Updated: Dec 22, 2021
As harvest season comes to an end, farmers everywhere are preparing for the 2021 pollination season. With pollination being such a crucial part of a farming operation, we thought it would be beneficial to sit down with the bee expert himself, Ethan Rasmussen of Rasmussen Farms, and gather some helpful tips for almond growers to consider when preparing for next year’s pollination!
1. COMMUNICATION WITH YOUR POLLINATION BROKER: To ensure you are prepared for the pollination of your crops, it is best to contact your pollination broker shortly after harvest. At this time, beekeepers across the country are extracting this year’s honey crop, as well as applying fall treatments of miticide and antibiotics. Early communication with your broker can ensure a smooth start to your 2021 pollination.
2. POLLINATION FOR NEWER CROPS: If you have recently planted new crops, we recommend the following placement of hives:
a. One hive per acre on the 3rd leaf
b. One and a half hives per acre on the 4th leaf
c. Two hives per acre on the 5th leaf
For self-pollinating varieties, such as Independence and Shasta, we recommend about a half to one hive per acre for the duration of the orchard life – starting on the 3rd leaf and on.
3. CONTRACT: The best way to ensure that all parties will be satisfied with pollination services is to begin with clear communication and establish the specific needs of the grower early on. Some of the most important elements to discuss and include in your contract is the time of the hive placement, the average hive strength of the bees, and price/payment schedule.