Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

Me being new to beekeeping and eagerly waiting for Spring to show up so I can get my girls. I've been reading up a lot on the keeping aspect and also the commercial aspect.

One of (actually a few of ) the articles by Joe Traynor listed here on the site mentioned a debacle with Paramount and their "seedless" Mandarins. They got angry because bee's did their thing and wandered on to their orchards and gave their Mandarins seeds due to pollination. I'm guessing most if not all know the story. I see that this was a few years ago and I'm not sure how it ends, or if it ever did. I think I read somewhere that Paramount is lobbying for laws to keep beeks from placing pollination hives within a certain distance from their orchards to "protect" them from unwanted pollination. I don't see how Paramount could back up their claim of trespass, nuisance, enjoyment of property etc. A keeper can't control where their bees go. Could it stick? If the pollinated orchards were there first, why does Paramount think they can cry foul when they knew the bees were there next door comming back year after for pollination?

On the same consideration and probably on the lines of the same thinking. A commercial beek places hives in an Almond orchard for a contract. He/She has been doing this for years, long before the field next to the grove was planted with (insert your favorite crop here, I'll just say ... ) Cotton. Said cotton grower sprays with pesticides without notification to anyone (not sure if they can do this in California or anywhere for that matter, I don't know). This causes an accidental poisoning to the bees servicing the Almonds because they also started going after the cotton. The hives suffer massive deaths and the population takes a hit causing financial damage to the beekeeper. Mr. Almond grower sees that there's little activity in the hives and calls the beek? Beekeeper comes and sees the floor littered with dead bees. After investigating why, they find it's because Cotton grower sprayed. They call Cotton grower screaming, he comes over scratching his head and shrugs and says "Gee, I'm sorry.". Seemingly in this instance, does the beekeeper have any recourse, or does Mr. Cotton grower get a pass leaving the poor beekeeper to cry in his/her beer?

Seems like everything is tilted to the grower. Beekeepers have no recourse if something happens to their bees that is man made such as when a neighbor sprays pesticides and causes a massive kill. Yet when bees from a neighboring orchard come over and do and instinctive thing and ruin a crop by pollination, they can target the nearest beekeeper and hold him/her responsible for "damages".

Am I reading things wrong?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
518 Posts
I believe there are state and federal laws protecting honey bees from being sprayed by pesticides. One that I seem to recall is having to notify beekeepers in advance if pesticides are going to be used so the beekeeper can close off or move their hives.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,689 Posts
He with the most money wins!!!
not always, but you have to do your research and be persistent. An apple grower sprayed my bees, I had my pesticide applicators licence and good people from the dept. of agriculture, they got him for spraying in excess of 10x, reentry into the sprayed area before the time allowed on the label( had his workers in when the dept of ag. people were there), spraying during full bloom. since the grower was such a nice fellow, I had a neigbor of the orchard monitor him, they preced to get pictures of him spraying non target trees(the fence line) with pesticedes, the dept of ag was not happy. latter that season we got pictures of the workers taking a dump in the woods, with no way to wash hands(a no no to the govt) and going back and picking apples. They also got him for dumping excess chemicals into a drain that drained into the pond behind his house. last I knew, one more violation and he would lose his lic. permanantly.

mike syracuse
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
359 Posts
Wildbranch, don't you think it's a little maddening that after the gross violations that guy racked up already it would still take "one more time" for him to lose his license?

digitalbishop, I read through your scenario. If bees practice bloom fidelity and they are pollinating almonds, I'm not sure they would work the cotton at the same time.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,567 Posts
I am pretty sure cotton blooms long after almonds but maybe someone out there can confirm. I would think the question would apply broadly to other scenarios as well, though. I think many if not most states have a program in place for commercial farms to notify the beekeeper prior to spraying. Local residential landowners don't know/care. The suspected pesticide kills we have experienced were from unknown sources.
Sheri
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,532 Posts
I live in a small community and I am known to most people in this and other surrounding small communities I keep my bees. There are a handfull of large row croppers that lease farmland from the small ones that don't do it any more. I witnessed them spraying their crops(not with herbicides) the last 2 yrs(aerial and with ground spray rigs) and when I confront them on why they don't notify me they lie about what they are spraying(according to what the ag extension office says they should be spraying at that time of the season) or just don't return my calls! Many times it is within a couple hundred yards of the bees and they are overspraying onto forage the bees are working. My colonies don't get killed outright but I do see them get set back in comparison to yards in areas that have lots of pasture forage and are 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile from these row crops(soybeans in particular). I wouldn't call that accidental poisoning!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,689 Posts
Wildbranch, don't you think it's a little maddening that after the gross violations that guy racked up already it would still take "one more time" for him to lose his license?
ya but you should have seen him squirming. trouble was in the first occurance all the problems only counted as one label violation. better yet he was president of the apple growers. I would have done a lot better if the bee inspector wasn't totally inept, he was to fill out a report so I could take the guy to small claims court, after two years I gave up so never got reimbures. what is even funnier, is the bee inspector used to pollinate for the apple grower, the grower turned in the bee inspector because you couldn't bee an inspector and own bee hives, you would have thought the inspector would have been more interested.

mike syracuse
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,391 Posts
Yes, cotton blooms way later than the almonds. Almonds and related tree fruit, mainly peaches, are the first agricultural bloom we get here. They bloom while most other crops are still dormant and it's cold enough that insects aren't much of a problem so pesticides aren't much of an issue when dealing with professional farmers.
Paramount seems to have quieted down some and last year I saw alot of clementines covered by nets.:applause: There are new varieties of seedless mandarins on the market that are more profitable and some of them actually benefit from bee pollination. I think they may have realized that stomping on the little guy might eventualy bring down the giant as they also own alot of almonds and are planting huge blocks of the new bee pollinated mandarin varieties.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,567 Posts
CP, curious here. How does a seedless fruit benefit from pollination? I am not too much of a biologist but this sounds counter intuitive to me. Do these mandarins have seeds?
Sheri
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,689 Posts
CP, curious here. Do these mandarins have seeds?
Sheri
if I remember what I have read correctly, they only have seeds if the get pollinated, thats the rub, the orchard doesn't want pollination and want the beeks out of the area. but the new varieties don't seem to mind?

mike syracuse
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,391 Posts
Sheri, I don't know a whole lot about the mechanics of the specific citrus varieties as there are about ten new ones and some benefit and some don't but I got that information from Treesource Nursery who is selling a large pecentage of the seedless trees and I was actually told that in some areas they were recomending that guys pay for bees.:applause:
I do know that the seedless watermelons require a seeded pollinater variety and won't set fruit without it.
Now you have me anoyed as I used to know all about it but I trashed the information to file away more important stuff... If I remember I will look it up next time it rains.:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,391 Posts
they only have seeds if the get pollinated,
Correct. The not so funny funny part is that they were told by the experts to plant them in large blocks so that proper pollination wouldn't take place and only a little fruit would be seeded... Instead they planted it in five and ten acre blocks to test the waters... OOOPS
but the new varieties don't seem to mind?
Nope.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,668 Posts
They may be similar to plants like tomatoes. They are self-pollinating, and don't need bees since the wind can do the job. However, bees provide benefit by buzz pollination. The bee buzzing on the blossom shakes the flower and does a better job of pollinating than just the wind alone. Most tomatoes have a closed flower, so you don't have to worry about cross pollination though. I don't know how the seedless citrus blossoms compare.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
333 Posts
No one has quited down on this issue!

They were are are being out manuvered by the CSBA (CALIFORNIA STATE BEEKEEPER ASSOCIATION) with the help in TIME AND MONEY FROM BEEKEEPERS WHO UNDERSTAND THAT IT TAKES A FOCUSED TEAM WITH A PLAN OF ACTION AND A LOT OF MONEY. This money has been raised and donated by a few beekeepers under the "Right to Farm fund" throught the CSBA. Many thanks need to given to many poeple who have taken there own time to fight this. One name that comes to mind is Gene Brandi who heads the legislative affairs commitee for the CSBA.

Now a question for all of you out in Beesource land are you involved in a beekeeping organization? What are you doing for your industry as a whole, which can directly affect your business.

Some organizations that come to mind are your state organization or one of the 2 large national organizations: American Honey Producers www.americanhoneyproducers.org or the American Beekeeping Federation www.abfnet.org

Both organizations have upcoming convetions in Jan. 2010 : AHP in Sacramento, CA Jan 5th to 10th and the ABF in Orlando, FL Jan. 12th to 16th.

I will be at the AHP in Sacramento, and the word I am hearing on the street is that we will be getting a very complete update on current research relating to the pesticed issues WE ARE ALL DEALING WITH, WHEATHER YOU BELIEVE IT OR NOT OR JUST HAVE NOT RELISED IT YET.

Everyone should also check there local dictionary to see if you are covered be the term ALL.

I will be posting some very specific results I have found in my operation this year which proves to me I am covered under the term ALL. Post will be up in about 10 days.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,391 Posts
No one has quited down on this issue!
You are correct. I should have said that they have backed down a little rather than quited down. I was glad to see those nets on their trees last year... It was a step they said they weren't going to take. Now we need to keep up that momentum.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
CP, curious here. How does a seedless fruit benefit from pollination? I am not too much of a biologist but this sounds counter intuitive to me. Do these mandarins have seeds?
Sheri
Some information I found from Joe Traynor from this site could shed some light on this.

California Mandarins – A Seedy Tale

According to the article. In some seedless varieties pollination is needed in order to stimulate fruit growth. The seed never forms after pollination. I guess you could call it a false pregnancy?
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top