Many people miss the connection between bees and the blossoming of numerous plants and trees.
Renting a bee hive can also be a way of encouraging a healthy garden.
“Adding a hive to your backyard makes your productive garden even more prolific and provides honey to boot,” says Home Life Magazine.
Pollination is the process responsible for germinating our favorite foods like apples, oranges, limes, lemons, blueberries, cherries, cranberries, carrots, avocados, almonds, cantaloupes, cucumbers, broccoli and even onions.
In the United States, it is estimated that more than one-quarter of this country’s managed honey bee population has been lost since 1990, according to studies published by the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Beekeepers first began to notice the signs of a ‘red-flag’ in 2006. Honey bees started to abandon their hives in large numbers to never return. This phenomenon has been termed Colony Collapse Disorder.
Scientists have purported three plausible causes of Colony Collapse Disorder, which are speculated to be global warming; pesticide use and habitat loss.
“Every year, California almond growers must import honey bees from other states to pollinate their $2.3-billion-a-year crop, using about half of all the honey bees in the United States.”
Honeybees promote pollination more than any other insect. Their hairy bodies are able to adhere to pollen and deliver it to the stigma of foliage and flowers.
The Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, say that renting a hive to facilitate critical pollination steps is a common practice that can elicit higher numbers of propagated crops.
“The number of standard colonies that are needed per acre of crop plants varies in relation to the attractiveness of the crop, the competition from surrounding sources of nectar and pollen, and the percentage of flowers that must produce fruit or seed to provide an economic return,” the University’s website writes.
While renting hives costs money, it can improve the fecundity of vegetative reproduction, saving farmers costs in the long-run.
“Most crops are adequately pollinated by one strong hive of bees per acre,” the site says.
“A higher number of hives may be needed where other cultivated plants or weeds compete strongly for the attention of bees.”
When transporting honeybees for rental purposes, it is important to keep a few things in mind. They require a nearby source of water, like a pond or tank with wooden planks they are able to land on. Hives should also be placed in a sound location where they will be safe from wind and excessive heat. It is recommended that hives stay in the shade during warm afternoons and summer months.
Drafting contracts between the agriculturalist or farmer, and the beekeeper, can be helpful in resolving any potential future conflict that may arise. Provisions of the document should include: the rights of the grower to study the colonies; issues relating to using pesticides; pollination fess and method/time of payment; statement regarding the movement of the bees to and from the crop site; and use of pesticides, which can be lethal to honeybees.
According to Entrepreneur Magazine, one such company in Washington currently provides rental beehives at a cost averaging $110 per month.
“For a one-year contract and a monthly fee of $110,” says the site. “Seattle residents or businesses can host two to four hives in their yards or on rooftops.”
Another organization in California, The Honey Ladies, also offer hive rental services. These options can include renting a hive to-own.