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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Bloomfield,KY
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    268

    Default Curious about setting bees in oranges

    I'm just wondering about placing hives in oranges. Do you pay to set them in the groves? What's the price range for renting the space, if your willing to disclose that info? What would it cost to ship 400 hives from KY to FL, just looking for an average or low and high prices? I don't have that many hives or plan to have a full load of bees anytime soon. I'm just curious. Thanks for any input.
    "Of all God's creatures, only the honeybee improves its environment and preys on no other species."--Haydon Brown

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,484

    Default Re: Curious about setting bees in oranges

    I'm pretty sure Oranges is one of the only crops where money is not exchanged for Orange pollination. The grower benefits from the bees and the beekeeper normally makes honey. Not sure about transportation cost. You should be able to contact a trucking company that transports bees for a quote. I did not pay to place my bees but, I only have a few hives and the grove is owned by an individual that lives right beside the grove. Not sure how the large commercially owned groves do it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,352

    Default Re: Curious about setting bees in oranges

    Is there ever concern about having pesticide kills while on the Oranges?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,484

    Default Re: Curious about setting bees in oranges

    BMAC I only have around 30hives and this is my first year moving my bees to oranges so take this from that perspective. But, I asked several larger beeks about their experience with oranges before I decided to give it a try. I was told most growers spray before the bees arrive and spray again right after the bloom. That's the same thing my grower told me he would do. But, there is always a chance the grower across the street may not follow the same schedule. So there is a chance it could happen. Citrus greening is a pretty serious disease that is spread by a small bug so the growers do spray a lot through out the year.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    lee county, fl, usa
    Posts
    734

    Default Re: Curious about setting bees in oranges

    A few weeks ago I bought 2 established hives from a sideliner where the bees are in an orange grove. I asked at the time of purchase, could I bring 2 mediums of all drawn comb and let them fill the 2 supers before we move them to my yard. I had not thought of pesticides, the 2 hives I got look healthy. He doesn't treat or artificial feed, same as me. I will ask him when we move my hives if he gets pollination pay--I only did it this way because I want the orange blossom honey.

    My mentor has 2 of his hives in a friend's large orange grove, I am sure he does it just for the honey also. Next spring I get to move a few of my hives to that orange grove and I will ask about spray. If I got paid that would be a bonus but I'm not asking for money.

    I talked to another fellow in our area who owns an orange grove and he has his own bees there for the honey, the trees are self pollenating. I'd not heard of that before.
    "Rule Three of beekeeping...Never cease to feel wonder" Laurie R. King--
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Walker, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    774

    Default Re: Curious about setting bees in oranges

    Citrus greening is a pretty serious disease that is spread by a small bug so the growers do spray a lot through out the year.
    When I was in Florida, I had my hives at the edge of an organic grove for many years. Most people don't realize that oranges are not only self-fertile but they can have buds, blooms, and mature fruit all at the same time. This is also part of why growers spray on a year-round schedule.

    I had a very good arrangement back then. I got great honey and sold it back to the grove for their shipping dept. to include in their citrus packs that got shipped all over the country. I made them their own label so their grove name was on the honey jar and I got the "packed by" credit. They got to advertise the honey as coming from their own organic grove and that made a nice tie-in for them. Plus they could point to the hives in plain sight of their grove store and tell their customers that was the source of the honey in the jar. Made lots of sales for them. And it is what kept a lot of other beeks OUT of the grove. They were bigger operations than me but their hives were not right there all year long and that made a big difference to the owners. They wanted bees that were working their trees instead of coming in for a month or so and then moving on to another crop. (I just never mentioned that my bees were probably doing the same thing but without moving the hives. Bees go where the nectar and pollen are, after all.)

    Often times you have to offer the grove owner something extra, special, or different, so he wants your hives instead of the next guys. For me it was being on site. But that only worked because they were organic and always told me when they were spraying so I could keep the bees in. And since they didn't spray anything poisonous, it worked out okay for both of us.

    HTH

    Rusty
    Rusty Hills Farm -- home of AQHA A Rusty Zipper & Rusty's Bees ( LC and T)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Bloomfield,KY
    Posts
    268

    Default Re: Curious about setting bees in oranges

    Sounds like a good set up, Rusty. It's always good when things like this work out good for both parties.
    "Of all God's creatures, only the honeybee improves its environment and preys on no other species."--Haydon Brown

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    1,820

    Default Re: Curious about setting bees in oranges

    First year in the groves for me as well.
    It's hard to find a grove that can give you good communication on spray.
    Most groves are near other groves you have to worry about as well.

    I haven't heard of money exchanged just honey.

    It seems as if some of the larger local commercial guys aren't interested in placing in the oranges. I think it's a combination of spray, lower yield and timing?

    I'd love to find an organic grove. (I think?)

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