Re: Pollination prices
Beeserious - 6 frames of brood with 8 frames of bees are good enough to pollinate very hard if they are increasing, especially if you add a pollen trap for 1-2 days before the anthesis time period (about 5 days for almonds) when pollen is accepted from stamen to the style and into the carpel (or however the individual flower works in other species - angiosperms vs gymnosperms - I have to read up on wikipedia and pollinator.com), as the bees will usually double up the pollen effort (say 40% of the colony after pollen as opposed to 20% before the the trap was placed). Exact splitting the right amount of time before the haul up to the almonds is still an art - they want a good feeding well before the trip, but NOT when they get there!
Thanks for mentioning that price! I'd enjoy getting that much for lots of small colonies if I can, but I would probably boost those 4-framers up a frame of brood and combine a shake of queenless nurse bees with them, too. Pollinator colonies need to be larger than that, or they won't do much for the orchard. If it were MY almond orchard AND my bees, I'd probably try to balance my splits with a minimum of 8 frames of brood and 10 frames of bees with honey box on top, comb already drawn but not filled, if I could.
I'd really like to hear from long-time pollinators if there are better arrangements than this, also to hear from almond growers and other crop scientists who really get into it! I'd love to know all the best procedures and offer the best pollination practices to the customers.
Last edited by kilocharlie; 02-03-2013 at 03:53 PM.