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OSR - Spraying

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Ironnick 

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I've just been offered the opportunity to place some bees on the edge of a 30 acre field of Rape, by the Farmer next door to me. (About a mile, as the crow flies, from where my Apiary is, at present). The farmer said his contractors will be spraying it, but he couldn't remember what they'll be spraying it with or when it was likely to be.
My question: Is the spray likely to be harmful to the Bees? He's quite elderly, so it'll be something in common use, and cheap! I was intending to put two Nationals against the woodlands that are adjacent to the field and have five Nucs on stand by. I'm in Hartfield, East Sussex.
Regards,
IN
 

Poly Hive 

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Setting aside the politics of the matter the bottom line is the responsibility of the welfare of your bees is yours.

And mine.

I seek out large outfits for my rape sites.

I do so as they have the resources to act responsibly and in my experience over the last 25 years now I have never had a problem.

My current site is owned by a large scale farmer and his foreman called me both times he sprayed with the time of the event and the precise chemical he was to use, both the first year and last year too.

That is really about as good as it gets.

If in doubt about your man's position ask him for the spraying contractors number and have a discussion with him preferably face to face and be prepared to be pleasantly surprised.

PH
 

Baggyone 

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Hasn't the farmer got a responsibility to report the spraying to the county spray liason officer?
 

Poly Hive 

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To be honest Baggy I have no idea and further I wouldn't trust that system. It's great in theory but *I hae ma doots*

I happen to know my man does inform them but as I posted he is highly responsible.

PH
 
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As a general rule of thumb OSR isn't sprayed when it is full flower because the flower is somewhat delicate and spraying when in full bloom will considerably reduce the crop. Having said that there is a mite/beetle/midge which if it's about, the rape has to be sprayed in order to save the crop as the mite/beetle/midge will destroy it. Every year is different, as is every location.

There are stewardship schemes in place on farms now which bees and the beekeeper have their place on. As in everything there are rogues, but most farmers are amenable and approachable. As I have said before. Trust is a two way street.

Frisbee
 

thurrock bees 

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i asked my farmer to let me know when he is spraying so i can close the hives up, he called to inform me that he is spraying on the OSR that day, it said on the box '' not harmful to bees'' however i asked him to delay the spraying till the morning so i can close the hives, which he did, he also called to inform me when they had finished:cheers2:
 

crazy_bull 

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As posted most sprays are fungicidal sprays on OSR which AFAIK aren't directly harmful to bees, however as Frisbee says OSR can be sprayed with an insecticide for Pollen Bettle which is generally a cheap cypermethrin spray that certainly would be harmful to bees if sprayed directly on them.

Air your concerns with the farmer ask him politely if he is going to spray for pollen bettle to spray early in the morning or late in the evening to minimise bee contact, perhaps lock your bees in when he is spraying if really concerned.

Most Cypermethrin sprays have a deterrent element to them that are supposed to deter bees and other insects after the crop has been sprayed to avoid accidental poisoning of insects (the idea being only kill what is sprayed).

As frisbee also says it is not every year that the osr is sprayed with insecticide as it is only economically viable once a threshold of x beetles per plant has been exceeded.

Communication is the key.


C B
 

hedgerow pete 

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at this time of year I would expect to see a spray of a hebicide(weed killer) to keep the broad leaf weeds down and the other weeds as they are just starting to grow at my allotment, would not think its a insecticide as every thing is either burrowed into the ground or hibinating it could be a fungicide but that is way out of my league speak to someone else, the final guess but would have thought to have seen this in a granual form not a liquid is a high nitrogen fertilizer to kick start the spring wheat and osr in to life
 

jezd 

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Hasn't the farmer got a responsibility to report the spraying to the county spray liason officer?
dont think they have too unless it done from the air, ie by plane
 

Ironnick 

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Thanks all for your replies. I should have mentioned that he did say he'd give me a call prior to the spraying. Charlie is an absolute gentleman, so I've no worries in that respect. The farm has passed down several generations, so he not the 'irresponsible' sort!
Regards,
 

admin 

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Nick go spend some money!
A book I have is very good for rape,you can purchase from Waterstones,whsmiths online for £4.50 or direct from Northern bee books :
Oilseed Rape and Bees by Alan Calder
ISBN:0907908357
 

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