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Author Topic: Canola hive rental price  (Read 1572 times)
OzBuzz
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« on: August 23, 2011, 05:17:16 AM »

Hi everybody,

Just wondering what the going rate for hives for Canola pollination are here in Australia? also, does the price vary between hybrid and non-hybrid varieties? also, what stocking rates do you use? A fact sheet from DPI NSW suggests 3 hives per hectare. Also, has anybody put hives on canola before? what should one look out for? I know it's quite an intensive crop because of the abundance of nectar and pollen and the subsequent rapid build up that produces. Any feedback appreciated...
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Pete
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« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2011, 06:57:56 AM »

Couple of things.

Canola is not a suitable food product for humans. Not sure about bees. http://www.smallfootprintfamily.com/2009/09/25/the-inconvenient-truth-about-canola-oil/

$50/$60 per hive is the rate apparently...depending on lot's of factors.

Even if the farmer you have a contract with isn't spraying insecticide, his neighbours might be?
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Johnny253
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« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2011, 08:57:06 AM »

OzBuzz, your bees will do well on the canola. You are right about the abundance of nectar and pollen, however it will make your bees a bit 'cranky' and canola honey is very poor quality.

3 hives per hectare sounds very excessive as does $50 to $60 per hive. I can't see too many farmers willing to pay that much since canola is pollinated with the wind anyway.

Pete seems a bit overcautious about canola oil and insecticides. Canola oil is not harmful and most canola grown in Australia is not genetically modified. The bees don't consume the oil anyway, they consume the nectar and pollen. Insecticides aren't generally used in canola at flowering time though they could be used in other crops. The risk of harm to your bees is probably no different to where they are now.

Do farmers have bean crops in your area?
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OzBuzz
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« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2011, 07:48:51 PM »

OzBuzz, your bees will do well on the canola. You are right about the abundance of nectar and pollen, however it will make your bees a bit 'cranky' and canola honey is very poor quality.

3 hives per hectare sounds very excessive as does $50 to $60 per hive. I can't see too many farmers willing to pay that much since canola is pollinated with the wind anyway.

Pete seems a bit overcautious about canola oil and insecticides. Canola oil is not harmful and most canola grown in Australia is not genetically modified. The bees don't consume the oil anyway, they consume the nectar and pollen. Insecticides aren't generally used in canola at flowering time though they could be used in other crops. The risk of harm to your bees is probably no different to where they are now.

Do farmers have bean crops in your area?

Thanks Johnny,

Cranky  Cry how cranky? while working the canola should inspections be carried out weekly? also, the colonies are going in strong but there is still some room to expand. Given we're still getting some cold nights i'm not wanting to put more boxes on until they really need it. I'm hoping to have all of my hives on there as doubles - they're going in as singles. How quickly can they fill a box with canola nectar/pollen (obviously it's population dependent etc). The stocking rate of 3 hives per hectare i obtained from the RIRDC Case Study and the farmer has agreed to that rate and we've negotiated a good price - the RIRDC suggested that, under ideal conditions, with hives stocked at that rate, you can see up to a 46% increase in seed production. So the honey isn't really of any commercial value? So for honey production the ideal situation would be to move them on to another nectar source post canola. Typically how long do the Canola flower for and what's the right time to introduce them to the crop?

The Farmer has told me that he hates any insecticides/pesticides and for that reason refuses to use them - all he does is apply some fertiliser early on in the plants development. Thankfully his farm is massive so there's a huge buffer of land around where the hives will be and that is pasture - all of the farms outside of that are stock farms. My only concern is that where the hives are going to be is within a sheep paddock - do sheep rub up against hives?

I haven't seen any bean crops in my area...
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asprince
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« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2011, 08:10:45 PM »

I place my hives on canola every spring. Hive growth will be explosive! The honey is very light and tasty but it crystallizes rapidly. The wax they draw will be pretty and white. Although the farmer get higher crop yields, they do not pay for pollination of canola. If the truth be know, commercial beeks would probably pay to place they hives on canola.

Steve
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OzBuzz
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« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2011, 09:16:04 PM »

So how do you manage your hives when they're on the Canola steve?

I place my hives on canola every spring. Hive growth will be explosive! The honey is very light and tasty but it crystallizes rapidly. The wax they draw will be pretty and white. Although the farmer get higher crop yields, they do not pay for pollination of canola. If the truth be know, commercial beeks would probably pay to place they hives on canola.

Steve
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asprince
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« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2011, 09:42:11 PM »

I check them weekly and split often. The brood nest get honey bound quickly. I sometimes extract all honey in the brood nest so my queens will have plenty of open cells to lay. They can fill a honey super in days.

Steve
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Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resembalance to the first. - Ronald Reagan
Pete
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« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2011, 11:02:34 PM »

OzBuzz, your bees will do well on the canola. You are right about the abundance of nectar and pollen, however it will make your bees a bit 'cranky' and canola honey is very poor quality.

3 hives per hectare sounds very excessive as does $50 to $60 per hive. I can't see too many farmers willing to pay that much since canola is pollinated with the wind anyway.

Pete seems a bit overcautious about canola oil and insecticides. Canola oil is not harmful and most canola grown in Australia is not genetically modified. The bees don't consume the oil anyway, they consume the nectar and pollen. Insecticides aren't generally used in canola at flowering time though they could be used in other crops. The risk of harm to your bees is probably no different to where they are now.

Do farmers have bean crops in your area?

There is much left to understand about bees, particularly the impact of agricultural practises.  Canola Oil, like many heavily refined products (Corn Syrup for eg) should be consumed with awareness and caution. I posted that link because i think it's interesting to discuss the production of the purest food product (honey) with those at the other end of the scale, GM crops. (Canoloa is Genetically Modified rapeseed).

Check out https://rirdc.infoservices.com.au/items/08-058 which is a study into the pollination market by economic researchers in Australia with a view to understanding the impact of the inevitable introduction of varoa etc.

$50 or $60 is nothing when you consider the overhead and the value added by pollination, to particular crops. 
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Johnny253
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« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2011, 08:49:38 AM »

OzBuzz, I am a farmer and a beekeeper. We have more than 600 hectares of canola planted, so going by your stocking rate, this could accomodate 1800 hives! I don't specifically place my bees near the canola but I can't stop them from venturing into the the canola fields while it's flowering. It's definitely good for building up your hives and I'd be interested to hear if you notice a change of temperament.

Our canola has been flowering for the last couple of weeks and will continue to flower for a month or so.

All canola grown in SA is non-GM as GM crops are banned in SA. It is naturally bred originating from rapeseed. The only real difference is that the name was changed. I'm pretty sure that GM canola is limited to very small areas in other states of Australia, though GM canola is widespread in Canada and the US. I agree that it is interesting.

I would never put my hives in a paddock with stock in it. You might want to fence off a small area for them.
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OzBuzz
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« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2011, 06:48:28 PM »

Thanks Johnny, i really appreciate your reply! i will let you know about the temperament change - if any...

The farm where i'm putting the hives is just starting to burst some flowers here and there - we're going to be putting the hives on toward the end of next week.

How do you find hive management when they're venturing in to the canola? i know it's going to be intensive but we're just trying to figure out our game plan at the moment as to whether we add boxes and manipulate frames or whether we extract while on the crop... Most of my hives are going in as singles but i'm preparing so that i will add a second box whilst on the crop. I'm hoping not to have to add a third... we're going to do weekly inspections.

The farmer that i'm working with is very organic conscious - he doesn't use, and in fact hates, pesticides and only uses fertiliser as part of his preparations... he has a hybrid planting but i'm not 100% sure if it's GM or not - he did say that the supplier has advised him that if he plants the seed then it will regress - scare tactic maybe - GM - maybe... we're going to look at getting some electrical fence tape and posts to fence off the area where the hives will be...
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Pete
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« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2011, 10:59:19 PM »

Might be useful?

http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0013/117112/bee-on-canoloa.pdf
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Mardak
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« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2011, 06:59:16 AM »

Greenpeace stole some frames from a commercial beek down near Geelong about eighteen months ago and when the honey was evaluated, by a laboratory, they went very quiet about the ?? GM residues. The science currently available tells us that the issue of GM or normal canola varieties have no measureable differences. Police at the time had said that the thieves were probably brought in from O/S  and flown out more or less on the next flight so any possible arrest or charges for theft or trespass were unlikely or too costly to pursue over the matter. This info at least reduced any concerns about what GM canola was goib to do to a natural product such as honey. the public and unimformed amy have differing opinions but what the heck for the time being.
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