Bees and Pesticides

— Written By
en Español

El inglés es el idioma de control de esta página. En la medida en que haya algún conflicto entre la traducción al inglés y la traducción, el inglés prevalece.

Al hacer clic en el enlace de traducción se activa un servicio de traducción gratuito para convertir la página al español. Al igual que con cualquier traducción por Internet, la conversión no es sensible al contexto y puede que no traduzca el texto en su significado original. NC State Extension no garantiza la exactitud del texto traducido. Por favor, tenga en cuenta que algunas aplicaciones y/o servicios pueden no funcionar como se espera cuando se traducen.

English is the controlling language of this page. To the extent there is any conflict between the English text and the translation, English controls.

Clicking on the translation link activates a free translation service to convert the page to Spanish. As with any Internet translation, the conversion is not context-sensitive and may not translate the text to its original meaning. NC State Extension does not guarantee the accuracy of the translated text. Please note that some applications and/or services may not function as expected when translated.

Collapse ▲

With everything growing from crops, gardens, and weeds, it might be time to start using some pesticides. Depending on your needs, this could be an insecticide, herbicide, or fungicide. Pesticide product labels will contain information such as general use, when to use, what to wear during the application, and even possibly environmental effects. One environmental effect is the increased risk of pesticide exposure to honey bees. Many of the plants you might want to treat have blooms, nectar, and pollen, which are the primary food sources for honey bees. If only a few honey bees are exposed to a pesticide, it typically will not harm the 30,000 plus bees that are in an average honey bee colony. With overexposure or direct colony contact from a pesticide, it can compromise the hive’s health and longevity.

A bee rests on a white flower.

Now that you know this information let’s reduce the chance of pesticide injury to honey bees by communicating between applicators, beekeepers, farmers, and gardeners. Here are a few helpful steps to think about before you apply a pesticide:

  1. Examine the area to determine if bees are foraging on flowering plants
  2. If possible, do not spray if plants are in bloom
  3. Apply insecticides when bees are not foraging
  4. Avoid spray drift near honey bee colonies
  5. Read the pesticide label; as we say, the label is the law

Bees swarm outside of bee boxes.

BeeCheck is a tool that enables beekeepers and pesticide applicators to work together to protect honey bees through the use of a mapping program. For more information, go to BeeCheck.

Logo for beecheck.

If you are interested in learning more about labeled pesticide products and their effect on bees, check out the North Carolina Agricultural Chemicals Manual-Relative Toxicity of Pesticides to Honey Bees and Pesticide Use Inside and Around Honey Bee Hives.

North Carolina Agricultural Chemicals Manual cover.

If you have further questions, contact Bryan Hartman at bkhartman@ncat.edu or (336) 593-8179.