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Alastair

Avocado Pollination Questions

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tristan    2,941
9 hours ago, Dave Black said:

and, in my view, the hives need to be at a much more advanced stage, not growing but grown.

i think thats something thats at odds with beeks in the north.

bit of a side issue i know, but certainly important in certain areas.

the amount of money we can loose doing avo pollination makes it unattractive to put in good hives.

 

also i wonder if the trees can handle more fruit on the tree ? 

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Dave Black    2,998
1 hour ago, tristan said:

i wonder if the trees can handle more fruit on the tree ? 

Fair question. Well, judging by the difference between trees, or by what can be carried in a good year vs a bad year, the answer would be yes. Maybe ten times as much would be challenging, but it doesn't have to be much to be a considerable improvement.

1 hour ago, tristan said:

the amount of money we can loose doing avo pollination makes it unattractive to put in good hives.

I'm not able to comment because you haven't explained this. I can't see why you would offer a commercial service at a loss. Here's a controversial suggestion. Any service, whether pollination or accountancy, should return a value that more than pays for the service, otherwise you've got nothing to offer. Pollination contractors are service providers not charities, but you have to sell and give good service.

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tristan    2,941
18 minutes ago, Dave Black said:

I'm not able to comment because you haven't explained this. I can't see why you would offer a commercial service at a loss.

sorry, i've explained it previously a while back.

here avo's compete with honey crops. one of the main reasons for doing pollination is making sure you get some income instead of no income. down side is you do loose a lot of income on good years, but its profitable on very bad years. 

we have pulled out of a lot of orchards. the lack of income, it upsets the ability to look after the hives well and that most are small orchards with very few hives which makes logistics a pain.

each orchard wants hives at different times and some want a few now, few later on etc. it makes for a lot of small uneconomic trips.

not to mention that the orchards can be a hot bed of AFB.

 

with competing honey crops, no one really wants to waste good producing hives on pollination unless its a terrible spring.

 

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Dave Black    2,998

Let's put aside Mom&Pop, avos-in-the-backyard type operations, which are always a pain. We're thinking about real commerce and 'Best Practice'.

 

So to deliberately spin what you are saying, you see avo pollination as a sort of cheap insurance to compensate for a substandard honey crop? Thinking like that I'm suprprised the growers aren't charging you!

 

In any diversified business one service always competes with another for resources, nothing special about that, but that one service might be break-even or loss making doesn't seem very useful. By 'wasting a good hive' I guess you mean the hive might be better employed gathering honey and you haven't the resources to do both at the same time. That may be, but your resource constraints don't change what's right from a technical perspective. 

 

I hear the same arguments here generally about kiwifruit, but there are enough operations happy to make good money from pollination by supplying a professional service so I think it's largely a matter of choice or management style rather than something inherently 'wrong' with pollination work. Sure the rise and fall of market values for the different services change priorities, but no business dines out with champagne all the time. Sometimes beer is just fine, and a lot better than being thirsty.

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yesbut    3,477
1 hour ago, Dave Black said:

Let's put aside Mom&Pop, avos-in-the-backyard type operations, which are always a pain.

Oi !! I represent that !!

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Dave Black    2,998
2 hours ago, yesbut said:

Oi !! I represent that !!

Whew. For a minute there I thought you might resent it.

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tristan    2,941
10 hours ago, Dave Black said:

By 'wasting a good hive' I guess you mean the hive might be better employed gathering honey and you haven't the resources to do both at the same time.

you either put hive into pollination and get some income for spring or put it in honey where there is more risk but a lot more income, you also could put it into manuka and possibly make substantially more.

10 hours ago, Dave Black said:

I hear the same arguments here generally about kiwifruit,

that surprising. i would pick kiwifruit being a whole lot easier due to the much shorter time the are in. certainly there is management issues but that can be done.

you can put them into honey after.

with avo they can be in for so long you miss a big part of the season.

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Alastair    4,329

Went to the avocado orchard yesterday, the flowering is almost over. The bees are certainly all over the trees the whole orchard is humming, but the hives have got zilch out of it, in fact they have less than last time I was there. Some very strong hives but only one out of 32 building swarm cells, which I attribute to the lack of flow.

 

The orchard manager told me the flowering in this orchard is all over in 3 to 4 weeks. He is very happy with the set rate he has been pulling flowers apart to see if fruit is setting and thinks this is the best set he has seen in the ten years he has worked this orchard.

 

He also told me the last beekeeper never got any honey from the avocados, but left his hives there all summer because they got a good crop later. Maybe I'll do the same and see what happens.

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M4tt    2,597
On 11/10/2017 at 12:59 PM, Alastair said:

Went to the avocado orchard yesterday, the flowering is almost over. The bees are certainly all over the trees the whole orchard is humming, but the hives have got zilch out of it, in fact they have less than last time I was there. Some very strong hives but only one out of 32 building swarm cells, which I attribute to the lack of flow.

 

The orchard manager told me the flowering in this orchard is all over in 3 to 4 weeks. He is very happy with the set rate he has been pulling flowers apart to see if fruit is setting and thinks this is the best set he has seen in the ten years he has worked this orchard.

 

He also told me the last beekeeper never got any honey from the avocados, but left his hives there all summer because they got a good crop later. Maybe I'll do the same and see what happens.

Sounds similar to blueberry pollination, except I need to feed a couple of litres of syrup per week . The hives get very strong , but store nothing 

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yesbut    3,477
On 10/11/2017 at 12:59 PM, Alastair said:

Went to the avocado orchard yesterday, the flowering is almost over.

Mine's about a week away from starting.

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kaihoka    867
On 12/10/2017 at 6:31 PM, yesbut said:

Mine's about a week away from starting.

Does it set fruit most years ?

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yesbut    3,477
1 hour ago, kaihoka said:

Does it set fruit most years ?

It's quite small,flowered for the first time & set a few fruit which soon fell off last season, but now has burst out into buds everywhere. 

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