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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Shoshone County, Idaho
    Posts
    585

    Default Re: cranberry pollination

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland View Post
    Very man made. Think of two or three or more football fields joined head to toe. The width is determined by twice the reach of a boom truck used to ?(forgot) reaching over the bed from either side. Around all edges of the "field" is a slight , maybe a foot or so, ditch. The land then goes up maybe 5-6 feet? to form a dike. There is water control systems so that the bog can be flooded when needed(harvest and winter?).


    Most bogs have an old backhoe on site.

    What did I forget?

    Crazy Roland

    They call them Cranberry Bogs as a whole, but the cranberries are actually grown in beds (Roland's Football Fields).
    The beds are ditched around the outside of each bed (deep ditch). Each bed is separated by a dike with a road on it for the harvest/main. trucks, the beds have a floodgate at one end that is usually fed by a ditch of water on the other side of the dike.
    The beds are constructed on the spruce/peat bog and usually nearby will be a large reservoir that they can pump out of to fill the ditches that fill the beds.
    They fill the beds with approx 2-3 ft of water for harvest (Late Sept-Nov) because they use a big rotary beater (like a giant rototiller) to loosen the berries off of the vines and then the berries float to the surface of the water.
    Then the grunt workers with waders on pull booms (floats) that span the entire width of bed toward the opposite end with the wind to help and yes the ditches are really deep and you can not see them in the cloudy water . Once the berries are corralled at one corner of the bed they are raked/floated up onto an elevator (like a hay elev.) with dump trucks under the other end, which haul them up to the drying/cleaning building where they are loaded onto semis and hauled to the big factory.
    They drain the beds as soon as they have been harvested and actually haul dump truck loads of sand and put on the beds in the winter to firm up the beds and b/c crans prefer to grow in sandy well drained soil. (remember these are not wild crans, they are plantings).
    Also crans are very touchy to frost and they have alarms set up with thermometer controls so the workers can wake up and turn on the big irrigation pumps as each bed is set up with sprinkler/irrigation system and they water the berries so they don't get frosted. This takes place until they are harvested and the irrigation pipes must be pulled prior to harvest (which was also one of my jobs).
    I lived in Northern WI right next to a Cranberry Bog (Division of Oceanspray) and worked there as a seasonal harvest grunt for a few years!

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,120

    Default Re: cranberry pollination

    Well Mark, not always. Depends on the size of the orchard and the understory.

    Chazy used to spray just before the bees went into the orchard. There were always dandelions in bloom throughout the orchard. I noticed often the colonies marked to split were no longer strong enouigh a couple days after moving in...used to make my splits in the orchard.

    Then there's size...and stupidity. Chazy O is 3 miles wide from the lake to rte 9. There's a public road through the middle of the orchard. The management somehow felt that road was some barrier to the bees. We moved the bees out west of the minkler road, but left the bees in east of the road...those trees are closer to the cold lake and bloom later. So they spray west of the road...and the colonies east of the road get slammed. Dead bees all over the place.

    Then there's Peru where you go...several orchards under different schedules, perhaps spraying when you're in a neighboring orchard. I'm just sayin' it happens.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Eden, NC
    Posts
    285

    Default Re: cranberry pollination

    I have some hives going into cucumbers for the first time this year. Any experience with this crop.
    Everything I hear is they do not grow but seem to hold their own.
    Any Advise.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    dadeville, alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,163

    Default Re: cranberry pollination

    I have pollinated cranberries in Wisconsin before. The bogs are basically empty fish ponds that are a half a mile in length. The depth of the ditch is about 7 feet.. They flood them to a depth of three feet at harvest.. Just like in Almonds you can have bees from who knows where on one side of the bog and yours on the other. The bees have to be in the bog by June the 15th. The blooms are a gazillion little white/lavender blossums about the size of a nail head. The bees love them and the bottom of the bog can have a roaring sound with all the honeybees working those blooms. I did see some cranberry honey-it had a red hue to it and was pleasant to the tast. The pay was not too good but most beekeepers including my bees, moved to star thistle locations for the crop. We got the bees back strong with a super of star thistle honey on them. Which was great quality honey. We got the bees back in time for the Cotton crop and the fall flow. The bees went into the winter well from their ordeal from pollinating cranberries. Would I send bees up for cranberries again? If the price per colony would go up to around 100.00 dollars I would send them to Wisconsin cranberries quicker than I would to California Almonds. The difference is that pollinating Almonds I have gotten back hives in bad shape from brokers that like to use out of state beekeepers like dish rags and only think of themselves. Bees that went to cranberries came back in good shape and the cranberry broker/beekeepers are a little more considerate of their beekeeping clientel. TED
    ALABAMA BEE COMPANY-A member of the Sioux Honey association -*Sweetening a golden tommorrow*

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    dadeville, alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,163

    Default Re: cranberry pollination

    I pollinated Vlasic Cucumbers in South Alabama along the Florida line for Seven long and horrible years. Cucs are very hard on the bees and the pay per set is not worth the loss in hives and time lost making up those bees every year. I used to place 800 colonies into the Cucs. You could expect to lose up to 200 colonies or more from the stress the bees are placed under. The fields are hot, windy and sandy. Temperatures on the trailers can be unbearable. The growers do not give a hoot about your bees and they are considered a lot like fertilizer. The growers are liable to hook up to a trailer of your bees and move them in the middle of the day with out telling you. IF YOU ARE PLANNING ON POLLINATING CUCUMBERS< I KNOW THE NAME OF A GOOD SHRINK< BECAUSE YOU NEED YOUR HEAD EXAMINED!!! TED
    ALABAMA BEE COMPANY-A member of the Sioux Honey association -*Sweetening a golden tommorrow*

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Eden, NC
    Posts
    285

    Default Re: cranberry pollination

    ""Well"" I think that about covers that. ------Hope I have better luck with the Mt. Olive people in NC or I will be learning why it may be better to stay home.
    I will not accept trashing my hives, they are as valuable as their product and my contract does not allow them to move them or touch them; once set.

    Thanks for your information. I hope I do not need a " good shrink".
    Frank

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Winston Salem , NC
    Posts
    251

    Default Re: cranberry pollination

    Hi Frank. Did some pumpkins and cucs last year. The hives in the pumkins have about eaten up all the fee we got for them. Very little flow in the mtns. The hives in the cucs held their own but needing winter feed also. We put a few in the fall cukes down east.
    larry

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    24,470

    Default Re: cranberry pollination

    How many acres of cukes are you supposed to cover? I know some guys in MD and DE who keep their cols on simple trailers, moving them from farm to farm to pollinate various vegetables which bloom at different dates. Maybe siquental plantings.

    They use something like a simple hay wagon frame and axles and a set of lights so each trailer doesn't have its' own lights to maintain.
    Mark Berninghausen "Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board." Zora Neale Hurston

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Eden, NC
    Posts
    285

    Default Re: cranberry pollination

    sqkcrk---Sounds like something that Ted was talking about. Moving the bees; at any time to different locations. I think you could loose control of your hives and their location that way.??
    Maybe I do need a good "shrink". Any recommendations.?

    LT- i plan to be at the meeting in Winston -Feb. might see you there. We can talk "cukes" (ha)!
    Frank

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    dadeville, alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,163

    Default Re: cranberry pollination

    Frank, I was not trying to be insulting. Just be aware that there is no nectar and very little pollen in a cuc. Bees do not build on cucs-they dwindle. You have to force them to work them. If there is anything else around-they will go for that over the cucs. If the grower puts them on trailers-it is for one reason, to move the bees at the growers convenience. Keep them on pallets and maintain control over where and when the get moved. You will loose bees, lots and lots of bees pollinating cucs. And the price paid to you and the price paid in dead beehives is not worth it. Sorry, I have been there and done that. TED
    ALABAMA BEE COMPANY-A member of the Sioux Honey association -*Sweetening a golden tommorrow*

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    24,470

    Default Re: cranberry pollination

    Quote Originally Posted by WG Bee Farm View Post
    sqkcrk---Sounds like something that Ted was talking about. Moving the bees; at any time to different locations. I think you could loose control of your hives and their location that way.??
    It's my understanding that they get moved at night by the beekeeper, so no or little field force lost. Ya gotta be smart about these things. Botht the grower and the beekeeper.
    Mark Berninghausen "Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board." Zora Neale Hurston

  12. #32

    Default Re: cranberry pollination

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    It's my understanding that they get moved at night by the beekeeper
    The story I heard was an old beekeeper was moving a load of his bees one night. On a country road, a state trooper pulled him over. The officer turned on his flood lights and walked to the cab of the beekeeper’s truck. The beekeeper said ‘officer, if I were you, I’d turn off those lights.’ The trooper looked at the load, saw the bees massing on the landing boards, skipped back to his patrol car, turned off the spot lights, and drove away.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,461

    Default Re: cranberry pollination

    WAy off topic, but Herb Lapp tells a story of moving bees at night in Kentucky? with a enclosed truck. He got stopped in the wee hours of the morning, cop thought he had "shine". Made Herb open up the truck so he could shine his flashlight in there and check.

    They never got stopped again.

    Crazy Roland

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Eden, NC
    Posts
    285

    Default Re: cranberry pollination

    Ted, I did not take offense. I have pollinated apples, strawberries and blue berrires but never cucumbers. It is always good to listen to others that have done the item before.
    I will be moving them in on pallets and my contract states that they can only be moved by me. I do not want a non beekeeper moving hives. The producer should tend to his produce and let beekeepers tend to bees.
    Thanks for your information

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