none yet, this is my first year. Im curious because many people have asked me if people will "rent" my bees to pollinate. My original goal was just to have a hobby and get some honey. If i could expand my services i would. I have seen hives in pumpkin fields around me before and am just interested in the idea.
My first thought is for you to learn beekeeping first. But, then again, what the hey, jump right into pollination and you will learn alot. You may just learn that you don't want to ever move a hive again. But, on the other hand, if you survive and like it, then you may just be a beekeeper. Go for it. I wouldn't take less than $40.00 per colony. But you'll have to see what the market will bear.
Certainly the 1st. thing I would do is get some hives. It's not worth moving one or 2 hives and you can't pollinate anything with that amount. Some small blueberry producer, maybe a u-pick operation, with an acre or 2 could use 10. Moving 10 hives is as much work as moving 50. Mark could speak more to income but if you are looking at 10 hives/ 40 bucks that's 400, if the hives are all strong which if you only have 10 they won't be. You'll kill a queen, loose part of your harvest and spend a day for each move. No easy money in this business that's for sure.
[ February 07, 2006, 06:51 PM: Message edited by: Joel ]
AW, Joel. What's hard about carrying you side of a 200 lb hive when your partner gets stung in the eye and drops the hive? All you have to do is gather up 80,000 angry bees and place them back in the boxes as your full crop of honey pours out on the ground and you try to keep your cool with 60 to 80 stings within 2 or 3 minutes. I mean, what could possibly be more fun?
Last year was by first shot at pollination. I rented two hives to a local produce farmer. He found me by the 'Honey For Sale' sign on my mailbox.
I run 6-8 hives so this is not expected to be a business. But the $100 extra is good in case the honey crop fails - either way you get some cash for next years expenses.
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