Around here, in the Fraser Valley (south-west B.C.), the commercial pollinator I worked for last year gave the following price ranges for pollination contracts when he was lecturing at the Bee Masters 2012 course:
Blueberries - $75 to $100 per colony
Raspberries - $50 per colony
Cranberries - $115 per colony
Pumpkin/Squash - $50 per colony
Apples, etc - $50 per colony
A few caveats would be:
- a standard pollination unit here is usually defined as a single brood box containing a laying queen, 8 frames of bees including at least 4 frames of brood in all stages.
- large contracts will be on the lower end of the scale (or less, for example, some big guys try to lowball at ~$60 for blueberries in order to get contracts). Small-scale beekeepers can get the higher prices for smaller contracts the commercial operations don't want to bother with.
- this year prices may be a bit higher on average due to a shortage of colonies for blueberry pollination contracts. Normally there is a larger presence of big commercial operators from Alberta in this area through blueberry pollination, but due to poor spring weather (and colony growth) for the past few years many have decided not to pour packages or over-winter colonies here.