Protecting honey bees from pesticides
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.
- your property name and address
- your contact details
- dates that hives will be moved on and off the property.
- your name
- beekeeper registration number
- contact number.
- application dates
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
Address: 33 Flemington Street, Glenside
Phone: (08) 8207 7983
Page Last Reviewed: 19 Feb 2015