bees, honey and other sticky subjects

Monday, October 10, 2005

The almond economy

Here are some interesting figures about the economy of moving bees from West Virginia to pollinate California's almonds:

Poling said he is charging his average rate of $50 per colony plus expenses. His business will ship about 600 hives. Wade Stiltner, who owns a beekeeping business in Fort Gay, will tack on another 100 hives to Poling's shipment. The almond grower in California will pay the beekeepers a combined total of about $65,000. That includes shipping costs, which are expected to be $22,000 to move the bees to California and back by truck. After other expenses are subtracted, Poling said he will profit by about $31,000.

Poling's bees will be shipped in November and return to West Virginia around March. Shortly after, they will be shipped to Winchester, Va., to pollinate apple crops. Poling said he also expects about 20 tons of honey to be produced from his hives in 2006.


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