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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
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    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    9,399

    Default Re: Mark's (sqkcrk) Blueberry Pollination in Maine

    Yeah, post #38!

    btw, thanks for the pocket tour of your week in Maine! How's George?
    Regards, Barry

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
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    1,960

    Default Re: Mark's (sqkcrk) Blueberry Pollination in Maine

    I was joking about borrowing a loader and practicing with someone else's hives!

    How do you prepare your hives to go to blueberries?
    What configuration?
    What management is needed while your there?

    What is the agreement details regarding dates, placement and hive strength ?

  3. #43
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    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Mark's (sqkcrk) Blueberry Pollination in Maine

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    Yeah, post #38!

    btw, thanks for the pocket tour of your week in Maine! How's George?
    Tried to meet up w/ George. May have even driven by his house. I didn't have his address. If you sent it to me, I misplaced it. It turns out there was a death of a neighbor, so my calls went unanswered until George got home to find his answering machine w/ 2 or 3 messages from me. The detour wasn't a total lose. I saw some nice countryside and had lunch at the Alma Store. Which was a joy.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  4. #44
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    Apr 2011
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    Default Re: Mark's (sqkcrk) Blueberry Pollination in Maine

    What do you strap hives to pallets with?

    Thanks for having the photos posted !

  5. #45
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    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Mark's (sqkcrk) Blueberry Pollination in Maine

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    It's June, where is the sunshine?!
    I saw my shining Son last week when he was East for work reasons. He is doing well after his latest operation.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Dexter, Maine
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    1,037

    Default Re: Mark's (sqkcrk) Blueberry Pollination in Maine

    I do a small out of the way (not in the barrens) blueberry job each year. Very different from yours. Plants are the same but we move hives 12 at a time in a pickup truck.

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Mark's (sqkcrk) Blueberry Pollination in Maine

    Quote Originally Posted by Mbeck View Post
    I was joking about borrowing a loader and practicing with someone else's hives!

    How do you prepare your hives to go to blueberries?
    What configuration?
    What management is needed while your there?

    What is the agreement details regarding dates, placement and hive strength ?
    I figgereed u were. When I first got around loaders I asked a friend if I could try it out and he said, "Sure, on your own hives."

    Well, they have to be strong, w/ a minimum of 6 frames of brood. Which may not be worth the pay considering all of the expenses. Most shoot for ten frames of brood. Even though brood doesn't pollinate, bees do. So why isn't the count so many frames covered by bees?

    Configuration? Most of the hives I saw were a deep and two mediums. Doble deeps were commonly seen. One guy uses three mediums. A few story and a halfs were seen, but the exception. Fourway pallets are the most common pallet size. But one of the biggest provider uses 6ways. One 6way provider runs 8 frame equipment.

    On sight management veries. Mostly, once they are on the ground they are left alone. A colony worked by the beekeeper won't pollinate that day. Every day counts, so hive manipulation cuts into the colonies effectiveness. I did see a beekeeper working colonies, but those were the ones by the communication station preping for going to another crop.

    I heard some of the agreement details, mostly having to do w/ what is paid for, but can't now reitterate details. Suffice it to say, like any other pollination opportunity, hives have to be ready when called for and then delivered in a timely manner. That being said, there is a window, not a specific date. When you need 38,000 colonies, they can't all arrive the same day. There wouldn't be enough smaller trucks and truckers available to spread them out.

    Considering that semis average 384 hives per, that would be 1,000 semi loads. Can you imagine all of those trucks invading Maine and then trying to find loads of something else out of the area? One guy dead headed from CapeCod, 300 miles, when he returned for another load. Imagine what they had to do when the bees were put in. Lots of deadhead hauling to get to loads for opendecked trailers.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  8. #48
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    Apr 2011
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    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
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    Default Re: Mark's (sqkcrk) Blueberry Pollination in Maine

    Interesting
    Are you responsible for providing the shuttle truck that moves the hives from the Semi to actual yards. What do you band the hives to the pallets with?

    Thanks for answering all my questions

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Mark's (sqkcrk) Blueberry Pollination in Maine

    Mbeck,
    I was the grunt on this job. I went over to ME in my Van.

    The person I worked with had his own hives and the hives of two friends to gather, load and get on their way back to NY. One of the other beekeeper friends was on sight when they arrived a few weeks ago. Chuck's truck can bee seen in some of the photos w/ a trailer for the Bobcat. He can get 28 pallets on his truck at a time if needed. A number of the out yards, off of the main barrens fields, we had a Cherryfield Foods truck or two to help. One held 16 pallets and ythe other 28 like Chuck's.

    The hives are strapped to the pallet using a plastic band, similar to what people often band cardboard bundles. I don't think anyone uses the steel banding. Some peoiple use 1" rathchet straps. The straps go around two hives side by side, under the pallet and over top the hives. The cliups usually do an okay job keeping boxes from coming off of the pallet, but upper boxes might come loose w/ the oft times rough handling by loader and operator. And you don't want a box falling off of the pallet. A mess and a waste of time which is avoided by the strapping.

    Bears.
    They do get thru fences. No fence, other than the cages and the trailer cages are impeneratable. Some drops get double fenced, once a bear has visited. We even saw a trailer caged hive that a bear had gotten a small hold on. Some fences are baited to get a bear to touch it. The fences aren't so hot that they will knock you down. I touched a couple. Shock for sure, but I have been zapped worse.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Faulkner Manitoba, Canada
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    1,696

    Default Re: Mark's (sqkcrk) Blueberry Pollination in Maine

    really cool pics sqkcrk! thanks to you and Barry for sharing

  11. #51
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Mark's (sqkcrk) Blueberry Pollination in Maine

    Yer welcome. Glad you enjoyed the pix.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  12. #52
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
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    Default Re: Mark's (sqkcrk) Blueberry Pollination in Maine

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge, without the photos I wouldn't even know what questions to ask. The plastic bands are a good idea, I use ratchet straps for the hives I move and they are a pain in the rear.
    Of course I have standard bottom boards and no equipment so I strong arm them.

    Do the guys running double deeps or a deep and two singles have an excluder on. Would you say the majority of hive configuration is a deep of bees,brood etc and the rest empty supers in case they produce. It sounds like most set up their hive for the road and don't fool with them much, pulling honey,adding space or splitting til they get home is this generally correct.

    Thanks for answering all my questions so patiently !!!

  13. #53
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
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    1,390

    Default Re: Mark's (sqkcrk) Blueberry Pollination in Maine

    Very cool sqkcreek!! The life of a pollinator...........so easy a caveman can do it..........NOT!! It looks like a ton of work and a ton of miles as well. I like seeing the pictures of tons of hives and can only imagine the roaring of the hives when things are in full swing!!

    Take care and thanks for the pictures!.............Jason
    Coyote Creek Bees

  14. #54
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Mark's (sqkcrk) Blueberry Pollination in Maine

    Quote Originally Posted by Mbeck View Post
    Do the guys running double deeps or a deep and two singles have an excluder on. Would you say the majority of hive configuration is a deep of bees,brood etc and the rest empty supers in case they produce. It sounds like most set up their hive for the road and don't fool with them much, pulling honey,adding space or splitting til they get home is this generally correct.
    No, no excluder. Can't say exactly what most do, but Kutiks run the colony in a deep and a medium and add a medium for potential honey crop. Hives are managed to have some room in them for honey which may come from the blueberries and also containing enough honey so the colony won't starve.

    Once on the barrens colonies usually aren't manipulated. Though sometimnes some folks do work their hives while they are on the barrens. Consider that any day a colony on sight for pollination purposes is manipulated it doesn't really do its job that day. In some cases that may be the only day when they could have.

    Hives are worked as soon as they can be gotten to after getting to Summer yds.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  15. #55
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Mark's (sqkcrk) Blueberry Pollination in Maine

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeGhost View Post
    Very cool sqkcreek!! The life of a pollinator...........so easy a caveman can do it..........NOT!! It looks like a ton of work and a ton of miles as well. I like seeing the pictures of tons of hives and can only imagine the roaring of the hives when things are in full swing!!

    Take care and thanks for the pictures!.............Jason
    When a loading yard is full of 384 hives and the day turns warm and sunny there can be a lot of bees in the air. It can be quite exciting.

    I don't work near as hard as the beekeepers who have bees on the barrens, but I get to tag along from time to time. How cool is that? I did get paid. In case anyone wondered.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  16. #56
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    9,399

    Default Re: Mark's (sqkcrk) Blueberry Pollination in Maine

    Here are the remaining images from Mark, not in any certain order.


    "Starting another load."


    "Load 6 ready for the road. Ten hours from now it will be unloaded in NY."


    "Looking down between the two rows."


    "Grabbing the last set of pallets."


    "Trucker on top of load. Last pallets with front net being set in place."
    Regards, Barry

  17. #57
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    9,399

    Default Re: Mark's (sqkcrk) Blueberry Pollination in Maine


    "Some of Tony's bees."


    "Throwing the strap."


    "Posted at the entrance of the barrens to warn those driving through. Roads are open. Maintained by the companies but they may be county or town roads."


    "There are bees in those boxes. They come out to see what's going on even on cold days."




    "MOOSE!!!"


    "Thanks to Chuck and Karen for the opportunity to experience beekeeping on the Blueberry Barrens."
    Regards, Barry

  18. #58
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    9,399

    Default Re: Mark's (sqkcrk) Blueberry Pollination in Maine


    "Bobcat setup with a mast, rubber tracks, and 5th wheel."


    "This trailer is a drop deck."


    "Spreading the back net while front is being loaded."


    "Bungee cords hold the back of the net closed."


    "Spreading the load boards."


    "Sets of nets."
    Regards, Barry

  19. #59
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Stillwell, KS
    Posts
    645

    Default Re: Mark's (sqkcrk) Blueberry Pollination in Maine

    Seems like there would be a lot of homeless bees left behind at each truck transfer?

    I guess I just thought entrances would be screened off like I do when I move hives short distances.

    Thanks for all the photos Mark, educational.

    Don

  20. #60
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland, Bladen County, NC, USA
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    2,982

    Default Re: Mark's (sqkcrk) Blueberry Pollination in Maine

    Mark - did you get a chance to operate the bobcat with the mast and fifth wheel? If so, how does it compare to your and my bobcat? I am assuming it would be easier and quicker at least on what appears to be a good flat loading yard.
    “Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have travelled.” - The Quran

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