beekeeping
 

What do Honeybees Mean to Apple Orchards?

In the springtime you can drive past apple orchards and see row after row of apple trees, their spreading limbs showing apple blossoms. In the fall those same trees are filled with apples. In the winter, the spreading limbs of the apple trees spread wide and go into hibernation until spring time.

Those same apple trees must have the honeybees around to keep producing delicious apples year after year. The reality is that there is a lot more to owning an apple orchard then picking apples and pulling in money. The apple trees need honeybees to pollinate the trees to help apple's grow. Thenon-apple grower thinks that owning an apple orchard won't be much work, in reality it is a great deal of backbreaking labor that goes into maintaining the apple orchard. The trees have to be pruned yearly and the trees have to be sprayed to protect them from being overtaken by insects. In addition to caring for the trees there is a lot of general maintenance chores that have to be taken care of for the trees. There is also the task of removing old unproductive trees by replacing them with younger trees.

If you are considering starting an apple orchard you must determine the size and layout of the orchard. According to the experts an apple orchard needs to be at least 10 acres large in order to break even in regards to costs. That's just breaking even without any potential profit. In business theory a larger orchard means a larger profit margin for the apple orchard owner, but a larger orchard also means that the owner will have to buy more insecticide, replace more apple trees, hire additional laborers, and spend more money on the equipment needed to maintain the apple orchard and harvest the apples.

In order for the apple trees to produce fruit the apple blossoms have to be pollinated. Although, wind can help pollinate the apple blossoms, having honeybees are better and produce healthier apples. So if you own a small or large apple orchard you should consider adding raising honeybees on the property as well, so that you know that the trees will receive the pollination that is needed.

Experienced apple orchard owners know that to ensure they get a profitable harvest they need to work with local beekeepers. Most apple orchard owners lease beehives from beekeepers. The beehive owners set up the beehives in the apple orchards. This allows for pollination of the apple trees. Just a reminder, that the pollination by honeybees are not isolated only to apple orchards but for everything that blooms. All plants need honeybees to consistently produce healthy growths year after year.