Do not use pesticides when bees are foraging.,
Scout a field before applying any chemicals.,
Time insecticide application carefully.,
Don’t use pesticides with neonicotinoids.,
Account for spray drift.,
Take care with fungicide application.
In other words, don’t apply insecticides when crops are in bloom! Many pesticides and insecticides will have warning labels directing you not to use them while a crop is blooming. Since flowers attract honeybees, using an insecticide during a bloom can decimate honeybee populations in your area. Always read and follow a pesticide’s label. Choose products that have a “short residual” impact and are labeled “low hazard.”
Alfalfa, sunflowers, and canola are especially attractive to honeybees, so take particular care when treating these crops.
, To help determine whether you should mow first, inspect the field to see if you can spot any foraging bees. You can likely do so simply by walking along the edge of field and inspecting any flowering plants. Note that some blooming plants do not necessarily produce colorful flowers., Pollen and nectar are only made available to bees by a most plants for a few hours of each day. Accordingly, make sure to scout a field during the time you plan to apply a chemical, particularly an insecticide. Late evening to early morning is usually idea. Shoot for somewhere between 8PM and 6AM.If it’s expected to be cold the night after application, apply an insecticide in the beginning of this time frame. Colder weather may allow the insecticide to remain toxic for longer, so you want to allow more time before bees return to the fields.
For corn, apply an insecticide anytime between late afternoon and midnight.
, Some pesticides are especially dangerous, not only to bees, but to other beneficial insects. Neonicotinoids are able to “express” themselves throughout the chemical makeup of a plant itself, and will be expressed in nectar in pollen. They will kill honeybees no matter when they are applied. The pharmaceutical Bayer markets pesticides with these ingredients to both industrial farmers as well as consumers like you.Watch out for an ingredient called imidacloprid, as this is the most common neonicotinoid. Many of Bayer’s products include it. Understand that by using these products, you’re likely making the plants you spray toxic to honeybees.
, Spray drift refers to the distance and direction that a chemical may be carried by the wind. There are two things you need to do to account for spray drift. First, contact bee keepers in your area before you spray, as far in advance as possible. Additionally, try to minimize spray drift by reducing the pressure of the spray and using a nozzle that will increase droplet size, While fungicides are not designed to kill honeybees, they can be toxic when applied in certain conditions, and will contribute to honeybee mortality indirectly. For instance, fungicides can make it harder to honeybees to forage and feed. While fungicides like Propiconazole are considered safe for honeybees, their use is toxic when combined with certain common surfactants, fertilizers, and insecticides.