The Importance of Pollination
Honeybees are responsible for pollinating almost one-third of the food that ends up on our plates. They are the pollinator of choice for hundreds of crops including almonds, apples, peaches, cucumbers, pumpkins, cranberries, and blueberries. Commercial growers have hundreds of colonies moved to their field or orchard during the blooming period because they know that having the appropriate pollinator density will dramatically improve fruit-set and fruit quality. Well-pollinated plants produce large symmetric fruits that can command a premium from consumers. The need for managed pollination services has increased dramatically as wild honeybee colonies and native pollinators have been wiped out by new diseases. The "recommended" number of colonies per acre for crops that require pollination is continually revised upward as wild honeybees and bumblebees decline in number and cannot be counted on to augment pollination to the degree they once could.
Commercial beekeepers with hundreds or thousands of colonies will place their hives in orchards and fields for a fee during the blooming period. Smaller growers are typically at a disadvantage, however, because large beekeepers are unwilling to service an orchard or field that is only a few acres and doesn't require hundreds of hives.
Golden Hills will provide small-scale pollination services for your farm or garden. We anticipate serving customers who require less than 10 hives for their pollination needs although we welcome your inquiries regardless of the size of your operation.
Pricing is negotiated on an individual basis based on a number of factors including:
- The time of year the colonies are required
- The number of colonies required
- The duration of the blooming season
- The crop to be pollinated
- Plants that produce a honey crop typically have a lower pollination fee, everything else held equal.
- Pesticides/herbicides/fungicides applied
- These crop treatments can kill bees. Depending on the compound and the time it is to be applied, bees may need to be sealed in their hives overnight or removed from the site for up to several days. Both of those requirements can substantially increase the rental cost due to the risk and labor involved.
Every crop has individual recommendations for the number of hives that should be present per acre as well as how the hives should be placed in the field. This can vary substantially from crop to crop. Please contact us for an individual quote and recommendations for your situation.
While requirements for each situation vary considerably, we guarantee that we will provide the agreed upon number of hives on time and that they will meet the individual colony strength agreed upon. We welcome you to inspect the hives within 10 days after they are placed on location or to bring in a knowledgeable third-party beekeeper to assess the strength of these colonies.
For more information, please contact us.