WOW This thread went everywhere. I developed a pollination market in a u-pick cherry valley. The timing was just after Almonds and before the Sage flow. There were many small farms. Some only wanted 1 hive. I went to the Cherry growers assn meeting and proposed this deal. Everybody in the assn. rented my bees. All bees would be put in on my schedule. All bees pulled on my schedule. ( before Sage flow) My bees were going backwards during this time in the spring and the area was close to home. I made divides, made queens and requeened while waiting for the sage flow. My rent was $45.00 per colony and made an average of 30# honey per colony, on the 80 colonies. My association with the growers grew into real friendships over the years. I had a real concern for their operations. They also all sold honey at their u-pick stands. I supplied about 1000 ea 2# bottles ea year. Hope this answers the original post and what is possible
thanks jjgbee, that is exactly what Ive been waiting for. I was thinking $45-$50. sounded about right. Just didn't really know. Since all this talk about CCD on the tv, in my area, people want to rent hives just to have them near there gardens, (Even though honeybees are commonly seen around.) I don't think anyone offers this service around here. Thought it would be good if I could do that in the near future. Most people want hives for free, and as much as I would like to be helpfull to the community, I just dont have the time or money to do that, but did not want to overcharge anyone in the same respect. Again thanks for all the helpful post, Daniel
Pollination - Number of hives needed per acre 4000 m2 of crop pollination
Apples: 1—2 Blueberries: 4 Cantaloupe: 2—4 Cucumber 2—1 Squash: 1 Watermelon: 1—3
It is estimated that about one hive per acre will sufficiently pollinate watermelons. In the 1950s when the woods were full of wild bee trees, and beehives were normally kept on most South Carolina farms, a farmer who grew ten acres (40,000 mē) of watermelons would be a large grower and probably had all the pollination needed. But today's grower may grow 200 acres (800,000 mē), and, if lucky, there might be one bee tree left within range. The only option in the current economy is to bring beehives to the field during blossom time.
Source: Delaplaine et al. 1994, Bee pollination of Georgia crop plants. CES Bulletin 1106
Adapted from the Wikipedia article "Number of hives needed per acre 4000 m2 of crop pollination", under the G.N U Free Docmentation License. Please also see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki