Beekeepers operating apiaries where pesticides are used must take steps to protect their bees.
Steps for bee keepers
Publicise your apiaries to anyone likely to be using pesticides:
- property owners within bee flight range
- contractors using pesticides near your apiaries
- Natural Resource Management Board
- local council.
Give the following information to the people listed above:
- your property name and address
- your contact details
- dates that hives will be moved on and off the property.
Identify your apiary with a sign showing:
- your name
- beekeeper registration number
- contact number.
Place apiaries in sheltered areas away from crops and fields that are likely to be treated with pesticides.
Make sure apiaries have a water source sheltered from any pesticides.
Inspect apiaries regularly and look for pesticide damage.
Have a reserve apiary holding area a minimum of 7 km away. You can move apiaries to the holding area to protect them from pesticides.
Learn the following information about pesticides being used in your area:
- application dates
Wait for residual pesticide effects to pass before moving apiaries back into an area where pesticides have been used.
Steps for pesticide applicators
- Only apply pesticides when needed.
- Follow instructions on pesticide labels. Information about bees can be found in the livestock protection part of the label.
- Choose pesticides with the lowest hazard rating for bees and the lowest residual toxic effect.
- Apply pesticides when bees are not actively foraging in the crop. Low-hazard products can be used in the morning. Pesticides with residual effects of a few hours can be used when bees have stopped flying for the day in the afternoon or early evening.
- Give beekeepers at least 48 hours notice of pesticide application. Advise them of the pesticide being used.
- Make sure pesticides do not drift over apiaries or areas where bees may be foraging.
- Do not contaminate water supplies near apiaries.
Steps for crop growers
- Inform beekeepers of pesticide use on your property.
- Tell contract pesticide applicators about any apiaries.
- Give beekeepers at least 48 hours’ notice of pesticide application.
- Use buffer zones and buffer plantings to protect non-target crops and native vegetation used by foraging bees.
- Plan control programs before or after beehives have been in the area if possible.
Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA) Rural Chemicals Program