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Discussion Starter #1
I have the xhance next year to move bees to the Oranges in central Florida. The distance is only 3 hours from my home. I understand this year was one of the better years. My question to those that move bees to the Oranges,
what is average for honey production? Number of supers made per hive?
Any problems with the bees plugging out the the brood area? Common problems you have faced in the Orange groves? Thanks so much for the advise..........
 

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First thing you do is get a spray schedule, a lot of beekeepers are getting out of orange groves. Several grove owners are spraying before ,during ,and at the end of bloom. Its getting really hard to find decent groves. A lot of these grove people would not do anything to hurt your bees, they believe what they're beinging told(it won't hurt the bees). Your problems will show up 2-3 months later.We'er done with oranges until they come up with something better. Good Luck
 

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Second thing to learn is that there's absolutely no averages in orange blossoms. Some years you might get a big harvest, other years you might not get anything at all out of it.
 

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Orange production can vary from very little to 150 lbs. (rare) Normal average in a good location is 60-80 lbs. Depending on where you are....some areas north of Orlando only have one variety and bloom is shorter....in those areas 50lb is good. You would need to be in a area with differant varieties so you have a extended bloom. Hard to find GOOD locations. Also as above more and more problems with spraying(citrus greening), one grower told a beek he cant worry about bees gotta protect his trees. There are a few beeks who get a really heavy kill each year. I personally havent had any problems YET. If you run double deeps top box will get plugged out many times....better to run singles or 1 1/2 story.
 

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Yep! Your best bet is to have the bees in a grove surrounded by other varieties as the blooming times are slightly different and you'll get the advantage of a slightly longer flow. We have some good grapefruit locations with surrounding orange groves and thankfully did not have spraying problems this year. Remember, also, that the owner of the grove you're in may hold off spraying for you, but the guy across the road may have the planes spraying during the bloom. :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That is why I asked, Thanks for all the info. I never considered the diffrent blooms. The pesticide use will probley stop me all together. I can't affored to kill 200 hives. Thanks again for the positive and negative info. I have heard and maybe off course here a little. But is their a new hybrid that the farm actually dont want the bees to cross pollinated due to it being seedless?

The area I was going will be close to or a little south of Melbourne fl. Thanks again guys,may lok at going North not south.........
 

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But is their a new hybrid that the farm actually dont want the bees to cross pollinated due to it being seedless?
You're probably thinking about Mandarins... and yes the growers don't want them pollinated, just ask any beek that put hives within a few miles of any Paramount Citrus grove the last few years. My personal philosophy on that is to respect the growers and the growers will usually respect you in return.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have spoke with others today about the Oranges. I have not really heard anyone say anything good. Some of the local beeks are saying in some areas their are to many bees. With no experince with the Oranges I may tag along with someone next Spring then make a decision. I really think I'm about 100% sure I want go South. After another year of poor galllberry performance I was just trying to increase my $$. Thanks again for the comments and recommendations.
 

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I am about four hrs. from the groves, and I have took my bees down there several times you gotta watch out for the spraying and that SAND whew ! my advice have a 4- wheel drive truck.Sometimes I have done good and sometimes not so good and I have had several different locations, so you are just really taking a chance.I didnt go this year and I sure Didnt miss it.
 

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Too many bees? LOL. In just the 3 counties of Indian River, St. Lucie and Martin there are over 110,000 acres of citrus. The real problem is citrus pests, mainly citrus greening disease, and spraying for them. Most grove owners have no problem letting you put bees in, but when it's time to spray they usually forget you, or give you just a few hours notice.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
How close do you set the bees? Are they in the oranges or out skirts? Is their a publication listing growers looking for bees? The chemicals sprayed in the oranges, will closing off the entrance at dark for 24 hours after spraying prevent problems in the hive? One last questions, how far North do the groves normally go? I'm 30 miles North of Jackaonville Fl. Using it as a starting point whats the closest grove South of Jax? Again, thanks for the advise. Like everyone else I'm trying to get a good build up in the early Spring. The last two years our Maple bloom has been weak. The titi this year actually caused problems with the bees plugging out the brood with honey.
The area I live is good for building if the Maple and titi will cooperate. But thats all part of it........
 
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