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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,409

    Default Just a general question on almond pollination, least amount of hives recommended.

    What is the least amount of hives you have seen someone try to offer up for pollination? Are there people that pool up say 20 hives each and bring a hundred or so hives in the equation?

    I am no where near having enough hives, but lets say in a few years I have 20-40 hives, would it be better to just knock on doors and offer a pollination service on say, smaller acrages? Or would my "20-40" hives be pooled with someone else to fill a contract?

    Just curious if there is opportunity for a smaller scale beekeeper to get their foot in the door.

    I hope im not stepping on any toes, just curious how the pollination thing works.

    How long is the bloom generally?

    Thanks for any responses!...............Jason
    Coyote Creek Bees

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Medford, Oregon, USA
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Just a general question on almond pollination, least amount of hives recommended.

    Piggybacking,,,,,,that's what it's called when you have 100 or less colonies, you "piggyback" with a well-known commercial beekeeper but you should ensure him that you have strong hives coming out of winter. Relationships with bigger keepers is the key, as almond growers don't have time to talk with smaller beekeepers (even if you have 200 colonies and your hives are strong).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    5,000

    Default Re: Just a general question on almond pollination, least amount of hives recommended.

    I took pickup loads out years ago. Up all night hand loading the hives, driving to the valley, unloading them, and driving back till dawn. Followed by two weeks to recover from the hard work and losing a nights sleep. Then do it all over again after the bloom. Not to add getting stuck in the mud at 1:00 am.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Fresno California USA
    Posts
    2,479

    Default Re: Just a general question on almond pollination, least amount of hives recommended.

    There are many small growers too, especially Japanese plums. Advertise for small growers. They have trouble hooking up too for the same reasons as small beekeepers.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Central Valley, CA, USA
    Posts
    82

    Default Re: Just a general question on almond pollination, least amount of hives recommended.

    There are many small almond farmers out here who have 40 acres or less - a lot of times these guys have a hard time finding a beekeeper to supply only 40 hives or less ! The bloom usually lasts from mid-Feb until end of march!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,409

    Default Re: Just a general question on almond pollination, least amount of hives recommended.

    Thanks for the responses guys! Just putting a plan together for the future! Im not going to go big time (atleast until I retire!) but would like to help the small growers out and at the same time maybe make a little extra coin to purchase more equipment! What I need to do is hook up with a pollinator to learn the ropes and see how things are done.

    Goodluck to all this year and hope everyone has a good season!..................Jason
    Coyote Creek Bees

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