Going to the Orange Blossom
I decided to start a thread about my first experience going to Orange Groves.
I'll try to share photos thoughout the process and share what I think I've learned.
It should be interesting to read in a couple of years when I have a better idea what I'm doing.
I've been waiting on the grove manager to let me know when he was done spraying. I called him Thursday and we set up a time to meet Friday he told me he would let me know the spray schedule then. No hurry right! I met with him and he told me I could drop hives this weekend. Time to hurry! The bloom is starting but in this grove looks like much of is a week or so away. I called around and confirmed nearby groves have all finished spraying and in one nearby grove the bees just started to make honey!
I thought that growers where concerned with getting greening disease in a grove is seems that most if not all groves have it they are worried about it spreading not only grove to grove but tree to tree.
Part of reason it's spreading and has such an effect is abandoned groves that aren't treated.
Growers have lots of stuff they spray that is labeled bee safe.
Trees with greening bloom early.
This is a tree they haven't picked yet.
The grove of 35 acres I'm in is mostly Hamlin which are grown for juice but there are a couple more varieties close
I had a few more hives to bring to my staging yard ( everyone else calls it my backyard).
I had a couple bottom boards to change and lids needed to be opened.
Things I "learned"
I need a new bottom board system. They are hard to screen in and it's too warm to plug a strong hive up. I may need to look at moving screens, screened bottoms or maybe a couple 3 inch hole saw cuts in the bottom with screen.
A better plan... Get my hives ready and leave them alone. I thought I'd have four or five days to let them set and propolis lids etc down, I need to move them Sunday or Monday.
I need to make a dolly! Strong arm is getting old with my hard to screen in bottoms and shifting lids.
I need beekeeping pants. I don't mind the couple off stings I get though jeans but I need about 11 more pockets.
Red filtered light headlamps don't work so well inside of the veil.
I need to learn some knots! A pallet set on top of hives will not keep lids from shifting.
I'll try to post some better photos tomorrow.
I think I'll load about 30 hives and take them Sunday or Monday night so if your behind a gray truck and trailer in central Florida one of those nights don't follow to closely !