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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'd like to get a thread started that outlines the recommended hive strength / density and best practices for pollinating different types of crops, and hopefully it can be stickied to the top of this section as a reference source. I'm sure there will be some differing opinions and that's fine. I hope this thread can get into some of the lesser discussed crops such as rapeseed/canola or curbits, etc. in addition to the much more discussed crops such as Almonds. My hope is that this thread can be used by both growers and beeks to ensure that growers get the best set for their crop and remain happy with the pollination services that we beekeepers provide.
 

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Growers are going to go to guides, it would seem to me. And if they are growing crops that can benefit from pollionation then they either already know what they need or they would benefit from something like USDA's Agricultural Handbook No. 496 titled "Insect Pollination of Cultivated Crop Plants". My copy is from 1976.

Recomendations for Rape very from .8 colonies per acre to 2 colonies per acre.
 

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If you mean number of bees. Many Almond growers like 8 frames covered with bees, min. If you don't make the grade, you might be payed less, or sent home.
 

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This from the Ontario Beekeepers Site at http://www.ontariobee.com/index.php?action=display&cat=17


Hive Stocking Rates

Apples Standard 1 hive per acre
Semi-Dwarf 2 hives per acre
Dwarf 3 hives per acre
Pears Plums 1 hive per acre
Peaches Nectarines 1 hive per acre
Cherries Apricots 1 hive per acre
Small Fruit Crops

Cranberries 3 hive per acre
Blueberries 3 hives per acre
Raspberries 1 hive per acre
Strawberries 1 hive per acre


These Field Crops Need 1 Hive per acre
Cucumbers Melons Pumpkins
Squash Zucchini Ginseng
Canola Buckwheat Sunflowers
Clovers Trefoil Alfalfa
For more detailed recommendations on other crops refer to OMAF Publication 72 or AGOEX 616.

I have read that Canola (Rape) can support more like 3-4 hives per acre. Clover and alfalfa may be stronger as well.
 

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I have read that Canola (Rape) can support more like 3-4 hives per acre. Clover and alfalfa may be stronger as well.
What an acre of some crop can support and what they require for pollination are two different things and are two different perspectives. One from the crop grower and one from the honey producer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
they would benefit from something like USDA's Agricultural Handbook No. 496 titled "Insect Pollination of Cultivated Crop Plants". My copy is from 1976.
That's an excellent resource, my copy's also from 1976, I'm not sure there's even a newer version... but the thing it's missing, and so far that's missing from this thread is the average hive strength used.
 
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