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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Middle Place, Georgia, USA

    Default Dangerous places to put a bee yard

    I have recently got the OK to use a sod farm to place a beeyard. I realize that the sod farm has no benifits for the bees other than providing a place for about 40 colonies. I will be on the edge, out of the way from irrigation, ect. The area is a good area for spring wild flower, and cotton. The sod farmer told me that he will spray his sod periodicly. I'm thinking that the bees won't have anything to do with sod, so there won't be any danger of the spraying. Has anyone had experiences with sod farms? What are your oppinions. Thank you all.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Knox Co, Ohio, USA

    Default Re: Dangerous places to put a bee yard

    As long as the hives are not in a place where any spray drift would reach them they should be OK. Your bees will probably be at more risk from the cotton.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Lyons, CO

    Default Re: Dangerous places to put a bee yard

    Understand that I am NOT a militant anti-agricultural chemical phobe... everything has a place and a guy has to make a living, let science do the talking I say. But that said, if it were my bees, I would try to find another location. Sod offers nothing, as you note, and the unintended drift from spraying can be significant. Not just the risk of drift onto the colonies, but drift aerially onto surrounding forage the bees will work, into water sources, etc. At the absolute minimum I would say find out what EXACTLY they will be spraying, when (like they'll call you the day before every time), the manner of spraying (aerial? Tractor? ATV boom?) and every day they spray you want to shut the bees in the hives that whole day. If the sprays are fungicides, pesticides or absolutely if they are systemic or persistent pesticides, I'd move on... the contamination of neighboring areas (with the forage the bees will be working) is just a big risk, and that'll be more than just to your girls: their wax, the honey.

    Pesticides commonly used on sod range from Baccilus Thurengiensis (benign to honeybees) to Sevin (one of the most acutely toxic pesticides to honey bees, like a couple micrograms LD50). However much honey you give the guy, if his cutting crew tells him they saw some webworms he's spraying ASAP. And your bees are not going to be what's on his mind when he makes that call, it's just economics.

    If it's potentially a great spot (you know the forage is strong for the area and it has good honey potential), my $.02 would be put 2 or 5 colonies on it for a year and see how they do. Best case you get a feel for the microclimate flows and come back next year, worst you lose 5 but save 35 colonies of bees, comb and honey from a windy day's drink from the Carbaryl firehose.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Solano, California, USA

    Default Re: Dangerous places to put a bee yard

    If you are looking for a list of dangerous places to put a yard I would put them in the following order:

    1. In someone else's yard.
    2. Across the road or fence from someone else's yard.
    3. Just a little farther than #1 or #2.

    The following are about equal:

    4. Where they spray lots of Chemicals.
    5. Where there is no appropriate forage.

    And finally:

    6. Underneath greenhorn inspectors nose. Especially if he's so green he can't even decide which end of a hive tool he is supposed to hold. I've seen 'em.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2002
    San Mateo, CA

    Default Re: Dangerous places to put a bee yard

    Add floodzone onto that list.


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