View Full Version : Safe spray for fruit trees and bees

05-10-2005, 05:23 PM
I was out watching the bees with the wife, and noticed that our fruit trees are loaded with blossoms. I was wondering, what kind of spray dope can be used on the trees after blossom fall, that would keep the worms away and yet still be safe to use around the bees. I'm hoping that someone on the forum does bees, as well as fruit trees and might have an answer to my question. Thank you.

05-10-2005, 07:16 PM
I use pesticide free sprays. Mainly oil and soap base.

Since the blossum has dropped I doubt if there is any impact on bees.

Here's a nice link specific to Michigan.


05-10-2005, 08:13 PM
Keep in mind much of the hazard with pesticides is the drop and overspray that is on the clover, dandelion birdsfoot treefoil under and around the apple tree that will kill the bees, not just the fruit blossoms.

05-10-2005, 08:15 PM
I posted this somewhere else here earlier, but I grew up on 40 acres of cherries that had 40 hives on the edge of the orchard (less than 50 from trees). We sprayed every 10-14 days after petal drop until harvest. We never had a problem.

I have about 20 trees, some within 4-5 feet of my hives now. I spray diazinon (I have my private applicators license) and malathion along with some fungicides. I usually spray early morning when there is no wind and the bees are not flying much. I don't spray until after petal drop.

Read and spray using label instructions. Don't over spray or put in more than the recommended amount. Use common sense.

05-10-2005, 08:22 PM
Im an almond grower who keeps atleast 6 or 7 hives all year round in my equipment yard. The hives are about 30 feet away from the closest row in the middle of a 160 acre block. Of all the chemicals that get sprayed on them throughout the season I have yet to kill a hive. Im sure if you soaked a hive down with lorsban you could kill them but otherwise I think bees are quite resilient.

05-10-2005, 08:49 PM
For caterpillars Bt (Bacteria thuringensis) is available as a spray and should be safe for bees on the whole. Neem Oil is available for fungus problems on roses and works great on my peach trees if peach leaf curl appears during the growing season after the normal winter spraying. I don't think Neem is officially approved for fruit trees, so if you are spraying a commercial orchard you can't use it. However, both of the above are organic (not that that means they're safe per se) and Neem, which is the oil of the bark of the Indian Neem tree has been used for millenia by the Indians for many agricultural and medical purposes and is quite effective against fungi and seems very safe. So, for the home orchard I feel it is an excellent choice. One brand name is Green Light Rose Defense for Neem and I think they also produce a product of Bt.

As noted by others though, if you are spraying post blossom drop, it probably won't matter what you use on the whole. However, organic is better.

05-11-2005, 04:30 AM
I use Surround Crop Protectant from Gardens Alive, a totally organic company. Go to www.gardensalive.com (http://www.gardensalive.com) and check out the various things they have for protecting your fruit trees.

05-11-2005, 09:26 AM
Thanks Tia and others for the help. Seeing that I know nothing about raising fruit trees, and even less about the spray for the trees, I appreciate hearing of your experiences and brand names of sprays to use, which are still safe for the bees.

05-11-2005, 02:34 PM
I use a sulfur spray on my fruit trees... bugs don't like the taste or smell. Any nursury will carry sulfur solution, and you just add water.

08-23-2014, 11:55 AM
All I know of (without searching) are nematodes and lady bugs.

Andrew Dewey
08-23-2014, 12:27 PM
I encourage you to figure out what pests you are concerned about before you decide on what to use. Think IPM - know your pests, know your poisons. Apologies to the Man Tracker TV show, but this is what IPM boils down to. It is work - but there is satisfaction in being able to choose the product right for your situation.

Before you think solve every problem spay take the time to learn about the diseases and pests that concern you. Your bees will be glad you did.

(And learn to understand pesticide labels!)