Agricultural Pesticide Spraying

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Exedchef 

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Hello All
Could anyone please clarify the law (if there is one) regarding local farmers notifying beekeepers when they are spraying pesticide on their crops?
OSR is grown extensively in the area and quite by chance, a local farmer ,who had seen our hive from the road, called in to enquire about the bees and if we would like to be informed when he was spraying pesticide
Is it my responsibility to request spraying information from local farmers ?
Thanks
Ed
 

Boston Bees 

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Hello All
Could anyone please clarify the law (if there is one) regarding local farmers notifying beekeepers when they are spraying pesticide on their crops?
OSR is grown extensively in the area and quite by chance, a local farmer ,who had seen our hive from the road, called in to enquire about the bees and if we would like to be informed when he was spraying pesticide
Is it my responsibility to request spraying information from local farmers ?
Thanks
Ed
There is no law on this. They can spray when they like, without notifying anyone (just like you can, in your garden).

You can request spraying information from local farmers, but they are under no obligation to share it with you

Your local farmer is obviously a very nice person.

There is this site, though not sure how used it is in practice.

FAQs - Bee Connected
 

Ian123 

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I’ve had bees in orchards and on farms I’ve only ever had a couple of times when it’s been mentioned there spraying. I think nowadays if instructions/timings are followed there’s very few issues and I’ve not had any problems that I am aware of at least! If it was me my advice would be to contact the closest couple and offer a jar of honey with your mobile and a request. Most will appreciate the fact your bees are at least improving any yield they get. If you turn up at the farm gate suggesting there obliged or in the wrong most I know would send you packing, besides there’s always that new out apiary that may be needed. So play nice. Ian
 

Mint Bee 

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I have had bees on a local farm for many years. Few years ago another beek approach farmer to move 4 hives onto OSR a mile from my base. Plenty of OSR, so no problem from me. New beek then starts to lecture farmer on what he could spray and when whilst new beek’s bees were present. Reply was rather short
 

Gilberdyke John 

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Hello All
Could anyone please clarify the law (if there is one) regarding local farmers notifying beekeepers when they are spraying pesticide on their crops?
OSR is grown extensively in the area and quite by chance, a local farmer ,who had seen our hive from the road, called in to enquire about the bees and if we would like to be informed when he was spraying pesticide
Is it my responsibility to request spraying information from local farmers ?
Thanks
Ed
How many beeks publicise the location of their hives? How many farmers are aware of beekeepers/out apiaries near their often distributed fields? Do you know who owns/cultivates a particular field or know how to contact them all? Spraying is dependent on variable weather/wind/temperatures and plans get altered within hours often by independent spray contractors. It's really not easy to satisfy all the interested parties especially if you actually did get notifications one evening then local (microclimate) conditions change overnight. You might shut your bees in then spraying doesn't happen, only to find it is carried out the day after that planned and you've let your bees out. You can't call them back home ☹
Life's tough unfortunately.
 

Gilberdyke John 

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I have had bees on a local farm for many years. Few years ago another beek approach farmer to move 4 hives onto OSR a mile from my base. Plenty of OSR, so no problem from me. New beek then starts to lecture farmer on what he could spray and when whilst new beek’s bees were present. Reply was rather short
Edited - missed don't- Hope you don't catch any fallout 🤔
 
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Malcolm Stamp 

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I have a very good neighbour with cherry orchards who tells me the night before he sprays which is great and I shut them up but his orchards only extend 1/2 a miles; bees fly at least 2 miles: what are all the other farmers doing?
 

zippy573 

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I come from a farming family, farmers understand that they benefit from bees. I am not saying there are not rogue farmers but the vast majority will spray with bees in mind, especially when they are spraying crops that benefit from bees. I have just spoken to a very experianced sprayer operator, he is fully aware of when he needs to spray if flying bees are at risk. He says that the main pest that was sprayed for in OSR is no longer considered to be the risk that it was and therefore he has not sprayed flowering OSR with anything that is harmful to bees in many years (i'm not saying no one now does it) In his opinion beans are more likely to be sprayed during flowering.
 

Boston Bees 

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Is this a thing we need to worry about in this country these days? Have there been recent proven pesticide kill-offs of hives, on any kind of scale?

I see the odd "my bees are all dead, I think it must have been pesticide" posts (I suspect these are often based on what someone has seen on YouTube from a US beekeeper), but they generally turn out to have other more likely causes of death.

In the under-regulated wild-west that is the US agriculture sector, especially with aerial spraying, I can see the problem. But here in the UK?

Just asking - don't know the answer.
 

frankenstine 

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farmers are getting a lot more controlled with what they spray, sprayers are getting better and chemicals more expensive
 

Gilberdyke John 

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Is this a thing we need to worry about in this country these days? Have there been recent proven pesticide kill-offs of hives, on any kind of scale?

I see the odd "my bees are all dead, I think it must have been pesticide" posts (I suspect these are often based on what someone has seen on YouTube from a US beekeeper), but they generally turn out to have other more likely causes of death.

In the under-regulated wild-west that is the US agriculture sector, especially with aerial spraying, I can see the problem. But here in the UK?

Just asking - don't know the answer.
Personally I'm wondering how many cases of CBPV were misdiagnosed? Just a thought.
 

hemo 

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Hello All
Could anyone please clarify the law (if there is one) regarding local farmers notifying beekeepers when they are spraying pesticide on their crops?
OSR is grown extensively in the area and quite by chance, a local farmer ,who had seen our hive from the road, called in to enquire about the bees and if we would like to be informed when he was spraying pesticide
Is it my responsibility to request spraying information from local farmers ?
Thanks
Ed
A good farmer, certainly thank him for his concern on the welfare for the bee's and take up his offer to be notified.
At least then you can temporary stop the colony from flying and as they are so amenable, no reason why you can't ask him what is being sprayed.
 

iand 

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Never had a noticeable problem with insecticides on OSR in over 40 years. All my farmers will spray at dusk, one will even spray a headland after dark if it is near the hives.
The problem going forward will be finding a crop to go to for that early pollen.
 

Mint Bee 

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Edited - missed don't- Hope you don't catch any fallout 🤔
No, I went to school with the farmer and was told the story over a pint in his local.
I think we both agreed that it demonstrated the conflict between those who originate and work in the country, and those who see and expect a perfect countryside, without understanding of how it works. He had previously had the driers on his grain silo turned off one weekend as a new comer objected to the noise.
What he really objects to is the dog walkers who bag up excrement and rather than take it home leave it like decorations on trees and bushes along the footpaths...
 

Pembroke 

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Hello All
Could anyone please clarify the law (if there is one) regarding local farmers notifying beekeepers when they are spraying pesticide on their crops?
OSR is grown extensively in the area and quite by chance, a local farmer ,who had seen our hive from the road, called in to enquire about the bees and if we would like to be informed when he was spraying pesticide
Is it my responsibility to request spraying information from local farmers ?
Thanks
Ed
Pesticide is an all encompassing word though, does he mean insecticide, which would affect the bees or herbicide which in most cases won't?

If you have the time this series of videos on farming might be of interest?

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFNRLTPU9263dTOYgrVcnHw/videos

There's a couple of videos in the series that mention spraying, how it's done, why its done etc.
 

Swn58 

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The farm where my bees are was growing OSR. However, since I took residence they have been so hit by Flea Beatles that they have given up. I was told that they are so limited now by what they can use that it's not worth the hassle and expense.
A side note: A farmer friend of mine, in Sussex, got a phone call one evening.
"Hello! My name is Janey. My husband and I have just moved into River Cottage, on the Barcombe Road. We are a few fields over from you.
Friend: "Oh....nice to hear from you."
Janey: "I hope that you don't mind me calling at this hour?"
Friend: "No not at all."
Janey: "Its just that we think that some of your sheep may be in the field next to our garden?"
Friend: "Oh....yes they are"
Janey: "Well.....it's a bit of a problem. They seem to be rather noisy! Could you please come over and have a word with them.....and tell them to be quiet?
Friend: "Ummmm.........."
(Some names were changed to protect the stoopid.....;))
 

Erichalfbee 

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You're making that up...........
They will know sheep Baaaaa because they watch Countryfile
The newcomers.....not the sheep
 

Swn58 

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You're making that up...........
They will know sheep Baaaaa because they watch Countryfile
The newcomers.....not the sheep
This incident happened many years ago, when townies had not even been educated by 'Shaun the Sheep!'
 

Parsonage Bees 

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Field of OSR being sprayed tomorrow morning with pesticide. Against pollen beetle apparently.
I'm going over after dark to put mesh over the entrance just to play safe. Let them out at lunchtime so 2 trips for one bad tempered hive.
Didn't even ask to be notified so I'll have to make sure they get a jar of honey.

DSCF20210424-06-small.jpg
 
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