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We at Ilog Maria Honeybee Farms have been renting out our honeybees for contract pollination since 1980. To date, we have incidentally pollinated or contract pollinated:
Recently, we have been successfully renting out our bees for pollination of mango orchards. Late in 2002, we were approached by Geminiano Noche Sr. and his son, Geminiano Jr. asking if we could pollinate their mango farms in Western Batangas. We surveyed their mango orchards and tried to find out how they were caring for their mango trees. They were inducing their trees to flower with potassium nitrate and using pesticides and fungicides, which has become common practice not only in their home province but also for the rest of the country.
To their credit, they were both interested in learning organic methods. In fact, they were already using cow dung and mud press from the local sugar mill to fertilize their mango trees. Sugar is intercropped with their mango trees. After harvest, the rest of the sugar cane was gathered as mulch around the base of their trees.
Geminiano Jr. nicknamed Butch was especially keen in applying as much organic methods as possible in their farms. After much trial and error on his mangoes and on our bees, Butch has somewhat evolved organic mango culture which is compatible with contract pollination by our honeybees:
This is our single macopa tree here in Ilog Maria which benefited from bee pollination.
These pictures were taken with a cell phone camera under less than ideal lighting conditions. 35 Mt from 7 hectares. 17 MT from just a 2 hectare plot.
Citrus Pollination is somewhat similar. The only difference is that the citrus bloom is triggered by water starvation followed by a good drenching. Rain drenches better. However, this makes timing especially sensitive for citrus pollination.
Contract Pollination services are normal in other countries where this has been practiced for about 100 years. We have only more than 20 years experience in the setting of Philippine agriculture, but here are some links that may help you appreciate the value of pollination: