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Author Topic: What's flowering: Queensland  (Read 59531 times)

Offline eltalia

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Re: What's flowering: Queensland
« Reply #160 on: January 21, 2019, 06:31:13 pm »
Look at this opportunity - oh, to be young again!
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-01-21/almond-industry-booming-but-more-bees-needed/10724074
We are well positioned here in Qld to have hives readdy for this opportunity.

Oh yessss indeed Max.
I fear the mix of operators would be well different these days tho', a case of
"mind how you go". ;-)

/waves @Bamboo

Bill

Offline Bamboo

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Re: What's flowering: Queensland
« Reply #161 on: January 23, 2019, 07:40:44 am »
Hi Bill
Have you in your vast experience done any pollination?
Cheers Mark

Offline eltalia

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Re: What's flowering: Queensland
« Reply #162 on: January 23, 2019, 08:41:25 am »
Hi Bill
Have you in your vast experience done any pollination?
Cheers Mark

Evenin' Mark.
For a very long time I did believe my 'mentor' (long deceased) was the true pioneer
of cropping pollination in this Country, he led myself and a mate (deceased) into it.
However as one's horizons widen I did learn blokes using our native stingless bees
were into orchard pollination in the South long before him.
When we began doing vine crops pollination many "pointy fingered" us, questioning
that change. Over the next decade or so the operation grew into a significant business
with "farmer chat" changing cropping methods. When we sold up the buyers were -
figuratively speaking - lined up in rows.
You would know the modern story better than I.

Long way of saying;
 "Yes, and largely only that. I own very little commercial honey industry
experience".
However I was a backyard enthusiast before those times and am now in
retirement a backyarder with just two colonies (permanently) once again.
All hugely experimental along with our Tets(hockingsi) as garden architecture.

Cheers.

Bill


Offline max2

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Re: What's flowering: Queensland
« Reply #163 on: January 23, 2019, 09:53:26 pm »
" Do you know what the going rate is per hive?"
I tried to find out - not much success.
The DPI in NSW has a new book out " Pollination using honey bees" - an excellent publication but I can't find a $ figure.
I had heard that $ 80 to $ 100 for a single  was being paid but I'm not sure if this is at all reliable?
I read in some forum that in the USA $US 200 per hive ( this would be a double - I assume) has been reached for strong hives for Almond pollination.
I have been asked to move hives to Mac Nuts but payment was never discussed.
We still have a lot of wild hives and growers still seem reluctant to make payments.
With the plantings of Mac Nuts and Avos on ex cane land there won't be an option to bringing in bees - no trees, no other pollinators.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: What's flowering: Queensland
« Reply #164 on: January 23, 2019, 10:24:29 pm »
Max,
It is true that Beekeepers get up to $200 per hive for almond pollination but that is the highest paid pollination fees any where in the us. The reason it is so high is because there are not enough hives available in the US as is needed. I think it is about 2/3 of the commercial hives in the us are needed for almond pollination. Normal pollination fees run from $20 to $100 per hive depending on the crop.
Jim

Offline max2

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Re: What's flowering: Queensland
« Reply #165 on: January 24, 2019, 12:25:51 am »
Hi Jim,
I think Michael Palmer quoted this figure.
I realise that this is the top for a beek with a great reputation.
Still, we are well behind. There is good reason: we don't have Varroa ( lucky us) and thus still have a pretty good wild population of bees and other pollinators.
As an article I posted above points out, more and more Almonds ( and Blueberries, Avocados, Macadamia Nuts...) are being planted in Australia and our politicians would like to see us becoming the " food basket" of Asia. That we need more bees and more beekeepers is obvious to you and me but not to the Minister for Agriculture.
I hate to think what the avearage age of beekeepers is in Australia.
At this point there are opportunities but this is not an easy game to get into. We are not big risk takers.

Offline Bamboo

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Re: What's flowering: Queensland
« Reply #166 on: January 24, 2019, 09:08:23 am »
Yes Max I saw that publication. The only authoritative figure I could find for Oz was $70 but that was for 2011.
I saw this https://www.beeculture.com/2018-almond-pollination-market-outlook-demand-supply-contracts/ in Bee Culture. 2017 fees for Almonds were $165 to $200 and they were predicting an average of $200 for 2018 these figures were based on an 8 frame.

Agree great opportunities for beekeepers but difficult industry (expensive) to get into. I doubt that any of the banks after their recent travails will be willing to back someone making an investment in hives and bees. I saw someone in SA selling 800 hives for $450 a sizeable investment for anyone.
But as you say if the Govt wants to be the food bowl they will need to invest in bees not just the crops.
As for growers not wanting to pay, the same thing happened in NZ with the kiwifruit industry 30 odd years ago but once they realised that they needed the bees for pollination it just became an expense of growing the crop and was factored in. They will come to the same conclusion here or they will go broke from an unprofitable crop, won't take them long.
Cheers

Offline eltalia

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Re: What's flowering: Queensland
« Reply #167 on: January 24, 2019, 03:41:49 pm »
Max & Mark.
Ask the farmer what their cost is for pollination to work the sums back from there. Suggested as no operator
 is going to disclose their baseline margins, not even to the ATO. [smile]

A short anecdote around investment for growth, directly pollination related?
Having been around perishable crop farming in NQ since the days we banged pine crates together
(nailed) on weekends just for fun, as a forced break from school, I can say there was a time where through
sheer isolation growing perishables was a life of hard knocks with a very small trickle into a market far
 away, fed by steel caboose style wagons on very slow trains.
I remember well sitting waiting in the station master's office with Dad to get the "weigh ticket", the steam
 locomotive huffing it's way past off the siding with our wagon of banana in tow. The station master's cat
being our entertainment as young boys are wont to do.
We in NQ could grow pretty much anything of the then popular fruits in the big cities, just could not get
the produce there or trying as Dad did it often rotted on a siding somewhere South.
It was around 1975/6 an older cashed up canefarmer come melon grower bought into a small fleet of then
very fast refrigerated semitrailers, and he setout many acres of a new to us vine crop, rockmelon. With our
help in supplying bees his cropping grew to where his whole farming practice turned to rockies, and with
 the trucking link others (locally) jumped on board using his supply chain. The market then grew as supply
became a loose guarantee and today supports a few hundred perishable crop growers along some 200kms
of the coast highway moving thousands of tons of tomato/melon/capsicum/beans/pumpkin to southern
markets on a two day turnaround - all under closed cell refigeration.
Funnily enough much of the same story ran within the banana industry - not including Dad as we went
broke, walked off the farm - and so today there exist massive weigh stations loading hundreds of semitrailers
 (now Double Bs) with banana along with thousands of acres turned over to banana farming. At least three
major trucking outfits were born from it all - Nolans/Blenners/Lindsay - that in itself a separate industry
turning over massive amounts of dollars annually.

Yes there is little doubt us beeks here are highly conservative, a good thing in some facets as bees will not
be rushed so the demeanour suits the set culture. However just as that dratted FlowHive jolted us so rudely
into the 21st century so will this whole new face of mass spontaneous pollination.
It is the new players who will grip the rose stem, the ones talking to their own kind at the banks, and so it
will happen, it is just a matter of Time.
For as ol' Joe whispered in broken Orstraylean all those years ago " oi mate she come-a-good the vine you
put the bee, huh, we makeah some goodah money, yeh"... and I did, and we did.

Cheers.

Bill

Offline Bamboo

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Re: What's flowering: Queensland
« Reply #168 on: January 24, 2019, 04:43:23 pm »
Love it Bill! :smile:
Yes and a new industry of Pollen Brokers shall arise to clip the ticket on the way thru.

Offline max2

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Re: What's flowering: Queensland
« Reply #169 on: January 24, 2019, 05:24:04 pm »

Yes Max I saw that publication. The only authoritative figure I could find for Oz was $70 but that was for 2011.

!!!!!This would be fairly marginal - I would expect.

I saw this https://www.beeculture.com/2018-almond-pollination-market-outlook-demand-supply-contracts/ in Bee Culture. 2017 fees for Almonds were $165 to $200 and they were predicting an average of $200 for 2018 these figures were based on an 8 frame.

!!!!I could get singles with 8 frames in time for pollination here. At least in a reasonable year. No feeding required. I'm putting the idea to a (younger!) friend. I would be willing to make splits but no way will I get into this business.


Agree great opportunities for beekeepers but difficult industry (expensive) to get into. I doubt that any of the banks after their recent travails will be willing to back someone making an investment in hives and bees. I saw someone in SA selling 800 hives for $450 a sizeable investment for anyone.

!!!!About one Million all up or more. Now, what would I do if I had a Million sitting around?

But as you say if the Govt wants to be the food bowl they will need to invest in bees not just the crops.

!!!!!I have written tot current Minister ( Davif Littleproud) and Barnaby - the previous one . They don't get it.

As for growers not wanting to pay, the same thing happened in NZ with the kiwifruit industry 30 odd years ago but once they realised that they needed the bees for pollination it just became an expense of growing the crop and was factored in. They will come to the same conclusion here or they will go broke from an unprofitable crop, won't take them long.

!!!I agree. We went for a trip to Bundi last year and the new areas under Avos, Mac's but also Pumpkin is amazing. All planted on ex cane land with not a tree around. They will need pollinators and they will need to pay a fair rate.
It is just a couple of hours N from us. Very doable.

Cheers

Offline eltalia

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Re: What's flowering: Queensland
« Reply #170 on: January 24, 2019, 10:12:14 pm »
Love it Bill! :smile:
Yes and a new industry of Pollen Brokers shall arise to clip the ticket on the way thru.

Fer shure to be shure.
"Be alert not alarmed" applies around that mob (brokers). ;-)))

Cheers.

Bill

Offline max2

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Re: What's flowering: Queensland
« Reply #171 on: January 24, 2019, 11:48:58 pm »
Bill, love your anectode!
I think there maybe some Italian in you!
( my mother was from Bergamo - Olga Speranza Tagliati - can't get more Italian then this)

Offline eltalia

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Re: What's flowering: Queensland
« Reply #172 on: January 25, 2019, 04:55:01 am »
Bill, love your anectode!
I think there maybe some Italian in you!
( my mother was from Bergamo - Olga Speranza Tagliati - can't get more Italian then this)

Tagliati, that's as floral (linguistic) as it gets Max... when rolled off the tongue in true
brogue/accent/dialect.
[smile]
I know today a few from up Lombardy way, truly international in being multilingual
they are the taller fairer Italian of quite gentle wisdom. Guys and the one
Lady we know are in their 80s being part of the original sharecroppers bought in to farm
tobacco up Mareeba way in the 50s. I mix readily with them as I spent my baby years in
the canefields with their countrymen bought in to do the handcutting. I probably learnt
more Italian phrases of unrepeatable nature before I could read "Dick and Dora" than  I
can recall still today, not forgetting a passion for hard cheese, olive oil, hard salami and
a wedge of crusty white washed down with thickly sweet black tea - Yummo!

0h... and my pizza deliverys to these folk are met enthusiasticly as I do "traditional".
We usually score a few panettone loaves around Xmas as feedback, so yes... plenty of
Italian in me, and the Missus. ;-))

Cheers.

Bill

Offline max2

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Re: What's flowering: Queensland
« Reply #173 on: January 25, 2019, 11:43:26 pm »
We took honey off again this morning - rather warm.
The Bloodwoods are flowering ( Euc intermedia) but there is no Bloodwood honey in these hives!
This is the 10th time this season we have pulled honey from these hives. If we would leave it for the end of the season we would finish with a huge stack and I could never cope. This way we take 8 frames ( 10 frame supers , FD with 10 frames) and get about 15 to 18 kg from each hive. Works well with our 8 frames extractor.
We had no rain for more than a month and this is very unusual for us this time of the year. Not looking positive for another week at least.
May do more hives tomorrow.

Offline Bamboo

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Re: What's flowering: Queensland
« Reply #174 on: January 28, 2019, 10:44:06 pm »
We had a very welcome 5mm last night. The first precipitation in well over a month.

Offline max2

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Re: What's flowering: Queensland
« Reply #175 on: January 28, 2019, 11:41:50 pm »
Lucky you, Bamboo! We had 2 mm of rain....followed by 4 mm of wind:)

Offline Bamboo

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Re: What's flowering: Queensland
« Reply #176 on: January 29, 2019, 01:22:19 am »
Max2  You need to plant some more tall trees to interrupt it before we get it all:smile: I recall something about "In Spain it rains mostly on the plains".
On a serious note micro climates are definitely a factor, we were having light showers here this morning and I had to go to the airport and less than 3kms from our place it was dry and no sign of rain.
We have family at Maroochydore who live on the coast and at night in winter coming home the difference can be as much as 5C colder here, the opposite of course in Summer much warmer here as they get the sea breezes.

Offline eltalia

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Re: What's flowering: Queensland
« Reply #177 on: January 29, 2019, 03:51:39 pm »
0n a serious note micro climates are definitely a factor,

Definitely in how foraging is affected, Mark.
Like the same blooms away from here bees are feasting on whereas
here it is is all washed out with better than a metre of rain since mid last week.
You can see the massive displays on the trees, exotics and natives, yet nary
a bee on them when they do fly.
Back in the day this is why we used agistment but that window is now closed
what with cost and creaky bones. :-)

Cheers.

Bill

Offline Bamboo

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Re: What's flowering: Queensland
« Reply #178 on: January 29, 2019, 06:55:52 pm »
0n a serious note micro climates are definitely a factor,

Definitely in how foraging is affected, Mark.
Like the same blooms away from here bees are feasting on whereas
here it is is all washed out with better than a metre of rain since mid last week.


Bill
More than a metre is mind blowing, some places get that in less than that in a year! Have been following on the news and I was saying to Alison pity the poor beekeepers up that way. Not only the lack of forage but the hives lost through flooding. Looks like the rain is swinging round and going back up as well. Send some to Tassie they could do with some for the fires.
Take care mate.

Offline eltalia

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Re: What's flowering: Queensland
« Reply #179 on: January 29, 2019, 09:12:54 pm »
Yeah Mark, been told the forecast is for yet another rerun. No real biggee as this is
part and parcel of living in the Tropics - the bit not included in migration brochures
left lying about in Melbourne sitting rooms.
Not a workshop person these days I quickly gather empathy for our Southern
bretheren as they ready to sit out a few months of close to zero (celcius) temps and
drizzling rain. Great for a week or so, not fun after that spell.

Cheers.

Bill