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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,286

    Default To Big to Replace?

    What is the status of Commercial Beekeeping Operations across the Nation? I have heard that there are fewer and fewer beekeepers owning more and more colonies of bees. Who is stepping up to fill the shoes of the aging Commercial Beekeepers? Is this the future of commercial beekeeping, that fewer beekeepers put on more hives to cover the demands of specialty pollination, such as almonds and blueberries?

    Pollination seems to drive the commercial beekeepers these days, not honey production, though that is important too. I recall Inspecting a commercial operation one time. The beekeeper, somewhat halfheartedly, complained about the honey he had to deal w/. He would have loved to have had hives that would make enuf to sustain themselves thru to the next season, rather than making a surplus which he had to extract. Pollination being his major moneymaker. That was 15 years ago. I don't know how he feels about it now.

    Would y'all who run thousands rather not deal w/ the honey and just pollinate?
    Who is stepping up to fill your shoes? Children? The highered help?
    And of all the colonies in operations above smallscale beekeepers, what percentage are held by Commercial Beekeepers and what percentage are held by Sideliners and those operations of around 500 or so, one person operations?
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,590

    Default Re: To Big to Replace?

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    That was 15 years ago. I don't know how he feels about it now.
    I wonder. 15 years ago the price of honey was well below $1/lb. Now it's up around $2. Price alone might change some minds.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Chesterfield, NH
    Posts
    504

    Default Re: To Big to Replace?

    Pollination being his major moneymaker for Commercial Beekeeping Operations in the USA not honey production.

    This has been going for the pass 25 years or so and I say the same thing for Package bees IMHO.



    BEE HAPPY Jim 134

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,149

    Default Re: To Big to Replace?

    You can't import pollination. When imported honey (or anthing else) marginalizes that sector it drives up the cost of pollination for everyone from the beekeeper on up the food chain to the shopper buying produce.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,286

    Default Re: To Big to Replace?

    So we will always have indigenous pollinating beekeepers? Of larger and larger size?
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,149

    Default Re: To Big to Replace?

    I don't know, but that's the trend in business in general - get big or get squeezed out. Unless you are in a niche which is not sufficiently profitable, or not scalable enough to interest investors. And almost anything is scalable if it's profitable enough.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    syracuse n.y.
    Posts
    2,061

    Default Re: To Big to Replace?

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    So we will always have indigenous pollinating beekeepers? Of larger and larger size?
    I have heard speculation that now that they have allowed the Mexican truckers to start driving further inland, that the Mexican bees will not be too far behind going into almonds.
    mike syracuse ny
    I went to bed mean, and woke up meaner. Marshal Dillon

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
    Posts
    3,288

    Default Re: To Big to Replace?

    Quote Originally Posted by David LaFerney View Post
    You can't import pollination.
    Don't forget about the aussi bees showing up in late January for almond pollination, it's stopped for now but who knows for how long.
    NUTRA-BEE feed supplements

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    4,271

    Default Re: To Big to Replace?

    At least in North Dakota and Montana where I have kept bees, the apiary registrations are taylored to freeze out new beekeepers and compettion. Three mile radius laws don't do much to control disease but they sure allow the first guy in to monopolize a huge territory and promotes huge operations.

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