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Pollination of a Macadamia nut farm?

I have been contacted about supplying hives for pollination for a macadamia nut farm.
Has anyone had first hand experience if is beneficial or detrimental to a bee colony. I’m aware that almond pollination can knock a hive about but can’t find information about macadamia. Any idea of number of hives per 100 trees?
The farmer hasn’t used a pollination service in the past so he is no help about my concerns.

I suppose that any hive which only has a monoculture food source will risk nutritional deficiencies. At least they will get both nectar and pollen during the flowering period. But I suppose you could leave them there just for the season (August and September), then move them somewhere with more mixed forage?

This article recommends 5-8 hives per hectare:

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Thanks for that link Dawn, I found a fair bit of contradictory articles on the internet that is puzzling to me. I’ve had hives on small sized farms with a single crop but this is going up a level from that.
Maybe I’m over complicating my thinking as the farm is about 50 miles away and if I find it isn’t a ‘good thing’ for the bees I could always take the hives off. The farmer of course has only one interest - an increased yield of nuts, where my concern is for my bees.

Hi Pete,

I’m sure I watch a video on the Flow channel where Cedar talked about taking hives to pollinate macadamia trees maybe you can get some help from Flow…

Not sure I can offer much assistance, but I did have lunch with a fellow a year back in far north NSW who pollinates the macadamia farms up that way, he was telling me that his honeybees have to work very hard to pollinate due to the small opening of the flower and that he was supplementing honeybees with Tretragonula’s, as they are small enough to get inside the flowers. A ex-cyclng couple of friends of mine recently bought a macadamia farm up your way, name is Martin & Collette. Not them by any chance?

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Hello Rodderick, I spent today at the University of the Sunshine Coast where there has been a fair bit of research into bees and met up with a lady there that spent a few years and did a paper on macadamia and bee pollination. She confirmed about the small flower size making life hard on honey bees and native bees were more suitable being about half the size.
One thing she said was that the benefit was for the farmer much more than for the bee keeper and to only put the hives there for no more than 4 weeks if that was the only foraging available. Chatting with her has given food for thought.
The names you have mentioned isn’t them, amazing the number of pine apple farms that are now macadamia around here in the last 15 years, must be a real cash cow.

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