Hive Size for Pollinating
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  1. #1
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    Default Hive Size for Pollinating

    Question, when placing hives on a field for the purpose of pollinating a crop is it common for those hives to be double deeps or single deeps? I have seen trailers of bees here in Delaware that are being rented and these usuall always are single deeps.

    Just wondering if you guys ususally rent hives as singles or doubles or some other configuration.

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  3. #2
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    Garland, Bladen County, NC, USA
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    Default Re: Hive Size for Pollinating

    It is a little difficult for us to get sufficient bees (6-8 frames) in 1 deep, but it can be done. We use a double and a medium for the most part. Having them all the same is pretty much essential for loading the truck.

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Hive Size for Pollinating

    I have a follow-up question. If you are using all single deeps with a medium deep then how do you get the bees throgh winter? Don't you need double deeps to get the bees through winter?

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Hive Size for Pollinating

    That configuration changes after they come out of pollination. Going into winter there will be one more medium super on top of most. 1 medium is enough to get a hive through winter here.

  6. #5
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Hive Size for Pollinating

    Quote Originally Posted by GageFamilyBeekeeping View Post
    I have seen trailers of bees here in Delaware that are being rented and these usuall always are single deeps.
    Are these on cucumbers? Years ago I helped deliver bees to cukes. We delivereds dbls. Maybe enuf singles are enuf to do the job. A two story colony doesn't necassarily mean twice the brood. If they are on sight very long, I bet they add a super.

    What I have heard of pollination in DE and MD and VA, many times these cols are moved down the road to other crops needing pollination. So multiple pay days.

    Are these hives on trailers that look like the frames of hay wagons? If so, they are the ones that get moved to other crops later.
    Mark Berninghausen

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Hive Size for Pollinating

    Here in DE most of us use trailers of any sort to keep our bees on and move them to crops. I myself have two trailers that can hold 20 hives each. Some of these guys build their own which are designed to simply hold hives, up to 40. No pallets or trucks here.

  8. #7
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    Las Piņas City, Philippines
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    Default Re: Hive Size for Pollinating

    Quote Originally Posted by GageFamilyBeekeeping View Post
    I have a follow-up question. If you are using all single deeps with a medium deep then how do you get the bees throgh winter? Don't you need double deeps to get the bees through winter?
    Put the bees on a truck and go to So.FL. the joy the sun


    BEE HAPPY Jim 134

  9. #8
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    Dorothy, New Jersey USA
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    Default Re: Hive Size for Pollinating

    who says you can't winter in a single or 1 1/2 story colony? Just need lots of bees no mites, and a deep of stores and they'll do the rest.

    Tim Stewart

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Hive Size for Pollinating

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Stewart View Post
    Just need lots of bees no mites, and a deep of stores and they'll do the rest.

    Tim Stewart
    Around here we would call that a 2 story colony. In NJ a deep on top of a brood chamber is called a 1 story colony?

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Hive Size for Pollinating

    No, get the brood chamber plugged by heavy feeding in. If I still haven't made myself clear that would be a bottom board with deep box crammed with bees and stores and then a cover.... Or a deep and a medium would work too... or a brood chamder with another deep full of honey on top......

    Tim

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Hive Size for Pollinating

    Hive size for pollination? Oh, about 16 1/4 inches wide by about 20 inches long by about 18 inches high, a bottom board and a cover.

    The size of the hive isn't what's important somuch as what is inside of it.

    A pollinating colony needs to be of suffiecient strenght to cover the crop which one is being paid to pollinate. Six to eight frames of brood, w/ adult bees covering the frames, is a good pollinating colony for apple or cucumbers. More is better, if they have the room and the feed.
    Mark Berninghausen

  13. #12
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    Leetonia, Ohio
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    Default Re: Hive Size for Pollinating

    I personally would love to know who decided (or studied) that you need 6-8 frames of brood to pollinate and do a good job.

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Hive Size for Pollinating

    One acquaintance of mine takes 3 truck loads up to Maine. He tells me that they are graded on total surface area of brood and then paid according to grade. I asked if they measured every single hive and said no... only enough to get a statistical average. BTW.. I gather he does not care for this system very much.

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Hive Size for Pollinating

    My understanding is, the first year they check quite a few, to get an idea of what kind of bkpr one is. Then, in subsequent years, they check 10% of each load and figure the rate accordingly. W/ all the hives going to Maine, there is no way to check even half of them. And I wouldn't want them doing so either. Too many queens would die.

    As much as any real study done to determine a pollinating col, I imagine that experience by growers is what determines what they need. I know, that according to my USDA Handbook, that the apple growers I pollinate are under covered. But they don't think so. That's what counts.

    And they don't look in the boxes as much as looking at the flight.
    Mark Berninghausen

  16. #15
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    May 2005
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    chilliwack, bc
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    Default Re: Hive Size for Pollinating

    On our ministry of Apiculture website, They state that the industry standard for a pollination unit is 4 frames of brood, 8 frames of bees, and a laying queen (obviously in a single). This kind of simplifies it for us beeks down here.
    Will Gruenwald Chilliwack BC

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