I have an opportunity to trade pollination services for all the apples my family can use. The orchard is a small organic orchard about a mile away from my place. they have about 100 mature trees with 50 more a few years away from production. All in all the orchard ia about 2 acres, and aslo has a few pear and plum trees, as well as blueberries.
Currently they have two hives in the orchard, but they are not planning to have them there for long....some prior arrangement that didn't work out the way they were hoping, and so they want to change.
I would be placing new hives on the property...either packages, or nucs, and would like any advice as to how many starts it would take to pollinate this orchard. Would two new hives be sufficient, or should I start with more?
Apples bloom in early May here, which is not to long after I could get the packages or nucs, so I dont know how well they would pollinate the first year.
Thanks for any advice.