bee hazards

Pesticides can have an adverse effect on commercial apiarist activities if adequate precautions are not observed. Adverse effects can arise from two main areas. These are:

  • Pesticides being applied directly to a crop or nectar source in which bees are foraging.
  • Off-target movement of pesticide during application which may affect a non-target crop or nectar source where bees are foraging or a direct overspray of the bee hives.

Registered Pesticide labels carry specific bee warnings if the product is toxic to bees along with appropriate precautions and requirements. Growers should note these warnings when reading the label and when planning a spray application.

“Honeybee pesticide poisoning:  a risk management tool for Australian farmers and beekeepers” is a booklet published in 2012 by AgriFutures Australia (new Trading Name for Rural Industries and Development Corporation – RIRDC).  This information will assist beekeepers and farmers to identify pesticides that are toxic to bees and provide information to help manage the risk of honeybee poisoning.  The following gives some of the topics that are included.

  • the importance of commercial pollination to the hortcultural industry
  • the importance of commercial pollination to beekeepers
  • pesticide toxicity – including the list of pesticides toxic to honeybees
  • managing the risk of honeybee poisoning
  • responding to a poisoning event
  • Appendix 1 and 2 detail horticultural and broadacre pesticides known to be toxic to honeybees in Australia – alphabetically sorted by (1) active constituent and (2) by product name
  • a number of useful forms and contact details

This 97 page booklet can be purchased or downloaded for free from the AgriFutures Australia website.

Pests and Diseases
For more information on the many threats facing the Honey Bee industry, see our Pests & Diseases page

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