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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Manning, SC
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    1,963

    Default Re: Pollination of soybeans

    I'm thinking it must be the type of soy planted. We've had all the combinations of weather over the years and no soy honey....
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  2. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    New York City, NY
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    4,317

    Default Re: Pollination of soybeans

    Since most of you reporting soybean flows are in the south, I guess it's a matter of the types of soybeans (perhaps maturity groups) that you have available.

    So, do you 'Gentlemen of the South' think that you've got more acres of soybeans growing than there are almond acres in California (about 750,000)?

    Heh, heh.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tipton, TN, USA
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    784

    Default Re: Pollination of soybeans

    I have no idea, on the acres of soybeans, but I can tell you that 5-10 miles along the mississippi river from Mo down into Ms are covered in soy beans.. Not to mention that the a good bit of TN/AR/MS grows beans away from the delta/flood plane.. I'd have to go to do some "googling" but there are a "bunch" of beens grown here... Now do the bees/beekeepers benefit from it as much as the almonds? Probably not... If you wanted an acre to acre comparison. I'd be really surprised if there are more almonds than beans grown..

    Edit: Did that googling...

    http://www.usda.gov/nass/PUBS/TODAYRPT/acrg0612.pdf

    3,200,000 Acres of Soybeans in Arkansas
    1,290,000 Acres of Soybeans in Tennessee
    2,100,000 Acres of Soybeans in Mississippi

    So yes, more than the 750k acres of almonds... Really surprised that the cotton numbers aren't higher... miles and miles and miles of cotton/beans/corn in this area.... mileeeeees...
    Solo for the last 4 Years, ~60 Hives, TF + Oils.
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  4. #24
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    Feb 2010
    Location
    New York City, NY
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    4,317

    Default Re: Pollination of soybeans

    Well, I guess that all you have to do is convince the delta soybean farmers that you can not only increase their yields, but you should get paid for it as well.

  5. #25
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    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tipton, TN, USA
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    784

    Default Re: Pollination of soybeans

    I'm working on that... Not the being paid part, but the allowing me to put in hives... Most farmers don't like dealing with it, but I've known this guy for years. He farms ~5-10k acres of beans.

    "IF" he saw a 10-40% improvement in bean set, per the random google articles of unknown worth. I'm sure the conversation would be brought up.... On that note, I have been seeing more and more hives being brought into the bean fields..
    Solo for the last 4 Years, ~60 Hives, TF + Oils.
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  6. #26
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    Feb 2010
    Location
    New York City, NY
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    4,317

    Default Re: Pollination of soybeans

    The numbers were from agricultural scientists by the way.

    Regardless, it would be interesting to see what kind of productivity you could get out of your colonies on soybeans, especially if the plantings were staggered enough so that you could do it for, say, 3 months.

    You can't do that with almonds.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,786

    Default Re: Pollination of soybeans

    Last year my neighbour sprayed for Lygus bug in his soy's during the bloom close to my hives. I did not have any bee losses because the bees were not in that field. Other things blooming over the otherway.

    I guess if the bees had to choose between soy or corn , they would choose soy.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,245

    Default Re: Pollination of soybeans

    If Richard Adee is claiming a box of soybean honey each year then it's a cumulative number. . I search soybean fields each year that are virtually in the shadow of beehives and it's a real event to find a single bee. I could download a video I did last summer but it would be a video about nothing aside from beautiful fields of tall healthy bloomimg soybeans with my hives in the background. We used to have an occassional light flow years ago farther east in Iowa on a particularly hot summer but I am convinced, at least in our area that bees have little if any attraction to soybeans.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  9. #29
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    Feb 2010
    Location
    New York City, NY
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    4,317

    Default Re: Pollination of soybeans

    I'm reading that there are over 900,000 irrigated acres of soybeans in Mississippi alone. It's probably around 2 million acres total.

    That's a lot of soybeans.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Pollination of soybeans

    We grow a fair number of acres of soybeans each year (anywhere from 1000-1700 acres depending on the year). On our home farm we also keep about 20 colonies of honeybees. These colonies are typically setting adjacent a soybean field. There is other forage adjacent to the hives too including alfalfa and clover that we have put in specifically for the bees on what would be otherwise marginal farmland plus our field roads tend to be a grass/clover mix. Over the last 8 years I've watched and watched and watched those bean fields to see if the bees ever work the soybeans...from what I've seen is incredibly rare to see any significant number of honeybees in our soybeans when they are flowering (lucky to see a couple when scouting a whole field for soybean aphids). Instead they'll be in the clover, the alfalfa, the roadside vegetation (sweet clover, milkweeds, thistles, etc). I've often wondered whether the flows people report from soybeans are really due to the bees collecting honeydew from soybean aphid infestation rather than collecting soybean nectar....dunno...my conclusion so far is that when I see honeybees in the soybeans I better check for aphids.....

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Wilson NC
    Posts
    44

    Default Re: Pollination of soybeans

    As a farmer myself, I do not see soybean pollination as a business that will ever get going. We make money off soybeans but we usually place them where the land is not a fertile as others and it is more or less a cover crop during the summer for the poor land that comes on farms that we rent that has some good land. A 10% increase in yield can not justify hive rental fees. With the yield numbers in my area and the hive rental fees, if a farmer rented hives for soybean pollination he would just be spending his profit he would get without hives on rental fees. We planted soybeans all around my bee yard this year and there was no significant increase in yield that can really be contributed to the bees. I wonder how this increase in yield come about anyway that people speak of. There are so many determining factors that affect crop yield that I don't see how anyone could do a study or pin point that honey bees contribute to the yield.

  12. #32
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    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
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    5,786

    Default Re: Pollination of soybeans

    "often wondered whether the flows people report from soybeans are really due to the bees collecting honeydew from soybean aphid infestation rather than collecting soybean nectar....dunno...my conclusion so far is that when I see honeybees in the soybeans I better check for aphids...."

    That makes a lot of sense.
    I wonder if these guys would test that soy honey, if they would actually find it came from the ditches a mile and half over

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    belmont,Mississippi,USA
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Pollination of soybeans

    No. I never saw my bees in the soybeans, but the bumblebees and butterflies workin' 'em like there's no tomorrow is a dead giveaway to a nectar flow.

  14. #34
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    Feb 2010
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    New York City, NY
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    4,317

    Default Re: Pollination of soybeans

    Well, if your bees are packing away honey on soybeans, there's at least the opportunity to see if they can increase the yield.

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Bay Springs, Mississippi, USA
    Posts
    95

    Default Re: Pollination of soybeans

    Im no expert for sure, but all the research I did this fall on beans said that only the blue or purple blooming varieties had a nectar flow, and then it needed to be growing on bottom land with plenty of rainfall.

  16. #36
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Chardon, Ohio
    Posts
    78

    Default Re: Pollination of soybeans

    "The potential market for Honeybee pollination could be easily 10 times what it is today if soybean pollination ever takes off "

    You better just stay in NY City Arthur. You have apparently never even seen a soy bean field from the way you talk. About the best a bee keeper is ever going to get from a soy bean farmer is a free spot to park some hives or perhaps a spot to park some hives with a cost of only a few five pound bottles of honey as payment. Farmers can not pay anything for a very, very iffy 10% soy bean yield improvement. Particularly when that improvement is not going to happen most years. Plus the bee keeper might well have to feed his bees if there are no native wild flowers available for the bees to work for nectar.

    We have grown millions and millions of acres of soy beans in the US now for the last 60 or 70 years. Do you really think farmers are so stupid they have been missing the benefits of honey bee pollination for all that time? If you do think so you are incredibly ignorant about how smart farmers are and what good business managers they are. I guess you must also think all the bee keepers are equally stupid for missing an obvious nectar bonanza all those years?

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    26,224

    Default Re: Pollination of soybeans

    Richard, My Man.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tipton, TN, USA
    Posts
    784

    Default Re: Pollination of soybeans

    Richard,

    You know good and well that the 42 bushels per acre of soy beans at $13.50 per bushel leaves plenty of room for the farmer to just give the money away.

    It's not like they have to pay for fuel, diesel, or other frivolous items. *winks*

    I agree, that most of the farmers that I know don't spend any money than they have too and are very skilled at squeezing every cent from the ground.

    The best I hope for is a place to bees, where I'll probably trade honey for the chance to shoot a random deer. *grins*
    Solo for the last 4 Years, ~60 Hives, TF + Oils.
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  19. #39
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    Feb 2010
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    New York City, NY
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    4,317

    Default Re: Pollination of soybeans

    Richard, watch the tone.

    Regardless, there are southern beekeepers who do see the opportunity. I'm sure that there are a number of soybean farmers who would also like to increase their yields to better than 40 bushels an acre.

    I do know that U.S. soybean production has flattened out while South American soybean productivity has surpassed our own.

    It really is a vast untapped pollination market.

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
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    Default Re: Pollination of soybeans

    "It really is a vast untapped pollination market."

    Laugh ,

    Like Richard said ... Lol

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