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  1. #1
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    Mar 2013
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    Fort Lauderdale, FL
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    Default Beginner Question: Pollinating and Collecting Honey?

    Hi guys,

    I've noticed that in pictures of beehive pallets of people sending beehives to places like California they only have their colonies two boxes high, sometimes the top box isn't even a medium frame sized super box but rather the large frame sized box.

    I read on here that the honey from Almonds is horrible and am presuming that this could be part of the reason but if you're doing some pollinating for nicer flowers or trees surely you'd want to jar and sell the honey too right?

    Do they use the top box for honey collection and jarring or are they just pollinating as a service and that's it without collecting any?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Thousand Oaks, CA
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    Default Re: Beginner Question: Pollinating and Collecting Honey?

    Generally the top two boxes are used for brood and normal hive activities for the bees. The third box is generally used for honey extraction. The main reason Almonds are horrible for pollination is because they only last about a month (sometimes less,) and bees prefer just about anything over almonds. In a good bloom though, a hive can build up very fast and easily have a third super full of honey.

  3. #3
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    Mar 2013
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    Fort Lauderdale, FL
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    Default Re: Beginner Question: Pollinating and Collecting Honey?

    Thanks for that Verick, I was wondering, do you mean the bottom two being for brooding and normal hive activities and the top super (medium frame size) being for honey cultivation? How quickly do those fill? I've noticed some without even having a medium frame super on there?

    Also, you state they're horrible for pollination because they only last a month or less, how long do other crops usually last for in pollination? Where can I find that out?

    Also, I understand that the bees prefer anything over almonds but I was wondering, if you can't sell the almond honey, couldn't you keep it as feed for the bees throughout the winter or will they fly away due to how crappy it tastes for them.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Maricopa, Ariz, USA
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    92

    Default Re: Beginner Question: Pollinating and Collecting Honey?

    Quote Originally Posted by Verick369 View Post
    Generally the top two boxes are used for brood and normal hive activities for the bees. The third box is generally used for honey extraction. The main reason Almonds are horrible for pollination is because they only last about a month (sometimes less,) and bees prefer just about anything over almonds. In a good bloom though, a hive can build up very fast and easily have a third super full of honey.
    "top two boxes are used for brood"..."bees prefer just about anything over almonds"??? Other then east Texas.....there are few consistent early spring hive building areas that can compare to almonds. Bees are like Mike Tyson going after Holyfields' ear on almond buds.

    In 40 yrs of almonds I have never supered a hive.....the few years they produce surplus, the increased populations have consumed most of it within a couple of weeks. If you are concerned about swarming......reverse the boxes or swap with slightly weaker hives and spare the expense of hauling extra supers back and forth. Before anyone accuses me of not having colony strength.......every now and then I accidentally place fairly strong hives.....last year inspections were 15.1 and this year is 12.2 in eight frame equipment. Now.....if you start off with 180 lb hives maybe you'll need to do something.
    Last edited by Barry; 03-03-2013 at 06:36 PM. Reason: language

  5. #5
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    Mar 2013
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    Fort Lauderdale, FL
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    Default Re: Beginner Question: Pollinating and Collecting Honey?

    Quote Originally Posted by dback View Post
    "top two boxes are used for brood"..."bees prefer just about anything over almonds"??? Other then east Texas.....there are few consistent early spring hive building areas that can compare to almonds. Bees are like Mike Tyson going after Holyfields' ear on almond buds.

    In 40 yrs of almonds I have never supered a hive.....the few years they produce surplus, the increased populations have consumed most of it within a couple of weeks. If you are concerned about swarming......reverse the boxes or swap with slightly weaker hives and spare the expense of hauling extra supers back and forth. Before anyone accuses me of not having colony strength.......every now and then I accidentally place fairly strong hives.....last year inspections were 15.1 and this year is 12.2 in eight frame equipment. Now.....if you start off with 180 lb hives maybe you'll need to do something.
    Interesting.

    So to clarify, you don't put a super on there because it's really just a matter of weight and size saving due to having to ship them back and forth from CA and thus just leave the two regular bee boxes there?
    Last edited by Barry; 03-03-2013 at 06:37 PM.

  6. #6
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    Jan 2012
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    Maricopa, Ariz, USA
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    Default Re: Beginner Question: Pollinating and Collecting Honey?

    It makes zero difference what equipment you use. Double deep, deep and shallow, triple shallow.....heck, I've seen Harry mix eight and ten frame equipment into the same hives. You must meet the contract.....if it's an eight frame contract you will get 2/3 credit for a medium depth frame......who cares what they are in. Folks from Florida ship hundreds of semi loads to almonds in singles.......some stay that way and others they "super" upon arrival. Freight is expensive.....that's why some Florida guys sell them right out of almonds......to save the freight home. "MOST" pollination jobs (melons, apples, certified seeds, etc.) do not produce any significant surplus due to the number of hives per acre and short season.......often you are lucky not to need to feed them.

  7. #7
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    Jan 2013
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    Thousand Oaks, CA
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    Default Re: Beginner Question: Pollinating and Collecting Honey?

    Quote Originally Posted by Imperial View Post
    Interesting.

    So to clarify, you don't put a super on there because it's really just a matter of weight and size saving due to having to ship them back and forth from CA and thus just leave the two regular bee boxes there?
    Almonds are early in the season. Bees are just getting over the winter and need to build. This time of year they are starting off from one box of limited honey, and need to build up again. A hive is generally two deep boxes, then one or more honey supers on top. For a beehive to produce a full deep box and multiple honey supers in one month is hard. Not unheard of, but somewhat uncommon.

    Also, I apologize if I am mistaken about honey bee's liking of almonds. In my experience they like it about as much as avocado. They will go to it, but prefer other types of pollen. They are just building up because it is the first real industrial bloom of the season so they gather what is available.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
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    35

    Default Re: Beginner Question: Pollinating and Collecting Honey?

    Quote Originally Posted by dback View Post
    It makes zero difference what equipment you use. Double deep, deep and shallow, triple shallow.....heck, I've seen Harry mix eight and ten frame equipment into the same hives. You must meet the contract.....if it's an eight frame contract you will get 2/3 credit for a medium depth frame......who cares what they are in. Folks from Florida ship hundreds of semi loads to almonds in singles.......some stay that way and others they "super" upon arrival. Freight is expensive.....that's why some Florida guys sell them right out of almonds......to save the freight home. "MOST" pollination jobs (melons, apples, certified seeds, etc.) do not produce any significant surplus due to the number of hives per acre and short season.......often you are lucky not to need to feed them.
    Thank you for the clarification, so then two deep boxes would count as being the full contract amount rather than the one deep and one medium frame box which accounts for 2/3?

    Also, I noticed you mentioned the number of frames. I notice that on many beehives there are either 8 or 10 frames, in commercial pollination contracts is 8 frames the standard and thus makes up the sufficient for a full contract? Do they do 8 frames because it works out easier to transport and a much better profit margin as you can send more?

    Thanks again,

    Tony

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
    Posts
    3,289

    Default Re: Beginner Question: Pollinating and Collecting Honey?

    Quote Originally Posted by Verick369 View Post
    Also, I apologize if I am mistaken about honey bee's liking of almonds. In my experience they like it about as much as avocado. They will go to it, but prefer other types of pollen. They are just building up because it is the first real industrial bloom of the season so they gather what is available.
    Verick, I produce Nutra-Bee pollen sub, I wish it was as good as almond pollen. The queen lights up pretty good on almond pollen, maybe you should give it another try.
    NUTRA-BEE feed supplements

  10. #10
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    May 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Beginner Question: Pollinating and Collecting Honey?

    Imperial, I think the standard frame count of 1 is a deep, so the mediums frames count as 2/3 a frame.

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