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Alex

Kiwifruit Pollination

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Hi, I am going to do pollination for kiwifruit orchards in the Bay of Plenty and it would be very helpful if someone could tell me about the current rates. I've been told that for non-covered orchards the price is $210-220, is that right? Also, I went to the conference and saw the Zespri stand about the pollination of netted orchards using small hives with 4 frames with bees and 2 frames with brood only, someone has an idea of how much to charge for this service?

Thanks

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Hi, I am going to do pollination for kiwifruit orchards in the Bay of Plenty and it would be very helpful if someone could tell me about the current rates. I've been told that for non-covered orchards the price is $210-220, is that right? Also, I went to the conference and saw the Zespri stand about the pollination of netted orchards using small hives with 4 frames with bees and 2 frames with brood only, someone has an idea of how much to charge for this service?

Thanks

Sorry I can't help you with prices as we have stopped doing this service a while ago. Our hives were always damaged by spray residues, and some we never got a honey crop from after pollination. We are Franklin district..

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Sorry I can't help you with prices as we have stopped doing this service a while ago. Our hives were always damaged by spray residues, and some we never got a honey crop from after pollination. We are Franklin district..

Thanks anyway, I am aware of the risks but I will give it a try this year and see how it goes, it is a profitable alternative if you don't have access to manuka.

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@Kiwifruiter would be the go to guy for that. I'm pretty sure he discussed prices on this forum. A search should lead to what you want to find out.

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@Kiwifruiter would be the go to guy for that. I'm pretty sure he discussed prices on this forum. A search should lead to what you want to find out.

While (given my user name) this is a very good assumption I am not as useful as you would think. All of my kiwifruiting has been under net in Hawkes bay... So a slightly different pot of honey....

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Thanks anyway, I am aware of the risks but I will give it a try this year and see how it goes, it is a profitable alternative if you don't have access to manuka.

We don't do manuka, we do cutcomb pasture honey, we export, Dad has done so for 50 odd years now, he's president of Comb Honey Producers...

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We don't do manuka, we do cutcomb pasture honey, we export, Dad has done so for 50 odd years now, he's president of Comb Honey Producers...

That sound very interesting and it's of the alternatives that I'm handling, this year for me is about recovering the investment and keep growing,so, I need something that provides an ensured outcome such as pollination, I know that there is a bit of risk associated but I'm prepared to take it and at the same time explore other alternatives without taking any risks. I will also sell nucs and hives like last season.

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Just some info I have seen in a local rag...a small engineering company in Whakatane is working on an artificial pollinator for the kiwifruit industry,trials have been happening for a season or two already I think,will be interesting to see how this pans out and what it could possibly mean for the future.

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Just some info I have seen in a local rag...a small engineering company in Whakatane is working on an artificial pollinator for the kiwifruit industry,trials have been happening for a season or two already I think,will be interesting to see how this pans out and what it could possibly mean for the future.

At the conference I heard the Zespri lady talking about a trial with an artificial pollinator and she said that it was too effective and that wasn't that good for the plant but probably in a future someone will come up with a good system. I don't know if the pollen supply will be enough for everyone to move away from bees though.

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At the conference I heard the Zespri lady talking about a trial with an artificial pollinator and she said that it was too effective and that wasn't that good for the plant but probably in a future someone will come up with a good system. I don't know if the pollen supply will be enough for everyone to move away from bees though.

The problem is labour supply to harvest the pollen-It needs to be an exact point of the male flower opening and the plants flower over about 2 weeks. I think it will become the standard for netted orchards but non netted will still use bees and male vines. (Standard blowen pollen still needs beehives fyi)

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At the conference I heard the Zespri

 

 

Yea I think the orchards they have been trialling in are Zespri...###### I missed that speel.I was only able to go on Sunday..and even then still had to come home early...:mad:

 

 

(Standard blowen pollen still needs beehives fyi)

Good to know then..

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In all honesty, I know it is a lot of money to the beekeeping community, I think kiwifruit will not be bee pollinated for that long. Given the cost of hives, tight timeframes and the fact that the kiwifurit kicks the crap out of the hives, the price will rise until it will become better to use artificial pollination.

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I missed that speel.I was only able to go on Sunday

I also went only for Sunday but I listened to her talking to another beekeeper, I don't think think that their explanation about bees mortality in covered orchards is correct, they say that using smaller hives will result in less mortality but I think that the ratio will be the same only that you'll have less dead bees because the hives are weaker.

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I also went only for Sunday but I listened to her talking to another beekeeper

Wheww...:eek: thought I might have been caught out having a wee snooze

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I also went only for Sunday but I listened to her talking to another beekeeper, I don't think think that their explanation about bees mortality in covered orchards is correct, they say that using smaller hives will result in less mortality but I think that the ratio will be the same only that you'll have less dead bees because the hives are weaker.

Do field bees form a Nuc behave differently to a full size hive?

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Do field bees form a Nuc behave differently to a full size hive?

Yep, theres not many and they are focused on pollen more than nectar hence the idea of nucs under hail netting. the foragers arent there in any great numbers so they dont get lost or if they do the loss isnt as great for the nuc colony.

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Yep, theres not many and they are focused on pollen more than nectar hence the idea of nucs under hail netting. the foragers arent there in any great numbers so they dont get lost or if they do the loss isnt as great for the nuc colony.

They could also be spread out a lot more in the block, each nuc only doing a dozen bays. Imagine a big block tho lol

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@Alex contact @Dennis Crowley for advise on pollination costs, techniques etc.

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Yep, theres not many and they are focused on pollen more than nectar

I hadn't heard of this before. Has it been discussed here ?

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I hadn't heard of this before. Has it been discussed here ?

No, it's ground breaking research and I shouldn't have said anything.....

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No, it's ground breaking research and I shouldn't have said anything.....

Cant be that ground breaking, I had heard about it ;-) And I wasnt even at conference!

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Cant be that ground breaking, I had heard about it ;) And I wasnt even at conference!

Sorry, that was my weird humor, I should have put a smiley in there.

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dansar you are right, the theory with the small nucs is that they also dont need to be sugar feed as long as they have food on board but put a pollen pattie in them. They then can be spread around the orchards as you dont need to feed them. As for the exact number per hectare still needs to be worked out, a work in progress.

 

Alex prices for open orchards $180 upwards , nucs in netted ? normal hives under nets $350 upwards

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No, it's ground breaking research and I shouldn't have said anything.....

 

 

WEre you at the conference? A few made reference to which bees gather the pollen.

Basically it is the nurse bees who have finished their duties in the hive and venture out to the field. They do pollen before they do nectar, it is an age thing,

Zespri went as far as saying do nukes, pick it up in the day time and leave the field bees behind in one of your big hives they said in private conversation they are telling the orchardist they will have to pay the same as a big hive due to the splitting work they will need twice as many, their wall charts say no syrup feeding but need a pollen supplement in, to keep the brood fed.

It was pointed out to them (Zespri) in private conversation that one would get over twice as much selling a nuk to the manuka boys. However if one considers about all the facts there is plenty for the inovative to think about

 

 

@dansar I missed the monday, what is the ground breaking (secret) research?

 

Sorry looks like I only read the first page, before posting

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WEre you at the conference? A few made reference to which bees gather the pollen.

Basically it is the nurse bees who have finished their duties in the hive and venture out to the field. They do pollen before they do nectar, it is an age thing,

Zespri went as far as saying do nukes, pick it up in the day time and leave the field bees behind in one of your big hives they said in private conversation they are telling the orchardist they will have to pay the same as a big hive due to the splitting work they will need twice as many, their wall charts say no syrup feeding but need a pollen supplement in, to keep the brood fed.

It was pointed out to them (Zespri) in private conversation that one would get over twice as much selling a nuk to the manuka boys. However if one considers about all the facts there is plenty for the inovative to think about

 

 

@dansar I missed the monday, what is the ground breaking (secret) research?

 

Sorry looks like I only read the first page, before posting

 

Yes I was there. The other idea was as you said, to move hives for pollination during the day and leave the bulk of the field bees behind.

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