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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Hudson, WI USA
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    2,212

    Default Apple and cranberry pollination fees - Wisconsin.

    I was just looking at a 2009 thread in which apple pollination fees were $50, Cranberry fees were not listed. The discussion was that cranberries were not worth it because the trade off was that the beek was missing out on honey at $1.50/pound. In recent years honey prices have risen. Have pollination prices risen to compensate as well, or is it still $50 for apples, and what about cranberries? I am curious because I am wondering about supplying small orchards locally; Cranberries are 2 hours east of me, and I can't imagine that they would ever be worth my time.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Skiff, Alberta, CA
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    502

    Default Re: Apple and cranberry pollination fees - Wisconsin.

    A friend of mine paid $70 last year.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Clear Lake, WI / Sebring, FL
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    633

    Default Re: Apple and cranberry pollination fees - Wisconsin.

    $70-$75 is the average price around Wi.
    Clear Lake Wi. / Sebring Fl.

  4. #4
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    Sep 2007
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    Hudson, WI USA
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    Default Re: Apple and cranberry pollination fees - Wisconsin.

    Thanks, I'm curious because I like raising bees and am wondering if there is a sweet profitable spot somewhere between overwintering nucs, selling/splitting nucs, and pollinating.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Lake County Illinois
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    261

    Default Re: Apple and cranberry pollination fees - Wisconsin.

    We visited a cranberry farm north of the Rapids. They said they paid a lot of money for pollination.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
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    4,450

    Default Re: Apple and cranberry pollination fees - Wisconsin.

    I wish I could understand why beekeepers give up most of their summer honeyflow to place bees into Cranberries for what amounts to one medium of honey with the real kicker being that bees do not do well working cranberries.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Hudson, WI USA
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    Default Re: Apple and cranberry pollination fees - Wisconsin.

    Jim, I don't know, but there must be a reason. Is it diversifying the income? Honey production and sales are profitable on a large scale, with large investments of mechanized equipment to process the honey. I have learned that I am mechanically inept; If I were to expand my beekeeping into serious sideline income then I would want to go a different route because I do not have the mechanical skills to keep a line going, do not want to invest the money in a line and then be paying it off for 10 years.
    Yet I like raising bees I am curious if there is a way to raise bees, pollinate apples (probably not cranberries), and then sell them to beeks who want to go to Cali in the fall.
    Wintertime musing and learning.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
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    1,847

    Default Re: Apple and cranberry pollination fees - Wisconsin.

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    I wish I could understand why beekeepers give up most of their summer honeyflow to place bees into Cranberries for what amounts to one medium of honey with the real kicker being that bees do not do well working cranberries.
    If you are smaller like me and not palletized there are niche spots that need one or two hives. Big guys won't service them and I charge about twice what the big guys charge and have a waiting list. Makes it somewhat worthwhile and helps the cash flow. I agree, bees don't do great on Cran but these small bogs also have more flora around them so bees don't go down as bad.

  9. #9
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    Sep 2007
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    Hudson, WI USA
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    Default Re: Apple and cranberry pollination fees - Wisconsin.

    Cam, nice website. How long have you been established with this model?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
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    4,450

    Default Re: Apple and cranberry pollination fees - Wisconsin.

    Quote Originally Posted by camero7 View Post
    If you are smaller like me and not palletized there are niche spots that need one or two hives. Big guys won't service them and I charge about twice what the big guys charge and have a waiting list. Makes it somewhat worthwhile and helps the cash flow. I agree, bees don't do great on Cran but these small bogs also have more flora around them so bees don't go down as bad.
    Sounds like you have found a nice niche Cam. In that scenario it starts making sense. I have never "done" cranberries but all the stories I hear makes me think that too often beekeepers just opt for the sure check and then later, after looking at their bees, wonder why they did it.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
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    1,847

    Default Re: Apple and cranberry pollination fees - Wisconsin.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Quiney WI View Post
    Cam, nice website. How long have you been established with this model?
    this is my 4th year.

  12. #12
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    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
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    1,847

    Default Re: Apple and cranberry pollination fees - Wisconsin.

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    Sounds like you have found a nice niche Cam. In that scenario it starts making sense. I have never "done" cranberries but all the stories I hear makes me think that too often beekeepers just opt for the sure check and then later, after looking at their bees, wonder why they did it.
    I agree, but my bees haven't gone down terribly after cran... just pretty light. If there's no flow I have to feed [last year] this year there was a nice flow and they recovered well.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Wausau, WI, USA
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    212

    Default Re: Apple and cranberry pollination fees - Wisconsin.

    After talking to a couple commercial beeks about cranberries, they say the same thing as Jim Lyon. I'm in the heart of Wisconsin cranberry country. One commercial beek still puts some hives in as a guaranteed income. All say it's a lot of work! Most cranberry bogs near here are recycling their water. This just leads to a buildup of chemicals in the water. The flora diversity is not all it should be around the bogs either. Lots of irrigated and sprayed crops around here. Two different guys commented that the cranberry growers around here are getting desperate for bees. Fewer and fewer hives available to them, but they also don't want to pay anymore then previously.

    Wisnewbee

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Hudson, WI USA
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    Default Re: Apple and cranberry pollination fees - Wisconsin.

    Wisnewbee, did your contacts tell you what they were paid for Cranberries? One would think it would be more than for apples because they are competing for hives that could be on summer blooms.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Clear Lake, WI / Sebring, FL
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    633

    Default Re: Apple and cranberry pollination fees - Wisconsin.

    Allot depends on where the cranberry bog is and whats around them. Ive had bees come out of pollination that will make the truck squat and some that wont make it move. If you are stuck in the pine woods with nothing but cranberries and pine trees then they will come out light . If I can make them go in with a relativity full super of honey they will usually come out ok and bounce back when they hit the ground back in there honey locations.At $1.90 a lb for honey ,no its not worth it . But you have to make the honey first.
    Clear Lake Wi. / Sebring Fl.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Panola County, TX USA
    Posts
    117

    Default Re: Apple and cranberry pollination fees - Wisconsin.

    some guys might not have the energy to make a honey crop, the bees dont put the honey in barrels themselves.

    Putting bees in apples is worth it if the timing works for you. Sometimes there isnt time to go through the bees before they are needed for the apple bloom which last spring wasnt that ideal because they all swarmed while in the orchards.
    Last year we got between 60-65 per hive depending on how far the orchard was away.
    hoping the apples are later this spring so we can put in singles out of texas.
    but 400 hives x 65. well it pays for our syrup.
    after seeing this i think i will ask $66 this year

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Wausau, WI, USA
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    212

    Default Re: Apple and cranberry pollination fees - Wisconsin.

    The guys I talked to were getting around $65-$70 for cranberries. Not a lot considering the time, expenses, and loss of honey. If the year was like last year with most of our honey produced in the fall, it can work out nicely.

    Wisnewbee

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