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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Richardson, TX, USA
    Posts
    84

    Default How does the hive rental process work for almond pollination?

    Myself and some of my beekeeping friends are considering renting our hives for almond pollination this coming year but I'm not sure how this process works.

    What's the makeup of the rented hive? A single deep with 8 frames and a division board feeder? Since I keep double deeps how would this work?

    Once the hives arrive at the orchard site how are they generally scattered?

    Are multiple hives concentrated in a given area or how well do they want them scattered?

    When do they generally arrive at the orchard? When do they generally leave?

    Are pesticides used by the farmer while the hive is there? If so, how are the hives protected?

    How much feeding is generally required?

    How does the farmer verify he's getting what he's contracted for?

    Feel free to add any info where I am not asking questions!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    3,070

    Default Re: How does the hive rental process work for almond pollination?

    Take look at this. Those pallets in the second photo down hold 16 double deep hives. And this is about how I have seen them placed for just about anything being pollinated.

    http://glaciercountyhoney.wordpress....tion-and-love/
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,394

    Default Re: How does the hive rental process work for almond pollination?

    Those pallets hold 4 double deeps. So you need probably 100-200 before you can think about entering this gig. Farmers pay 150 or so depending and you have to have 8-10 frames of bee's in a double deep setup or they wont pay a cent. So it is a gamble if you dont have really strong bee's.

    You need to secure a contract through a broker and they dont like to deal with little guys so much so you need a big pool of hives on pallets as in the pictures. Read the commercial forum for more info.

    They sit out in the orchards. Either you place them or the broker places them and charges you. You need a forklift and and truck to place them. They get stolen etc some times so it is a gamble. Lids can blow off and your hives can die out so it is up to you to check on them etc. Or pay the broker etc. There was a guy advertising in the forum that he could do all that for you and you could have lower numbers. But, it still does not make any sense unless you have numbers to even think about this. But, if you have 100 or more it starts to be important to go to fund the operation.

    Look at the back of the bee journals there are some brokers listed in there.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,222

    Default Re: How does the hive rental process work for almond pollination?

    Only one way to find out! Get a semi load together between the bunch of you, and see how it works out.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Wausau, WI, USA
    Posts
    212

    Default Re: How does the hive rental process work for almond pollination?

    There are other things to also consider when making the decision on going to Almonds. Don't be surprised if your bees get sprayed with pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides. You can send out great hives and get back deadouts or boxes of sick and dieing bees! You also don't get compensated for those loses. Then there is the exposure to each and every virus, pest, and disease out there. I persoanly know people who got back whole semi loads of dead bees, not on one occasion, but over multiple years. You have to ask yourself if you can afford to lose that many hives. Last year the guy I worked for had a semi load "lightly" sprayed with fungicides. It didn't kill the hives, but it set the hives back several months and we experienced queen problems all year with those hives. Add to that, the lose of income from the sale of frames of brood from those hives and it really didn't pay very well.

    Yes, the money can be very good doing almonds, but most people don't understand the risks involved in doing almonds.

    Wisnewbee

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    fresno county ca usa
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: How does the hive rental process work for almond pollination?

    Just go for it you will never no if you don't try
    /Day and night with all your might /

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Salem, Oregon
    Posts
    963

    Default Re: How does the hive rental process work for almond pollination?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wisnewbee View Post
    You can send out great hives and get back deadouts or boxes of sick and dieing bees! You also don't get compensated for those loses. Then there is the exposure to each and every virus, pest, and disease out there.
    This is one I hear alot but have not ever seen. I'm not saying that it is not true, just that I see quite the opposite.
    There have been two years in which our bees came back from almonds looking ragged and it was due to rainy weather the entire time there.
    Our bees generally build up very well and look great once back home from CA.
    I recieved a call a couple of years back from one of the many folks seeking to cash in on the CCD money machine.
    He asked something like, "Doesn't it bother you that you take your bees down into the chemical sewer and expose them to all of the diseases and sprays and....?"
    I replied, "Actually, sending bees to almonds is one of the best things that happens to our bees. They are plucked from the cold rainy, snowy north and land in sunny CA to build up just in time to come back home in time for tree fruits."
    The guy says, "I have never heard anyone say any thing like that".
    I replied, "Then you are talking to the wrong people. Talk to beekeepers, not movie makers or enviro-wackos!"
    Part of it also is that we don't "send" our bees to almonds. We TAKE our bees there. Once on the ground we take however much time as necissary to dial all of them in to perfect.
    I realize that there are a thousand ways to cook a pot of soup, but loading up semis with bees and waving good bye as the head for almonds to be managed by someone else is unbelieavable to me.
    For sure if you are "sending" bees off to never never land and they come back looking like crap; wouldn't you rethink next year?
    I have exactly ONE hive more than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond question.

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