I only have part of the orchard, they asked for a full semi load for next year, that will be around 480 colonies.
These are some powerhouse bees too. I normally only send bees into apples with one shallow super, don't normally get much honey from apples but they grow well.
These girls got back from Virginia last week and were loaded, averaging 8 frames of brood, a bees filling both deep and one shallow, and half a box of honey, not enough honey to harvest so I left it on and added a super, hopefully it will keep them from swarming some, I also took on average 2 frames of brood from each hive. Even after I pulled the brood, the amount of bees in the brood chambers were so large you couldn't tell I had just tried to knock them back a step.
It takes a lot of manipulations to keep bee colonies strong enough for pollination yet not too strong that they all swarm while on the job.
Yes there are two beekeepers supplying bees. Good for the orchard really.
But they did have a big loss in the winter of…well I don't remember. In the late 90s I would guess. 200 acres winter killed because the nursery used the wrong rootstock. And now they're on a re-planting schedule that is taking out a lot of the old blocks. That began when I was still pollinating, and has expanded. I guess they'll be back up to 600 colonies before too long.
So how did the move go Aaron? Did the orchard spread the bees? What blocks are they in, do you know? When I started pollinating Chazy, they wanted the bees spread thin…a couple hives every seven trees. Ridiculous. Tre, the former owner agreed to try larger drops in the bin loading areas. Much better and they got good pollination. I think it was Gordon Waller from the Tucson lab who proved large drops within the orchard were just as effective as spreading the bees thin throughout the orchard.
In case Aaron is too busy to beesource let me tell you what I saw when I went to Chazy Orchard to see if they had all the bees they needed, which they did. I saw three pallets of 6 hives each behind the main building just off of Rt 9. (The packing house and storage house?) That was just one drop so I don't know what they did throughout the rest of the orchard.
Talking to the orchard manager it appears that the orchard spreads them themselves. Which is what happened one time when I took some hives there for Ted Elk, years ago. Tre was still there then.
@Michael Palmer The move went great, yes the orchard unloads and spreads, and the reverse as well when we picked them back up. The bees still swarmed while they were up there.......still booming with bees though, so I planted a new queen and shipped to Wisconsin.
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