Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

100 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Had a guy stop by the house tonight and ask if I offered pollination services. I live on a busy country road with the hives in view.

It's not him, but a friend of his has a 10-20 acre field planted in watermelons. Asked if he sprays, and he said the only thing he uses is a spray for mildew. Told him right off the bat that there would be a charge and they couldn't spray with the bees there. He said that the guy bought some hives off of someone, but that he feels like there aren't many bees going in and out.

Never done this before, but have thought about getting into it. Haven't had time this year so far as I've been spending lots of time on cutouts. As they say, opportunity knocks....

Questions -

- how much to charge, and in what unit of measure (meaning hives per acre, per month?)
- how many hives would be needed?
- how do you guys handle spraying?
- which hives should I take? I have 18.

Four are hives that I started this year, all of which are 4-6 boxes high. They all swarmed a couple of weeks ago. Epic fail on swarm prevention.

Luckily I caught all the swarms. I have two hives that are two week old swarms.

Three more month old swarms.

Two are cutouts.

Two are 1.5-3 month old splits.

I'm thinking I could use the swarms since I'm feeding them anyway and they'd be easier to move. I've heard that you have to feed when the bees are on watermelons. There is forage around this location, so I'm not too worried about it.

Thanks in advance!

3,800 Posts
Pollination can be very involved or not. Your first step ought to be finding out about Watermellon pollination. Check with your local Cooperative Extension to learn what level of colonies per acre they suggest for adequate pollination.

Different customers require different levels of service. I had one once who wanted pollination from nucs as they absolutely did not want to have to deal with swarms.

I've had others that didn't care about swarms - they wanted their blueberries pollinated. They promised me there were no bears in the area - and paid for the hives when a bear swam out to their island (it was seen) and destroyed the hives I placed there.

If you do a bit of searching here you'll find answers to most of your questions. You really need to have some sort of written agreement with the person you are providing pollination services for - even if it only establishes that you own the bees, how much pollination services cost, your access and notification required for spraying/moving.
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.