Potential Pollination Problem

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Potential Pollination Problem

GDR
Mar 25, 2020 | 13:11 1 My wife has a few honey bee hives as a hobby, the buzz in the bis is new bees have been cancelled. In Alberta there are a little over 300,000 hives. Each year 75,000 new packages of bees are brought in to replace hives that have been lost to keep numbers static. Along with new queens to split existing hives and replace old queens. 98% come from New Zealand, this week the orders have been cancelled as transportation has become an issue with airlines shut down. A bit of panic with commercial beekepers.

Not sure if a 25% reduction in bees would have any impact on crops but an interesting problem to think about. Reply With Quote
Mar 25, 2020 | 13:19 2 We keep some bees. Ordered more from a nearby keeper. In all honesty, honeybees aren’t amazing pollinators really. It takes a pile of hives per acre to affect yields much. I think it is something like 1 or two hives can pollinate an acre fully. Not many crops need bees, canola just needs some wind, flax isn’t bee attractive, faba beans are self pollinating etc.

It is the leaf cutters for certain crops that are pollinating machines... Reply With Quote

  • Mar 25, 2020 | 13:23 3 Cherries and other fruits have way higher dependence. Reply With Quote
    Mar 25, 2020 | 13:27 4 Yes and market rebounding nicely , all brokers lookin for bees this year
    Their limitation of course , is temp , which this long term temp cooling thing isnt helping
    Alfalfa back to a buck a pound
    King of the pollinators is the bumble bee , but very little luck has been had domesticating them Reply With Quote
    GDR
    Mar 25, 2020 | 13:33 5
    Quote Originally Posted by caseih View Post
    Yes and market rebounding nicely , all brokers lookin for bees this year
    Their limitation of course , is temp , which this long term temp cooling thing isnt helping
    Alfalfa back to a buck a pound
    King of the pollinators is the bumble bee , but very little luck has been had domesticating them
    We had more bumble bees last summer than I've ever seen, they were just everywhere. Reply With Quote
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  • GDR
    Mar 25, 2020 | 13:36 6
    Quote Originally Posted by Sheepwheat View Post
    We keep some bees. Ordered more from a nearby keeper. In all honesty, honeybees aren’t amazing pollinators really. It takes a pile of hives per acre to affect yields much. I think it is something like 1 or two hives can pollinate an acre fully. Not many crops need bees, canola just needs some wind, flax isn’t bee attractive, faba beans are self pollinating etc.

    It is the leaf cutters for certain crops that are pollinating machines...
    You are likely right, but I do have a couple neighbors that firmly believe they get a yield bump on their canola and have the comml beekeepers juggle the hives to their fields. Reply With Quote
    Mar 25, 2020 | 16:18 7
    Quote Originally Posted by GDR View Post
    You are likely right, but I do have a couple neighbors that firmly believe they get a yield bump on their canola and have the comml beekeepers juggle the hives to their fields.
    They might get a bump, but canola is so efficient at self pollinating by wind, it could be a placebo effect. I read that even at the optimal hive per acre rates, yield increases are very minimal, like in the single percent increases. I sure can’t see a hundred hives hurting, that’s for sure.

    But who cares? It’s all about the honey anyway! Lol yummy honey!

    Bees are one of the most interesting things going on on our farm. Just absolutely fascinating and amazing how they work and live! Waiting for above zero to take a peek at our hives and see how they wintered. I can hear them humming on calm days so that’s encouraging.

    More people should have bees regardless, just for the interest value and teaching for the kids. Reply With Quote
    Mar 25, 2020 | 16:21 8 Upon further reading, I see quite a bit of info that yields CAN be increased by 5 to even 20%. I was wrong.

    Huh. I’m almost never wrong... lol Reply With Quote
    Mar 25, 2020 | 16:54 9
    Quote Originally Posted by GDR View Post
    We had more bumble bees last summer than I've ever seen, they were just everywhere.
    Interesting. Same here in southern Ontario. Apple and locust trees in our yard were swarmed with them. Reply With Quote
    Mar 25, 2020 | 17:09 10
    Quote Originally Posted by burnt View Post
    Interesting. Same here in southern Ontario. Apple and locust trees in our yard were swarmed with them.
    NE Sask was the same last summer Reply With Quote
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  • Mar 25, 2020 | 17:16 11 interesting , all the mud slinging honey producers in some provinces over Neonics and chemicals farmers use, may come back to haunt them when they try to get support on TFW issue ? It was almost if some forgot who was making payments on the land Reply With Quote
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