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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Milton Freewater OR
    Posts
    7

    Default Watermelon Pollination

    I have been talking to a farmer about pollinating his watermelons, and was wondering if bees make much honey on them or will I have to feed? He says he wants 3 hives per acre from now till early august. does anyone have any experience with this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,673

    Default Re: Watermelon Pollination

    I would not expect any honey. I would expect that you would have to feed.
    Mark Berninghausen To combat Ebola, please consider supporting http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Gillham Arkansas USA
    Posts
    259

    Default Re: Watermelon Pollination

    What else is around for two miles ??
    Nothing ventured nothing gained . Sometimes the only way to learn is do .
    25 hives at the moment .

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Milton Freewater OR
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Watermelon Pollination

    I haven't seen the field. I will have to check it out.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Watermelon Pollination

    Sometimes you will make honey but a lot of times you will have to feed.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,380

    Default Re: Watermelon Pollination

    Charge like you WILL need to feed!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Forsyth, Missouri
    Posts
    246

    Default Re: Watermelon Pollination

    Go to Google Earth and put in the address and you will have a better idea of what is around his fields.
    That is how I check before starting a new yard some place.
    Quote Originally Posted by goodlife bees View Post
    I haven't seen the field. I will have to check it out.
    Zone 6b 1400'

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Reddick, FL (Ocala)
    Posts
    127

    Default Re: Watermelon Pollination

    Have a coworker that took a couple of pollination contracts for the boss. He just spent last weekend feeding (trenches) for his bees on 3 watermelon fields. He can't wait to get them back on a flow. Figured $12-15 in sugar syrup in to feed so far in the fields. Maybe 1 or 2 more rounds before he gets released. Rough on them due to lack of anything else (decent bee food) in area.

    Assume the worst. Feed entire time. Longer time (labor cost) to go way down field with skid steer since cant get truck closer than half mile from end of row, etc.
    See the field first hand, how its laid out, tilled, rows. Where bees going? How to get to them, mud/rain issues.

    Let us know what you see. Like said previously, Google map it!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camarillo, CA, USA
    Posts
    312

    Default Re: Watermelon Pollination

    if the word pollination is in the deal you need to charge. This is a business as is the farmers, they don't plant if they aint making money, we should go somewhere without doing the same!
    Larry Pender,Jubilee HoneyBee Company,Camarillo, CA

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Milton Freewater OR
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Watermelon Pollination

    we were thinking 50 per hive but now i'm thinking I would be better off making honey. more money and better for bees. It would only pay if I got honey and pollination money.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    698

    Default Re: Watermelon Pollination

    We go 1/2 hive per acre here when pollinating melons and that's enough to fulfill a farmer's obligation for pollination under their respective seed contracts. You don't get any honey from melons and very little pollen. Expect to feed for the duration of your contract if it's monoculture "melons".
    Zone 5a @ 4700 ft. High Desert
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Stockton, CA
    Posts
    311

    Default Re: Watermelon Pollination

    In CA the ants are really bad around the watermelon fields. They produce pollen and no or very little nectar so you'll need to feed for sure.

    With that said thou some of the best watermelon I've ever had was from OR. Look for the black skinned ones.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Blythe,California,USA
    Posts
    280

    Default Re: Watermelon Pollination

    I've never found watermelons , or any melons , to produce honey. Mostly pollen. I pollinate melons every year. Why does he want them on so long? Ours come off in a month or less every year. We get our honey from the surrounding alfalfa and cotton. It sounds like he is new at this too.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland, Bladen County, NC, USA
    Posts
    3,068

    Default Re: Watermelon Pollination

    If you have SHB up there.... get the hives out of there as soon as pollination is complete. SHB love rotting melons.
    “Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have travelled.” - The Quran

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    698

    Default Re: Watermelon Pollination

    Quote Originally Posted by Bradley_Bee View Post
    I've never found watermelons , or any melons , to produce honey. Mostly pollen. I pollinate melons every year. Why does he want them on so long? Ours come off in a month or less every year. We get our honey from the surrounding alfalfa and cotton. It sounds like he is new at this too.
    We do a 1 month/farmer says remove them type of deal with our pollination. If there's an alfalfa field nearby that happens to be blooming right when the melons start flowering I urge the farmer to cut the alfalfa a few days after the hives have been placed and the bees will go nuts on the melons. I must admit I get 1 - 2 supers of honey/hive while pollinating melons, it comes mostly from alfalfa. I've had guys want 1 hive/acre and not the usual 1/2 hive per acre, but 3 hives/acre? I would recommend 1/2 - 1 hive/acre for this area (all water melons are for seed production) and if the farmer still wanted 3 hives/acre I would jump on it.
    Zone 5a @ 4700 ft. High Desert
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