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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Ankeny, Iowa, USA
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    598

    Default Bee Friendly Garden Chemicals

    Are there any chemicals that can be used in a garden that won't harm the bees? About the only thing I have trouble with is the big green caterpillars that get on my tomato plants. In prior years I have used a Sevin dust but didn't think that would be a good idea since I have bees now.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,963

    Default Re: Bee Friendly Garden Chemicals

    There are lots of chemicals you can use in your garden that won't harm bees - let's narrow down what you want to accomplish:

    Do you want to keep the big green caterpillars from munching on your tomato plants or skip the niceties and kill them?
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Ankeny, Iowa, USA
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    598

    Default Re: Bee Friendly Garden Chemicals

    If its not going to hurt the bees, I would rather see the caterpillars dead.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Hampton CT
    Posts
    360

    Default Re: Bee Friendly Garden Chemicals

    The key to using pesticides is to READ AND FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS. A few things you will find on the lable is a warning not to spray when the plants are in bloom, and not letting the spray drift onto other plants that are in bloom. I raise giant pumpkins and striped cucumber beetles will destroy a plant. Therefore, I spray Sevin when I see beetles. I remove any flowers and don't allow spray to drift onto any flowering plants. I also spray at dusk when no bees are present. I never see any bee kill as a result.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    roswell, georgia, USA
    Posts
    720

    Default Re: Bee Friendly Garden Chemicals

    Check out products based on permithrum/permithrin (synthetic). I spray late evening & dribble under the hives as well with no issues. I try to avoid the blooms and limit to folage and soil.
    EAS Georgia Certified. "Tradition - Even if you have done it the same way for years doesn't mean that it is not stupid."

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Jefferson Co., WV, USA
    Posts
    157

    Default Re: Bee Friendly Garden Chemicals

    Spray some BT on then, a lot less toxic than sevin. WVMJ
    Meadmaking with WVMJ at Meads and Elderberry Winemaking

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Atlanta, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: Bee Friendly Garden Chemicals

    Yeh BT is the way to go, you can find it at Gardens Alive.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Norfolk County, MA, USA
    Posts
    175

    Default Re: Bee Friendly Garden Chemicals

    I have been gardening for well over 15 years and have never needed pesticides. I use beneficial plants that dissuade pests and others to attract beneficial insects. I also use bird feeders, birds that eat insects with visit your yard if others are flocking nearby. I do use grape jelly, mealworms and suet for the insect eaters.

    I use lots of compost & turkey manure as well to give the plant the nutrients they need to survive against pest attacks as well. Also planting around a pests cycle works too.

    I out produce by ten times in yields against most home gardeners who use pesticides even the old Italians, one of which I know who shakes his head in disbelief as I can feel his defeat at my success
    Think about it....Buy American

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Birmingham, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: Bee Friendly Garden Chemicals

    I'm with you, Spark. No pesticides at all for anything. If I wanted to eat chemicals I wouldn't bother growing my own vegetables.

    I think the biggest problem with using pesticides is that they invariably end up killing both the pests AND the predators that prey on those pests. Once you remove the predators, the unwanted pests will be back with a vengeance. Then you'll have to spray even more pesticides.

    It takes time, but eventually you'll end up with a very diverse collection of insect species that are kept in check by natural predators with no one species becoming a dominant pest.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ankeny, Iowa, USA
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    598

    Default Re: Bee Friendly Garden Chemicals

    Quote Originally Posted by Yucca Patrol View Post
    I'm with you, Spark. No pesticides at all for anything. If I wanted to eat chemicals I wouldn't bother growing my own vegetables.

    I think the biggest problem with using pesticides is that they invariably end up killing both the pests AND the predators that prey on those pests. Once you remove the predators, the unwanted pests will be back with a vengeance. Then you'll have to spray even more pesticides.

    It takes time, but eventually you'll end up with a very diverse collection of insect species that are kept in check by natural predators with no one species becoming a dominant pest.
    I'm all for the no pesticide approach. What predator eats tomato caterpillars?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Birmingham, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: Bee Friendly Garden Chemicals

    Quote Originally Posted by LeonardS View Post
    I'm all for the no pesticide approach. What predator eats tomato caterpillars?
    They may not eat them, but children paid a dime per caterpillar are pretty good caterpillar predators.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Asheville, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    552

    Default Re: Bee Friendly Garden Chemicals

    Do you have so many tomato plants that you can't just pick them off and kill them? That's one of my favorite jobs all summer long! I normally only find a few all summer here.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Norfolk County, MA, USA
    Posts
    175

    Default Re: Bee Friendly Garden Chemicals

    Quote Originally Posted by LeonardS View Post
    I'm all for the no pesticide approach. What predator eats tomato caterpillars?
    This is from "Gardens Alive" : They are talking about parasitic wasps BTW

    Back to the Plants of Attraction: These highly beneficial little waspies like a little nectar and pollen to cleanse their palates in between caterpillar meals, especially from tiny flowers that grow in umbrella-like clusters, like dill, fennel, Queen Anne’s lace and biennials like carrots and parsley left in the garden for a second year. They also like compound, daisy-like flowers, tansy, spearmint, clover, sweet alyssum and many others. The wasps are native almost everywhere—so “if you plant it, they will come”.

    Also you can plant Marigolds they work well
    Last edited by Spark; 06-26-2012 at 04:10 PM. Reason: adding info
    Think about it....Buy American

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM, USA
    Posts
    119

    Default Re: Bee Friendly Garden Chemicals

    I've always hunted and killed the tomato hornworms by hand...no chemicals. They do look very much like the underside of a tomato leaf, so they aren't all that easy to spot sometimes, especially when they are little, but look for poop on the leaves, then start your search right above the poop. Works like a charm!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ankeny, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    598

    Default Re: Bee Friendly Garden Chemicals

    The problem is that I am only at my garden on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. As you know, the worms can devour a tomato plant in one night.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM, USA
    Posts
    119

    Default Re: Bee Friendly Garden Chemicals

    The can definitely do severe damage pretty quick! I've never found any type of "natural" product that really works on them. Let us know if you find something. Good luck!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Stilwell, KS
    Posts
    1,918

    Default Re: Bee Friendly Garden Chemicals

    Quote Originally Posted by SantaFeBeek View Post
    I've always hunted and killed the tomato hornworms by hand...
    Yep, that is one garden pest that I eradicate by hand and I can vouch for the poop detection method. I find the timing of their appearance especially fun because they show up like clockwork near the Fourth of July. Nothing like turning a caterpillar into flying green ooze with a firecracker.

    The ones that I find with white wasp eggs all over makes my skin crawl.
    Honey Badger Don't Care ಠ_ಠ ~=[,,_,,]:3

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