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Author Topic: How to pollinate fruit trees in an enclosed shadehouse  (Read 5609 times)
OzBuzz
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« on: September 05, 2012, 08:15:34 AM »

Hi folks, just wondering if you can give me some advice... I've just put two hives in to a fully enclosed shadehouse - it's quite large and there's plent of honey stores! There's also quite a few fruit trees in flower and a ready source of water... What are the risks? What should I look out for? And how should I manage them?
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2012, 11:19:28 AM »

Go into the enclosure and look up. By now you probably have several thousand bees trying to get out and they will probably die trying. I would move the bees out side. Let us know what you find.
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OzBuzz
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« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2012, 08:14:16 PM »

That was my concern - I'd love to move them oustide but, as mentioned, the enclosure is fully enclosed... I've situated the hives directly in front of the rows of fruit trees so the first thing they see when they fly out of the hive is the flowering fruit trees. I initially thought that each end of the shadehouse was open but upon delivery last night i found that wasn't the case... I don't think that the owner of the shadehouse has even built in the ability to open up any of the ends from the look of the design.

There are two doors on the facility that could potentially be opened and the hives placed in the door way facing in to the shadehouse which would allow the bees the possibility to fly outside as well. Would it be beneficial to have these doors open now? will they eventually find that as their way out?
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OzBuzz
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« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2012, 08:30:25 PM »







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AllenF
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« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2012, 08:54:35 PM »

So the sides are open, it's not a greenhouse.
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OzBuzz
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« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2012, 09:10:06 PM »

No, sadly, the sides aren't open at all  Sad in the initial photos i was sent i thought that the left and right side of the pictures were closed down to the ground and the front and back of the images were open - but that's not the case
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OzBuzz
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« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2012, 10:07:44 PM »

The farm manager sent me through some pictures this morning! it seems that they've started working the flowers and returning to the hive - but there are some that have gone to the shade cloth apparently less than 100 over the whole structure... is this something that they will realise isn't an option or will they just keep on doing it? any thoughts/input much appreciated...















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divemaster1963
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« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2012, 11:12:13 PM »

what is the height of the ceiling? bees will circle up to orient their flight. some go higher than others. try placing a shield over the hives that is about 1 1/2 to 2 meters long to drive their flight path down. this may help in training their path to stay lower but they may still go high on the return flight to the hive.

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the-ecohouse.com
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« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2012, 05:09:07 AM »

Hey Oz

just place the hives outside of the shade area, the bees will find the best way in and out,

I wouldn't put the hives "under or in" the shade house.

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rawfind
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« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2012, 06:38:20 PM »

Hey Oz

just place the hives outside of the shade area, the bees will find the best way in and out,

I wouldn't put the hives "under or in" the shade house.


I reckon eco is on the money, they only need a small gap to find a way in , maybe the owner could make a few small holes?
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OzBuzz
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« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2012, 08:20:03 PM »

Hey Oz

just place the hives outside of the shade area, the bees will find the best way in and out,

I wouldn't put the hives "under or in" the shade house.



I suggested that! even gave the whole spiel that it will be better in the long term for the hive and the pollination etc etc but they've insisted that the hives have to remain fully inside this shadehouse! There's also absolutely no gaps or ability to make gaps without taking to it with a knife! this thing is sealed tight! it's a massive structure! over 3,000m2 with ceiling height of at least 10m... the orchard manager is keeping a close eye on the hives and they've been seen to be working the flowers. He's said at the end of each day he'll walk around to shake any bees off the cloth with the hope that they give up and fly back to the hive. There hasn't been huge numbers on the cloth in the last day (maximum of about 100 over the whole structure) and the beehives have been positioned right in front of the flowering trees so hopefully they're working on the proviso that it's easier flying to the closest pollen/nectar source than flying any distance. Saying that we haven't had a really warm day yet that will get the hive really moving! There's heaps of honey in the hive so they're not going to starve out - it's just determining the best way to get them to work the flowering trees rather than wanting to go out through the shade cloth. I think part of my management plan will have to be rotating hives through along with closely monitoring populations etc. At the moment the hives are supposed to be there for 8 weeks... I'm more than happy for any thoughts/input...
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OzBuzz
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« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2012, 07:23:05 PM »

Is there any material/colour that could be used to mark some exits from the shade house that the bees would be able to clearly see? Apparently there are some gaps around the structure that a few bees have been able to get out of but not back in to the hive. Similarly, could a pipe be run from the hive to the outside world that would give them a way to work outside of the hive as well? Theoretically bees working the flowers of the fruit trees should fly straight back to the hive so they should head to the walls (hopefully). The cloth on the structure itself isn't solid material - its more like a chain mesh so, I guess, it may even be possible that the bees can squeeze through the holes maybe - all dependent on the mesh size I guess. Any thoughts much appreciated...
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bernsad
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« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2012, 04:01:53 AM »

I wonder how much of the shade cloth they can see. I mean, from the outside, how much of a distinction can they make, or what landmarks can they see to navigate back in. I would think ti wouldn't matter too much what colour you made the entrance, just so long as you distinguish it from the surrounding expanse of cloth. Although I seem to recall they don't see red all that well but I reckon white or yellow would work well. Maybe you could also erect a landmark above your hives so they have something else to orient to.

You stated in an earlier post that you were thinking of rotating hives through the term of the contract. What is your reasoning for this? I would have thought there will be an initial huge learning curve for each new hive that gets placed on location but the newly emerging bees from an in-situ hive will have less of a learning curve. As long as your population numbers stay fair I would be inclined to leave the same hives there.
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Jim 134
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« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2012, 05:32:34 AM »

Hey Oz

just place the hives outside of the shade area, the bees will find the best way in and out,

I wouldn't put the hives "under or in" the shade house.



I suggested that! even gave the whole spiel that it will be better in the long term for the hive and the pollination etc etc but they've insisted that the hives have to remain fully inside this shadehouse! There's also absolutely no gaps or ability to make gaps without taking to it with a knife! this thing is sealed tight! it's a massive structure! over 3,000m2 with ceiling height of at least 10m... the orchard manager is keeping a close eye on the hives and they've been seen to be working the flowers. He's said at the end of each day he'll walk around to shake any bees off the cloth with the hope that they give up and fly back to the hive. There hasn't been huge numbers on the cloth in the last day (maximum of about 100 over the whole structure) and the beehives have been positioned right in front of the flowering trees so hopefully they're working on the proviso that it's easier flying to the closest pollen/nectar source than flying any distance. Saying that we haven't had a really warm day yet that will get the hive really moving! There's heaps of honey in the hive so they're not going to starve out - it's just determining the best way to get them to work the flowering trees rather than wanting to go out through the shade cloth. I think part of my management plan will have to be rotating hives through along with closely monitoring populations etc. At the moment the hives are supposed to be there for 8 weeks... I'm more than happy for any thoughts/input...


Are saying this shade house is about 10m to the ceiling and about 3,000m square Huh


     BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley 

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Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA. http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/
OzBuzz
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« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2012, 07:01:37 AM »


Are saying this shade house is about 10m to the ceiling and about 3,000m square Huh


     BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley  



That's correct Jim about 10m tall and 3,000sqm - it's massive! The manager is sending me some specs on the cloth they use! It's more for bird and hail protection than for shade or warmth.

I wonder the same things Bernsad... I see your point in regard leaving the hives in and not rotating! I just hate the thought that some of my babies might not be getting home because of me Sad
« Last Edit: September 08, 2012, 09:05:46 AM by OzBuzz » Logged
Jim 134
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« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2012, 07:08:11 PM »


Are saying this shade house is about 10m to the ceiling and about 3,000m square Huh


     BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley  



That's correct Jim about 10m tall and 3,000sqm - it's massive! The manager is sending me some specs on the cloth they use! It's more for bird and hail protection than for shade or warmth.

I wonder the same things Bernsad... I see your point in regard leaving the hives in and not rotating! I just hate the thought that some of my babies might not be getting home because of me Sad

 So as at 3 Hectares or 9 Hectares  Huh  1 Hectare = 2.47105381 Acres


       BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
« Last Edit: September 08, 2012, 07:21:59 PM by Jim 134 » Logged

"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/
malachii
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« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2012, 09:19:50 PM »

It 3/4 acre - There's near enough to 4000 square metres to the acre.

It's not unusual to have very large areas under netting like that around here.  We have a cherry farm close to us that has 5 acres under netting to keep out birds and hail - costs big $$$.  Although their netting is slightly larger than shade cloth to allow the insects in and out but keeps birds and hail out.

malachii
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OzBuzz
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« Reply #17 on: September 09, 2012, 12:52:19 AM »

Does it definitely let bees through it malachii? I'll have the specs of this actual cloth tomorrow to know for sure
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bernsad
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« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2012, 01:14:22 AM »

You should probably be able to tell just by looking at it Oz. If it looks like a giant queen excluder or coarser, then the bees can get through, if it is finer than that, approaching a shadecloth type of mesh then it will keep them out. I use a shadecloth surround around some of my hive to force the girls up into the air so they don't bother the kids in the backyard.

I understand your feeling about some of the girls not getting home but I think your losses will be higher if you keep changing over the hives.
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100 TD
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« Reply #19 on: September 09, 2012, 09:40:17 PM »

What rate are you getting per hive per week?
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