blueberries.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Lakeland FL
    Posts
    859

    Default Re: A mini rant about commercial pollinators

    i do have a few drops of one pallet of four. if you do it right it is not too much of a hassle i only take them if they are on the way to another pollinating job i mean it take about one minute to drop a pallet and just stack a few supers on them and pick them up at the end of the year a nice quick 250$ (that will pay for fuel for about a day lol) Nick

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Boston, Georgia
    Posts
    466

    Default Re: A mini rant about commercial pollinators

    Quote Originally Posted by Skinner Apiaries View Post
    dbest, how many do ya'll run. I too find that little meaningless things like a quart of honey or leaving a split to pollinate a garden will suddenly give me 2 acres of clover to leave a little stand of hives on after blueberries.
    About 2700. The people that we leave bees behind for are the guys that own the holding yards and loan us trucks, workers, tractors, and barn space. We have one farm where we have 4 different settings of 96, and besides the bees are going to get left anyways. If the last truck is over weight that's just how it goes.
    I am holding on to the hope I have inside... Kutless

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Cleveland, Texas
    Posts
    1,378

    Default Re: A mini rant about commercial pollinators

    All I can say is if I caught someone nosing around by hives without my permission, they would be "splaining" themselves to me looking down the business end of my 12 guage.
    "The UNKNOWN, huh? That would be SNORBERT ZANGOX over in Waycross."

  17. #17
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    Jul 2009
    Location
    Chippew County, WI, USA
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    650

    Default Re: A mini rant about commercial pollinators

    These bee may also have swarmed leaving hopeless colonies behind. Also thanks to all the pests and diseases now present in the USA, it is hard to keep bees alive. Yes, some commercial beeks would call hives in that shape a condition of PPB (**** poor beekeeping) but untill Obama provides tax payer funded medical care for bees, many beeks will not treat there colonies like they would there family dog.

    Panhandle Scott

    I think you should call this guy and tell hive you will care for his hives if he provides you a budget and allows you to make a few splits from them. If the person agrees, you may get great deal of satisfaction from doing so and get some free bees as well. Depending on the person they may think it is a great oportunity for them to keep those hives in better shape and health because they dont have they time or means because of the distance they live from there, time restraints, and the list could go on and on. Every coin has two sides. It is easy to judge a book by its cover but it rarely reveals the whole story.
    Last edited by JohnK and Sheri; 09-03-2009 at 08:39 PM.

  18. #18
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    Jul 2009
    Location
    Wahington County, Fl
    Posts
    111

    Default Re: A mini rant about commercial pollinators

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-beek View Post
    This is why you just mind your own business. If you don't like how this outfit keeps there bees thats fine. You can call them and express your opinion to them.

    .
    That is also what is wrong with alot of this country....people minding their business and letting shoddy practices to continue no matter what it is.

    I am not a city boy.....I know plenty of folks who have poultry houses, raise cattle for beef production, have dairys, etc. None of that bothers me as far as what I eat. I hunt and process my own game. But on the othe hand if somebody I know or don't even know has a subpar operation I will say something. Subpar runs the good operators down in the public eyes. If you ae going to do something for a living then you ought to do it at it's best.
    Last edited by JohnK and Sheri; 09-04-2009 at 07:21 AM.
    It's Washington County, Fl not Wahington....my bad

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Wahington County, Fl
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    111

    Default Re: A mini rant about commercial pollinators

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-beek View Post
    These bee may also have swarmed leaving hopeless colonies behind. Also thanks to all the pests and diseases now present in the USA, it is hard to keep bees alive. Yes, some commercial beeks would call hives in that shape a condition of PPB (**** poor beekeeping) but untill Obama provides tax payer funded medical care for bees, many beeks will not treat there colonies like they would there family dog.
    I understand what you are saying....heck with the Obama plan I can hardly afford to treat the family dog much less trying to take care of hundreds of hives like alot of commercial beeks.

    I really could care less if he gives me a budget...I would do it at my own expense just out of pride and satisfaction. Do I need something in return....not really but would hope they would be considerate and understanding and possibly give me something in a trade.

    With all of the problems that face bees today, any little bit we can save is a good thing in the long run.
    Last edited by JohnK and Sheri; 09-04-2009 at 07:24 AM.
    It's Washington County, Fl not Wahington....my bad

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Knox County, Ohio
    Posts
    2,692

    Default Re: A mini rant about commercial pollinators

    That is also what is wrong with alot of this country....people minding their business and letting shoddy practices to continue no matter what it is.

    That is the price of maintaining freedom, which was paid for originally in blood.

    Subpar runs the good operators down in the public eyes. If you ae going to do something for a living then you ought to do it at it's best.

    No, subpar operations simply make the good operators look better by comparison. The 'public eyes' don't pay the bills - this isn't a fashion show.

    I believe we should let everyone decide what is best for their lives.

    Personally, I don't paint my hives. I'm not convinced the anticipated added longevity of boxes justifies the expense of the paint and the time involved. I can buy unassembled deep boxes for $12, and I can put them together a lot faster than I can put a coat of paint on one. For me, not painting my boxes is best for my operation. It might not look pretty to the public eyes, but I'm able to put a couple dollars in my pocket.

    And if someone saw my weatherbeaten unpainted hives, and wanted to steal those hives because of my 'neglect' - I'm afraid my solution would be awfully similar to Gene's.

    I let my neighbors live as they see fit, so long as they aren't hurting me or others. But if I see someone nosing around my neighbor's, or giving them grief because of how my neighbor lives, then you can bet I'm going to say something. For some unknown reason, my neighbors love me, and it doesn't bother them to see me with my 870 or a good rifle close at hand.

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