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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Fresno, California, USA
    Posts
    29

    Default Hauling Bees---Best/Cheapest Way

    So what is the best/cheapest way to haul bees if your getting into larger numbers of hives. I have about 25 now and would like to work up to 100 or so. I am talking about supering, moving hives into alomond pollination etc.

    Do you put them on 4-way pallets and buy a used bobcat with mast and load on flatbead 1 ton truck...

    or...

    Use flatbead with somekind of boom on 2 way pallets.

    or....

    some other method. I'm sick of moving them with my BACK!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Red Bluff, Ca
    Posts
    301

    Default Re: Hauling Bees---Best/Cheapest Way

    Cheapest way is to find a Bee truck with a boom that moves 1 hive at a time.
    find one with leveling hydrolics if possable. Next is build a boom if you have the equipment to do so. If you need pics let me know.
    Dan

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Fresno, California, USA
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Hauling Bees---Best/Cheapest Way

    Pics would be great!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Cullman Co., AL
    Posts
    196

    Default Re: Hauling Bees---Best/Cheapest Way

    Justin,

    Everybody uses something different. Not knowing your what you have available to invest, it's hard to say. Do you plan in the future to expand to 500 or a K?

    I found a flat bed, either gas (V10) or diesel, your preference, pulling a trailer with a Bobcat w/t forks, and pallatize w/t screen BB a viable solution. You can move in & out fast if needed.

    Your back will thank you later.

    Kind regards
    Stonefly7

  5. #5

    Default Re: Hauling Bees---Best/Cheapest Way

    Plan according to what your doing in the future, your right next door to the almonds. Find a mentor or have a friend help you. If your only going to reach a maximum of 100, I would go rent a trailer. Good luck.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Delta, Utah
    Posts
    494

    Default Re: Hauling Bees---Best/Cheapest Way

    Booms don't work too well in the almonds. I'd use a forklift.
    -Rob Bliss
    Bliss Honey and bee supplies

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Texasville, Alabama
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Hauling Bees---Best/Cheapest Way

    Take a look at this method if your going to try to stick to a one man operation in the field,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h54MdnOcJvU

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Gilmer,TX USA
    Posts
    1,830

    Default Re: Hauling Bees---Best/Cheapest Way

    I am looking at getting a 1 ton and hand lifting for now....maybe a loader next year?
    Hint- renting a loader 2-3+ times a year is MUCH cheaper than buying and maintaining one!
    Mike
    Please check out the new kingfisherapiaries.com!
    Like us on Facebook

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Fresno California USA
    Posts
    2,479

    Default Re: Hauling Bees---Best/Cheapest Way

    Listen to Ishi. You can move bees cheap & easy with a boom.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Middletown, Delaware
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: Hauling Bees---Best/Cheapest Way

    Quote Originally Posted by Ishi View Post
    Cheapest way is to find a Bee truck with a boom that moves 1 hive at a time.
    find one with leveling hydrolics if possable. Next is build a boom if you have the equipment to do so. If you need pics let me know.
    Could you post pics?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,725

    Default Re: Hauling Bees---Best/Cheapest Way

    I vote on renting skid steer with forks. I rent one on a night only basis for just over 100 bucks per night. I only use it when I am 900 miles from home (renting is cheaper than pulling mine). If you want to move 100 hives I use a 16 (usable) ft gooseneck flatbed. I can easily fit 144 colonies on it though DD pushes me past the 26K CDL so I dont generally go over 96 colonies on it. 1 more pallet would not matter. If you look into the financial side you will notice running pallets is cheaper than BB and T lids.

    Food for thought. What falls into your business plan?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,303

    Default Re: Hauling Bees---Best/Cheapest Way

    Booms don't swing well around almond trees. And a boom truck doesn't get far on muddy orchard roads.

    I love booms and have used them for many years. But almond pollination is more efficient
    when the hives are on pallets.But going to pallets created a whole new set of problems for me (most of which can be solved with money-lots of money).

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Middletown, Delaware
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: Hauling Bees---Best/Cheapest Way

    Quote Originally Posted by BMAC View Post
    .... DD pushes me past the 26K CDL....... If you look into the financial side you will notice running pallets is cheaper than BB and T lids.

    Hi, sorry for the ignorance, what is BB, DD and T lids?
    Last edited by JohnK and Sheri; 04-22-2011 at 10:41 PM. Reason: excessive quote, reply in quote body

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,725

    Default Re: Hauling Bees---Best/Cheapest Way

    BB = BOTTOM BOARDS, DD = DOUBLE DEEPS, TLIDS = TELESCOPING LIDS. Sorry folks too much time in military, it made me abbreviate everything. If I dont abbreviate it Ill turn it into an acronym.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Lake City, FL
    Posts
    102

    Default Re: Hauling Bees---Best/Cheapest Way

    Boom is great for some applications, but as pointed out above, not necessarily so in orchards of any nature. Other pollination, cucmbers, squash, watermelons, etc. farmers sometimes like the bees spread around a bit, sometimes in the middle of the field, forklift is a better application there as well. If you're stuck... Boom doesn't do you any good; forklift can and often does get you out. Mine did twice last week. Forklift may have other applications around the farm, or provide part time work landscaping also.

    Both will save your back, one is attached to your truck eternally with limited application, the other is considerably more versatile. Going the forklift routine is certainly more expensive, but it also affords more opportunities for return. Although it was many years ago, when we bought our first bobcat, dad hired out to do the dirt work on 1 construction project and paid for the machine. Food for thought!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Middletown, Delaware
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: Hauling Bees---Best/Cheapest Way

    Quote Originally Posted by BMAC View Post
    .......running pallets is cheaper than BB and T lids.
    So I'm still a little confused, are you saying that if you use pallets you don't use a bottom board? How can that work out? I get the telescoping lid since you probably use migratory covers, which I use as well.
    Last edited by JohnK and Sheri; 04-22-2011 at 10:43 PM. Reason: excessive quote, reply inside quote

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,725

    Default Re: Hauling Bees---Best/Cheapest Way

    When you run on migratory pallets you are running 4 colonies per pallet. The bottom board portion is built into the pallet. I can build a pallet for just under 30 bucks per pallet. A few cuts a couple dozen nails and there is a pallet ready to use. Last time I checked you can buy 4 bottom boards for around 28 bucks. That is 2 less than the pallet. I think most new telescoping lids run for about 15 bucks per. Each migratory lid runs about 5-6 bucks per. Looks more economical to me to have them on pallets vice bottom boards.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Cullman Co., AL
    Posts
    196

    Default Re: Hauling Bees---Best/Cheapest Way

    Pallets are a win win win. Plus you can make them using screen bottoms, which has been great for us. The Bobcat w/t forks as noted is awesome. A 170 will work based on what you can afford. Plus as noted, throw a bucket on and make some side change to pay it off. Good idea BMAC!
    Stonefly7

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,496

    Default Re: Hauling Bees---Best/Cheapest Way

    Cheapest way would be by hand using a mule and wagon...only cost would be the grass in the winter. With fuel the way it's going I might try this myself.
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid. John Wayne

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,376

    Default Re: Hauling Bees---Best/Cheapest Way

    You like the screened pallets Tim? I know a few who tried them got frustrated because they kept poking holes in them with pallet forks.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

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