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Author Topic: Effects of trucking?  (Read 1003 times)
OldMech
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« on: October 28, 2013, 09:44:48 AM »



   We have friends that own blueberry land, and our discussion came around to the bees they have hauled in for pollination...
   I did a search on the web, but have been unable to find anything pertaining to the effects the constant traveling has on the bees and hives.
   As I understand it, the trucks stop two places to pollinate before arriving in Maine from Florida.. They set up the hives and leave them for a few weeks.. then they load them up and head off elsewhere...   Often, after the trucks leave, there are THOUSANDS of bees clustered near where the hives were situated...  so I wondered just how many bees are lost? (and left in the hives?)
   How "strong" are those hives when they arrive from Florida?
   Does the travel and forced incarceration cause losses during the trip?

   In effect..  would they be better off having 20 hives of bees they cared for themselves per field as opposed to 40 hives that were trucked in?
   Thanks for any insight!!!
 
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39 Hives and growing.  Havent found the end of the comfort zone yet.
Moots
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« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2013, 11:02:54 PM »

OldMech,
I think there's little argument that the travel adds stress to the bees, I think this stress is often considered as at least one possible variable in CCD.  As with most things, follow the money trail...that's where there's money to be made, so people do it.  There was a gentleman who was at our LBC meeting a few months ago, he sent 500 hives to Florida for pollination and lost ALL of them. 

I think there's a few problems with your "why don't they just keep bees" option.  First, They are farmers, not beekeepers...And Second, a lot of these crops are the only thing for miles around, outside of the pollination window for that particular crop, there's NOTHING for the bees to forage.
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"We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
                                                                                                                   - Ronald Reagan
OldMech
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« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2013, 01:21:37 AM »

Thanks Moots...   Loosing 500 hives had to hurt... like, on your knees throwing up hurt.....
   Part of my confusion stems from having talked with a couple of beekeepers in Maine while I was there..  They had a really wet year, but the bees seemed to do well considering.   I know from when i lived there it is a good environment for bees...   Then, when I learned how much they PAY to have their fields pollinated, I was dang near floored...   The wild blueberry fields dont encompass several hundreds of acres like an orange grove.. Almonds etc... The fields are in patches spread about, One field may be 40 acres, one field may be 130 acres, so the bees will have other options, unlike those big plantations...

   For the money they pay, they could LEARN to be beekeepers.. the loss of pollination in the first couple of years would hardly be as much as they paid for the traveling hive circus.  I would like to say that I didnt harbor any grudge to those fellas making a living that way... but when they left, if they had damaged hives etc, they just left them...  I kicked through the remains, and actually assembled four complete hives WITH bees at one of the sites.. much to the amazement of said friends... who remained back at the truck, with the windows rolled up..... I found half a dozen Empty, all plastic frames per hive.. the cheap ones, with not a spec of comb built on them... which tells me those hives werent anywhere near full strength, much less properly built up to be charging that kind of money...    I didnt say anything, because I know too little about how it all works, but I just got this kind of gut feeling that they werent getting what they paid for.....   Plus.. It galls me to see bees treated that way.
 
   
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39 Hives and growing.  Havent found the end of the comfort zone yet.
RHBee
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« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2013, 03:17:09 AM »

You have to remember,  commercial beekeeping is just different. We are able to slow down and enjoy our bees. These guys just treat bees like livestock. Think pigs. That's why I don't want to get more than 2 or 3 hundred colonies. I don't want to do pollenation just bee products.
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Ray
Moots
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« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2013, 03:51:26 AM »

OldMech,
Your observations are very interesting, but I can't' really say that surprising...Again, I know very little about the whole process except for a few tidbits of information that I've picked up here and there.  But I'm thinking the old adage of "Buyer beware" applies here just like it does to most anything else.  While disappointing, the fact that some people game the system and short change customers for the sake of making an extra buck isn't shocking.   I have seen/heard where farmers leasing thees bees actually hire BEEKS to do inspections, obviously to guard against the type of attempts to short change them on what they're actually suppose to be getting in terms of colonies. 

As for your suggestion that they would probably be better of on a number of levels just learning to be Beeks themselves...There's probably some truth to that.  However, there's only so many hours in a day and they're probably busy doing other things that farmers need to get done.  They're investing money to attempt to solve a problem because they either don't have the time, effort, and desire it would take to do it themselves, or simple put, they hold those things at a higher value than the money they are spending to try and pay to have it done.
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"We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
                                                                                                                   - Ronald Reagan
OldMech
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« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2013, 11:29:40 PM »

Yeah.. I suppose when you have thousands of colonies, its like having millions of dollars.. money doesnt mean anything to you anymore..
  I mentioned inspecting the hives, but...  As you said Moots... they have other priorities that rank a lot higher on their list...   I guess our friends fall into the too much money to care about it category...  Still...   The money they pay would support three of us comfortably, and I think someone that CARED would do a much better job...
   Oh well... Back to figuring out why Obamacare demands I have insurance in case I get pregnant...................  Maybe I can talk my wife into trying harder to see if its really possible?Huh?
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39 Hives and growing.  Havent found the end of the comfort zone yet.
Moots
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« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2013, 12:28:53 AM »


   ...Oh well... Back to figuring out why Obamacare demands I have insurance in case I get pregnant...


OldMech,
Hate to jump off topic, and I'm sure you typed it tongue-in-cheek, but unfortunately, as sad as it is, this is the easiest question of all.

It's a big government sneaky way to fund yet another entitlement program.  Require folks to buy more expensive predefined insurance, with benefits they'll never want or need, and presto....you now have the money necessary to subsidize coverage, at least in theory, for the ever growing Entitlement "where's my free stuff" Crowd. 

Yet another creative way to take more money for the makers and funnel it to the takers of the country.  This is the most creative technique they've come up with since the concept of giving "tax refunds" to people who "DON'T PAY TAXES"! TRULY UNBELIEVABLY!!!

Yeah, I know you probably already know all this...I just find the opportunity to vent and actually type it out a bit therapeutic.  Thanks for listening, may apologies for moving "off topic" from the OP....stepping off soapbox! grin
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"We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
                                                                                                                   - Ronald Reagan
OldMech
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« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2013, 12:47:34 AM »

No apology necessary.. I agree....and dont get me started.. I could type a ten page rant between this breath and the next.. but TRY to avoid it if I want to sleep in the next seven or eight hours..  I dont need to exercise to get my heart going, I just watch the news.
   There was a day when I had many friends from the left.. we could happily argue for hours over cocktails...   those days are over. Happily arguing has changed to outright violent anger.. from both sides.
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39 Hives and growing.  Havent found the end of the comfort zone yet.
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