The extent of my bee keeping is a couple of wild hives we used to have on the farm and the Flow Hive I’m looking forward to receiving in December. So there is a lot I don’t know.
I’m a researcher into and developer of integrated agriculture and since ordering my Flow hive I’ve been looking to how we can incorporate apiary into our broader farming operations.
Rather than the traditional Australian practice of chasing honey flows around the country has any given any thought to planting and managing land to produce honey in addition to other crops?
The idea has to not just pay for itself but make a significant profit or its not going to be attractive to anyone. The idea of integrating different crops is to increase production and efficiency while reducing costs and environmental footprint.
I’ve been looking at a range of Australian natives that could be planted as plantations or as part of shelter belts and a sequence of crops that could be planted to maintain production of honey through the seasons and food for the bees where that is not possible.
For example we are currently looking at a project that could include an apple orchard and rather than just having grass between the rows of trees we have looked at a number of different plants we could plant between the trees that wouldn’t be flowering at the same time as the apples.
I’d like to work out a schedule of crops that wouldn’t involve moving the hives but if that wasn’t possible or advisable developing two or more properties such that you moved the hives between the properties would be the next best thing.