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If I should post this in another location please let me know. None of them seemed appropriate.

Has anyone been contracted to keep hives at Solar Fields. A friend of mine is part owner of a commercial solar company and they are working on three projects in Connecitcut. He approached me about putting hives on in the solar fields, he said they are contracting a sheep farmer as well to graze the space between the panels. I believe it has to do with getting a tax break and he mentioned something about a USDA proposal to get specific permits for the location. The specific location would have 37 acres of panels. He said that this is common practice in New York and New Jersey. I am just looking for some input from anyone who may be doing this.
 

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Chickens would be better for a solar place, they will keep the veg down and not ruin the panels/wires like sheep/goat/pig would do.
Bees would be fine too as it would be fenced in very well. But I would worry about swarms landing and staying under a panel
Main issue is the security of the site I would think.
 

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I do not see the "draw" of placing hives in the solar area.
Will some of the Tax help flow thru?
With sheep in there as well one would need to fence off the bee area and be mind full of gates.
bees tend to poop a lot so the panela would be speckled in the neer to the hive areas.

Any one know why I as a Keeper would want to place hives there?

GG
 

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I do not see the "draw" of placing hives in the solar area.
Will some of the Tax help flow thru?
With sheep in there as well one would need to fence off the bee area and be mind full of gates.
bees tend to poop a lot so the panela would be speckled in the neer to the hive areas.

Any one know why I as a Keeper would want to place hives there?

GG
Good point about the poop, totally forgot about that.
Chickens are better ;) I love me some cute hens
 

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Sheep are actually fine grazers (unlike the goats - browsers or the pigs - omnivorous diggers).
I'd put sheep just fine - they will indeed keep the vegetation mowed down (while NOT climbing all over like the goats and NOT digging and biting cables like the pigs).

Sheep are fine (maybe very few goats mixed in).
Bees I see an OK option IF they are posted some distance away from the panels (NOT inserted all over between the panels).
For sure NOT pigs - a terrible idea (unless you specifically seek out the grazing pigs - still risky).
Chickens bring very little benefit but more hassle - they are not grazers to be helpful (and yet everyone wild just loves chickens for dinner).
 

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Sheep are actually fine grazers (unlike the goats - browsers or the pigs - omnivorous diggers).
I'd put sheep just fine - they will indeed keep the vegetation mowed down (while NOT climbing all over like the goats and NOT digging and biting cables like the pigs).
Growing up we had a few horses, and several cattle. We we left home Mom got some goats, then llamas, then sheep which she has had for maybe 12-15 years. The sheep keep the fence lines cleaned out better than a weed eater and don't chew up wiring and other things on various equipment lying around. Sheep are about the only option I would put in this scenario.

I've thought about some panels here at home (not 37 acres worth) but on an actual solar farm I think the bees would just be there for the tax credit or general PR. I foresee a lot of my gals landing on some very hot surfaces or having to fly over those surfaces to get out to forage nearby.
 

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obviously you've never seen how they can rotor till a garden to nothing
Obviously you and I don't know much of each other.

Well, let me just say I grew on a farm with 30-50 chickens annually and young roosters are the best chicken you can eat hands down.
If anything, I know a thing or two about chickens.

This is how I know the chickens are pretty useless on a solar farm.
In fact, they will also be digging their dust baths in all the wrong places too.
So the chickens are, in fact, a liability for a solar farm - not an asset.
Keeping the bugs down - is just a non-issue.
And you still need to feed the chickens.

Sheep are the real asset and provide the exactly needed service.
Bees are OK, if setup properly - given they bring a tax break.
 

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I have been approached here in upstate NY to place bees with sheep also. I would think the sheep would graze all the wildflowers and grasses inside the fence, leaving nothing for the bees. I would bee interested only if the forage area outside the fence is good and I needed a location.
Nick
gridleyhollow.com
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Unless the sheep are on around 12,000 acres, I don't think that their grazing will have much of an impact on the bee's forage.
 

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There is a group in Michigan now seeking 1000 acres for a solar project. In the paperwork there is specific wording about pollinator plantings. And Mich. State University is running a "Sheep for Solar Farms" program.
 

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There is a group in Michigan now seeking 1000 acres for a solar project. In the paperwork there is specific wording about pollinator plantings. And Mich. State University is running a "Sheep for Solar Farms" program.
hmmm use 1000 Acres for solar panels and use "words" like pollinator plantings to mitigate the idea in the unsound mind. Very swave, I like it. cover hundreds of acres with panels, and off the hook with a coffee can of seeds.... nice At lease it is not beads...

GG
 

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hmmm use 1000 Acres for solar panels and use "words" like pollinator plantings to mitigate the idea in the unsound mind. Very swave, I like it. cover hundreds of acres with panels, and off the hook with a coffee can of seeds.... nice At lease it is not beads...

GG
Give you the feeling we might be being "worked", GG?
 

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If the power company follows through with their plan it could be good for us. But it is not a done deal yet. Just in the planning stage. I have seen several solar farms around the country but never checked into the pollinator plantings.
In Michigan has a lot of ag property is in a tax reduction plan stating it remain viable for ag and solar farms are acceptable use of that.
Maybe I will have more sites for bees.
 

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If the power company follows through with their plan it could be good for us. But it is not a done deal yet. Just in the planning stage. I have seen several solar farms around the country but never checked into the pollinator plantings.
In Michigan has a lot of ag property is in a tax reduction plan stating it remain viable for ag and solar farms are acceptable use of that.
Maybe I will have more sites for bees.
some how with a panel over it In my Mind it is not AG any more. O right the sheep will graze.....
why not grow food on the AG and take say a land fill and put panels over that. or an old factory site, or the site where the PFAS is, pick a spot not suited for food and steal the sunlight there if the "need" is real. this is like the AG used for corn oil for energy.
Big issue IMO is to keep shrinking AG with homes , roads and now solar , wrong thinking IMO,, lots of ways to do energy with out taking 1000 acres of AG off the planet.

Sorry I see Zero good with 1000 Acres of AG going into a panel farm. When there are "Many" places we cannot grow food already. selling it with sheep grazing and pollinator plantings is putting lipstick on a pig. Rooftops I'll bite on, over land fills sure, over super fund clean up site yes, over old factories, sure, Over AG ground, poor decision. done often enough leads to Starvation.

GG


Agriculture contributes $992 billion to the American economy each year. 31 million acres of farmland lost to development, in total, between 1992 and 2012. That's 175 acres per hour of agricultural land lost to development – 3 acres per minute.May 22, 2018
 

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Will crops grow under solar panels? They soak up as much sun as they can, right?
None of the clover I have planted survives in partial shade.

Alex
 

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The panels move throughout the day. I don't think any area stays in the shade all that long. As far as crops, The panels at the solar farm just built in my area are too close together to get much more than a mower in between the rows. Farm appears to be about 80 acres.
 
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