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Author Topic: Pollination contracts?  (Read 5878 times)
jdnewberry
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« on: February 10, 2011, 11:34:01 PM »

Okay...  I have a few questions about pollination contracts.

I have been beekeeping as a hobby for 16 years, now.  I have 24 hives with 20 dedicated to the the Sourwood flow.  Sourwood is a fairly profitable flow around here and I can usually gross $15,000/year off of these hives.  here's what I'm interested in finding out:

With 20 hives, could it be as profitable as my sourwood flow?

Are there many crops that would no longer require pollination by July 4?  This would allow me to "double up" and still catch my flow.

How do you folks go about locating farmers in need of pollination?  Is this something that the local ag extension can help with?

What would be considered a standard hive count per acre?  Is there even such a thing?
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Vetch
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« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2011, 06:22:38 AM »

Haven't worked that end myself, but it is an interesting question.

According to this source, the average in the US for almonds is 2 hives / acre.
http://www.rirdc.gov.au/programs/established-rural-industries/pollination/almond.cfm

For blueberries, 1 hive per 2 acres (1/2 hive/acre) up to 2 hives per acre.
http://berrygrape.org/blueberry-pollination/

Fees per hive for pollination in almonds was around $80 a year in 2005, but has been around $150 a year in 2008 and 2009. The price of almonds and the number of beeks who show up with hives affects the pollination fees quite a bit.
http://www.beeculture.com/storycms/index.cfm?cat=Story&recordID=666

In Canada (where their dollar is about equal to ours), hive fees for apple and blueberry has been around $100 while canola has been around $120 to $160.
http://www.honeycouncil.ca/index.php/managing_bees_for_pollination

Not sure what crops are closer that you would go after (pumpkins, melons, peaches, etc) or what they typically pay.

Assuming $100 per hive, you might be able to gross $2400 for 24 hives. Assuming $150 per hive, you might be able to gross $3,600 for your 24 hives. Then you need to subtract your costs.

How much does it cost to move your hives to the site and then back again? Standard rate for travel in a passenger vehicle is $0.50 a mile, a flat bed truck is probably going to cost more. Is overnight travel involved? Will the stress on the bees possibly reduce your income from the sourwood?

« Last Edit: February 11, 2011, 06:34:09 AM by Vetch » Logged
DCHoneybees
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« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2011, 06:25:43 PM »

Wow, I'm still picking myself up off the ground at the $15K profit on 20 hives...That's $750 PROFIT per hive.  That is some math I'd be really curious to hear about.  Is the driver huge amounts of honey per hive or substantial pricing?  Maybe we have to take this to a separate post....
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Countryboy
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« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2011, 10:39:35 PM »

I suspect that you're retailing the sourwood honey.  ($7.50/lb and 100lb/hive?)

To make that kind of gross doing pollinating, you would need to chase the bloom.  Do almond pollination in Feb, then start in the southern US, pollinating orchards for a week or two, and then moving north to another orchard, eventually ending up in Maine for the blueberries.

If you worked your butt off, you might be able to gross $750 a hive, but your net would be considerably less.

You could either develop your own contacts in each location, or you could hire a broker to find pollination contracts for you.  Different crops require a different hive set (# of hives per acre).

It would be much easier (and more profitable) to run another 20 hives in sourwood and keep growing that market.
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rdy-b
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« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2011, 12:39:59 AM »

Okay...  I have a few questions about pollination contracts.

I have been beekeeping as a hobby for 16 years, now.  I have 24 hives with 20 dedicated to the the Sourwood flow.  Sourwood is a fairly profitable flow around here and I can usually gross $15,000/year off of these hives.  here's what I'm interested in finding out:

With 20 hives, could it be as profitable as my sourwood flow?

Are there many crops that would no longer require pollination by July 4?  This would allow me to "double up" and still catch my flow.

How do you folks go about locating farmers in need of pollination?  Is this something that the local ag extension can help with?

What would be considered a standard hive count per acre?  Is there even such a thing?
you BEN doing this 16 years and you dont got the angels figured out yet-is your name Ben by any chance- cool-theres a guy named Ben from corryton -wonder if you met him in your 16 years of keeping-RDY-B
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Jim 134
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« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2011, 02:18:19 PM »

The rates in Massachusetts  for blueberries,cranberry and apples range from $65-85 per colony for pollination


   BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
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"Tell me and I'll forget,show me and I may  remember,involve me and I'll understand"
        Chinese Proverb

"The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways."
 John F. Kennedy
Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA. http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/
cam
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« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2011, 04:50:32 PM »

I'd love to get $80... got hung up on asking $40 for raspberries last week. I get $60 for apples and am not booked out.
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circle7 honey and pollination
Titus
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« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2011, 10:59:02 AM »

Dumb question, but are these prices per hive/per day, or per hive until the bloom is over? 
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cam
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« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2011, 12:20:34 PM »

From first bloom [or when the farmer wants you there] until petal drop. Usually about 3 weeks on most crops.
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circle7 honey and pollination
Jim 134
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« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2011, 12:21:44 PM »

This is no dumb questions    

Prices per hive/per crop

   BEE HAPPY Jim 134  Smiley
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"Tell me and I'll forget,show me and I may  remember,involve me and I'll understand"
        Chinese Proverb

"The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways."
 John F. Kennedy
Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA. http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/
wisnewbee
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« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2011, 06:47:21 AM »

I'm doing a sales presentation for a college advanced sales class I'm attending. The instructor, after rolling his eyes, agreed to let me do a sales presentation for honey bee pollination services. The only problem I've run into is getting my hands on a blank or sample contract. I have to have that for the presentation. Anyone have a pollination contract, or know where I can get a copy of one for this class? Thanks.

Bill
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AllenF
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« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2011, 08:48:06 PM »

http://www.ent.uga.edu/bees/pollination/sampleContract.pdf

http://www.hort.wisc.edu/cran/pubs_archive/proceedings/2004/Evaluating%20bees.pdf

www.allenkybees.com/pollination-contract.doc

http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/apiculture/forms/pollination_contract.pdf

Just a few.
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wisnewbee
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« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2011, 10:06:44 AM »

Thank you

Bill
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