View Full Version : Is there a bee friendly pesticide?

Dan Williamson
07-05-2005, 05:23 AM
My neighbor was going to spray Seven all over his garden because the Japanese beetles are really destroying his garden this year. He called me because he noticed that it said to not spray around honeybees. My hives are about 150 yards from his garden.

He wants to use a bee friendly spray if he can but doesn't want to lose his garden. Is there another type of spray he can use on his garden? I didn't know what to recommend. He's got the beetles and green caterpiller type worms on alot of his plants.

All suggestions are appreciated.



07-05-2005, 05:29 AM
Insecticidal soap will work on Japanese Beetles. Just spray in the evening after any bees go home and you won't get hardly any collateral damage.

07-05-2005, 05:53 AM
There are organic ways to control garden pests. Organic farmers here in Vermont introduce insects that eat the pests but do not eat vegetable matter. We also have an insect we call the potato bug. We control those in small gardens by picking them off the leaves and putting them in a can of kerosene and then dipose of the whole mess in an ecologically friendly manner.

07-05-2005, 06:06 AM
I'm a faithful user of insecticidal soap. www.gardensalive.com (http://www.gardensalive.com) has all different kinds of organic, honey bee friendly pesticides. Some are lethal while wet (Pyola's the one that springs to mind), but don't hurt bees once they dry, so you can spray them in the evening and they're safe by the next morning. As for caterpillars, there's good old Bt.

07-05-2005, 07:20 AM
We usually boil and/or steep a good amount of Jalapeno peppers and garlic, then put the mix into a garden sprayer and spray down our garden when necessary. We put the whole mash in there instead of straining it, in case we have some leftovers, it can soak longer. In our garden, pest problems usually only require a few sprays to get through an insect population explosion then they're numbers become ballanced. I would suggest offering to do the work yourself to make sure it gets done organically. He was kind enough to ask before using seven so it would be neigborlly to offer the help, or at least provide the alternative. I sometimes wear a resperator when using the pepper spray. If its made really potent it will burn the lungs. I read an old research article that found garlic spray equally effective as DDT for garden pests.

07-05-2005, 04:49 PM
maybe you could close up the hive the day he sprays...if there isn't active forage on his garden, maybe you won't lose many bees?

just brainstorming...I don't know the longterm effects of sevin

Brent Bean
07-05-2005, 05:23 PM
A company that I do business with Gardens Alive, out of Indiana sells an insect spray called Pyola . I have been using it for years in my garden, it controls Japanese beetles also Colorado potato beetles along with a lot of other critters. I will tell you a the stuff works, I haven’t used the hard chemicals in the garden for a long time. I dose not kill beneficial insects so they help keep the destructive down. Tell your neighbor to check out GardensAlive.com. I have seven hives about fifty yards form my garden and haven’t noticed any die off.

07-05-2005, 06:32 PM
Thanks Folks,

I'm gonna try the Pyola
I have a bad problem with the japanese beetles and I've been trying to figure out what to do about it.
Not only do I worry about the bee's, but I don't much care for spraying it on food


07-05-2005, 09:32 PM
What about fleas, ants and other nasties that get in the yard? I saw the insect regulator for fleas in the gardens alive website but no info if bee safe. Does anyone have experience with this. We are entertaining in three weeks and my boss is talking about sevin and malathyon but she doesn't want to hurt the bees. I need alternatives fast. Thanks
David W

Brent Bean
07-06-2005, 05:48 AM
Like I said try WWW. GardensAlive.com, they have stuff to make your tomatoes grow or disease control for plants to bug control. I have been using them for eight years and have used various products with out disappointment. I don’t like spreading hard chemicals in my yard just to tract them into my home, or my dogs running around in them. Not to say birds and all the critters that I enjoy sharing my yard with. And if you get your water form a well, Well draw your conclusions. I’m not against the use of hard chemicals but If I don’t have to I won’t. All of their products are bio de-gradable .

Dan Williamson
07-06-2005, 05:52 AM
I'll give pyola a try as well. Well, unfortunately he called me last night to say that he sprayed his garden. He said he did it after dark so it wouldn't affect the bees. I appreciate the effort but hope that there are not any residual effects.

I'm gonna buy the pyola and give to him to use in the future. Thanks for the info.

Here is what the warning label says on Sevin.

This product is highly toxic to bees exposed to direct treatment of residues on blooming crops or weeds. Do not apply this product or allow it to drift to blooming crops or weeds if bees are visiting the treatment area.

Sounds pretty dire to me.


Brent Bean
07-06-2005, 06:25 AM
Don’t be to concerned I have hundreds acres of blueberries and an acer of them my self , and we spray them with Sevin. Granted they have berries on them and weed control in the patches, so there isn’t much bee activity but so far ( finger’s crossed) haven’t had trouble with pesticide losses. In our area we have thousands of acre’s of fruit like apples, cherries, peaches , grapes and blueberries. The farmers know if no bees no crop, so they watch how they apply pesticides. If your neighbor is spraying at dusk he must have concern for your bees that’s good. But if he is spraying squash or melons that could be a problem with residue? My guess, if he tries Pyola or some of the other products he will switch on his own. I find as the season goes on I have to spray less because the beneficial insects are not affected and natural control starts to be more affective. Hard chemicals kill everything, and like rabbits and foxes, rabbits breed faster than foxes.

Dan Williamson
07-06-2005, 06:41 AM
I'm not the worrying type. There's not much I can do about it at this point anyhow. He did spray his squash and zuccini which are in bloom. Hopefully if there is any loss it will be minimal. I have 11 hives there.

He is concerned about the bees. He wants them around. I talked to him last night after he told me that he had sprayed. I told him it wasn't a good thing to have sprayed the blooming plants. Now he's really worried. He said if I found another product he'd try it. So I ordered a pint of the pyola for him this morning.

How far are the hives from the areas being sprayed?


Brent Bean
07-06-2005, 07:24 AM
From the garden about 100' form the blueberries about 300'

07-06-2005, 07:31 AM
I don't understand why this product "pyola" is being suggested as honeybee safe. It contains pyrethrin, which is toxic to bees. Its just the naturally occurring (and less potent) form of the stuff used in GardStar (Permethrin) to treat for SHB and is very toxic to bees. Can someone enlighten me as to why this product is bee friendly? See: http://extoxnet.orst.edu/pips/pyrethri.htm
for reference to bee toxicity.

Brent Bean
07-06-2005, 09:23 AM
I don’t recall saying that Payola was bee safe, the question was “friendly pesticides” if you spray bees when they are foraging it might kill them, I have never tested that. However it dose not leave the same deadly residue that chemicals like sevin dose. And after spraying I still see ladybugs and Praying Mantis. But I don’t see potato beetles, blister beetles or white flys..

Dan Williamson
07-06-2005, 09:47 AM
From what I have read pyrethrin is toxic to honeybees. Although I did read one site that claimed that pyrethrin: It is toxic to fish, but "relatively" non-toxic to honey bees.


One site stated that the duration of hazard to honeybees was less than 2 hrs.


I guess relative to Sevin it seems a better alternative. I've read that the residual effects of Sevin can last up to 12 days. If a pyrethrin type product is sprayed at night I would think the hazard to bees the next day would be greatly diminished.

I didn't do an extensive investigation but from what I have read about Sevin... just about anything is better than that insecticide.

Hey, I'm all ears. I'd love to hear somemore thoughts on bee-friendly pesticides or something that degrades quickly enough to be a much smaller hazard.


06-06-2010, 10:29 AM
We are getting inundated with blister beetles. The beetles go after honeybees as well as destroy everying. Looking like were going to hvae to kill them somehow or at least get them under control with drastic measures.

This is what we are dealing with.


06-06-2010, 11:53 AM
Hi: I've been using a thin row covering of non-woven materials to protect my garden from the chickens and pesty insects. I uncover and hand pick pests on those plants that need pollinators. I use insecticidal soaps too since they control the pest levels and I can apply them directly on my flower and vegetable pests and avoid spraying bees and beneficial insects; the residue has little after affect on bees that I can see. Plain old soapy water left over from the dishes is used as a partial control as well. The chickens go after some of the pests too.

This may not be practical for some, but it's working for me. I have two 30' x 60' gardens. I also get some frost and sun protection using this method. My bees seem unaffected by the soaps. Paul