Are soybean fields good places for hives

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Yankee11, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. Yankee11

    Yankee11 New Member

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    I have a chance to set some hives on some local farmland next spring. Thousands of acres of Soybeans, Corn, Rice, Wheat,

    I know corn and rice are wind polinated and probably not a good place.

    Would Soybean fields be good to set some up by.
     
  2. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Big beekeeper about 30 minutes down the road just lost 20 queen rearing hives and we think it was due to something that was sprayed on soybeans. Not quit sure yet. Pulled samples of bees and pollen and sent them to Nashville for testing.
     

  3. pistolpete

    pistolpete New Member

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    My big dadant bee book has a page devoted to soy beans. To summarize with a few quotes: " in the central states and particularly in Arkansas and Missouri, it is one of the major sources of surplus honey" "Flowering period in the summer months, lasting three to four weeks" "bees visit the flowers only during morning hours" "considered to be a high quality honey although it does granulate quickly. It is usually thin and light bodied, light to extra light amber in color ... distinctive but pleasing flavor" Also of note: "soybean fields present a grave threat to the honey bee in many areas. At present the amount and toxicity of the insecticide required for production of this crop creates this situation."

    What I get out of all that is: find out what chemicals will be used on the crops. With only three weeks of flowering your girls will not have a lot of time to pull in a big crop. Maybe you need to start with just a couple of hives there and see what happens. Or you could just move your hives there for the soybean honey flow.
     
  4. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Like all investments with a chance for a big profit, there comes the chance of a big loss. Do your research about any possible spraying before you move hives into or near the soybean fields.
     
  5. indypartridge

    indypartridge New Member

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    Good info from pistolpete. The key is talking with the soybean farmer about what pesticides he uses and how he applies them. You might ask specifically about aphids and spider mites. The insecticides used for those usually have long-lasting residual effects.
     
  6. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    Aren't soybeans and corn two of the biggest GMO crops?
     
  7. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    That's right. And not only that, but those are also the two main crops that use neonicinitoid pesticides, which is coated on the seeds and spreads the pesticide into every molecule of the plant, including in its nectar and pollen. Beekeepers have been organizing and petitioning the FDA to ban these pesticides as being the most insidiously deadly to bees of all, at least until objective testing can be done (tests not conducted by the manufacturer itself), but Monsanto, Bayer, and their buddies are powerful money corporations making billions from their products.

    I'd avoid soybeans and corn as much as I possibly could.
     
  8. Yankee11

    Yankee11 New Member

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    Great info.

    I am not in this to make big bucks. Although I would like to make enough for the hobby to maintain itself and maybe recoup some of my intital costs.

    I surely don't want to put the bees in jeopardy.

    I will talk to the farmers and ask them what seeds they are using and what kinds of pestcides the are using.
     
  9. bamabww

    bamabww Active Member

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    I planted soybeans on 2 acres just for the bees and deer with no intention of treatment of any kind. I bought untreated seed available at a nearby distribution center.. The purple bloom soybean, the bees loved, the white bloom variety not nearly so much.

    Along with that two acres of soybeans, I planed two acres of Buckwheat. That combo and whatever else they gathered, produced the best honey I've ever tasted.
     
  10. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Wayne, that sounds great!