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Well, my neighbor called my about 10 min before they started spraying their field with 2-4-D. it is about a 5 acre piece of land. the fenceline is about 40yds from my apiary to the west. It seemed like whatever breeze there was tonight was out of the south.(not much) I told her that this was not the ideal time to spray a herbicide whereas we are in the middle of a nectar flow. The bees were mostly out of the fields and back in the hives when they we spraying. Should I be concerned????????? we are in the apex of our heavy nectar flow and they have/had blooming foliage on the land. I currently have 8 supers about half full right now.
 

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Yes. You should be concerned. I would ask the owner as a consideration of being good neighbors to inform you 24 hours ahead.
I lost a hive last year to round up, I got the owner to let me know before they sprayed, the hired applicator called when he got to the field. I had posted signs on the equipment. He was not happy but did another field. I covered my hives and so far ok.
 

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I'm sure there is reason for some concern. What I did was asked my neighbors to let me know 24 hours in advance, or if they spray early in the morning or late in the evening, that is probably sufficient. Most of them do try to accommodate. That being said, since bees will travel up to 3 miles to forage, does it really matter? There is NO WAY you are going to control spraying in the 3 mile radius around your apiary.
 

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In Ohio if you apply pesticide you have to notify beekeepers within a mile. 24 hour notice. This gives you time to lock up hives.
 

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Well, my neighbor called my about 10 min before they started spraying their field with 2-4-D. .... Should I be concerned????????? we are in the apex of our heavy nectar flow and they have/had blooming foliage on the land.
Typically farmers dont spray 2-4D on crops which are in bloom. You must mean they are spraying the weeds from their fields, to which your collecting a crop from... Not much you can do. The plant will die, and your flow will end on that field.
 

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Just a few thoughts and observations...

From the standpoint of one who works with a fairly large crops oriented farm supply company, a few recent trends in application methods may in fact be safer for bees than the way things were done in the past. With the advent of GPS and precision application systems, we are now doing more spraying very early in the morning and later in the day, in fact quiet often at night. The timing of these applications may be less harmful to be as they aren't out foraging when we're spraying.

If they are present, it wouldn't make much difference if we were only spraying water and adjuvants. Adjuvants are usually either surfactants (soaps) or crop oil concentrates which break the surface tension of the spray droplets and allow the spray solution to coat the leaves of weeds better. Of course we all know that soaps or crop oils are also used as "organic" insecticides in some production systems, so the best safeguard for our bees is to either prevent them from being present when spraying occurs or time our spaying so they won't be present.
 

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It's just 2-4D, I wouldn't think twice about it. Adjuvants will cause kill if they're spraying the bees directly, how you lose a hive to Round-Up is beyond me. I've had bees near corn that got sprayed weekly with something they had to post a 24-48hr REI, my hive was 30' away, never had an issue.
 

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There are two concerns with the use of any herbicide. The first is does the herbicide itself pose a threat to bees. According to the label I looked at (Dow) 2,4-D has a low toxicity to bees. Still, applying at night is a good idea as many pesticides (the term pesticide includes herbicides, insecticides, etc.) are toxic to bees when wet (or first applied) but when they've had a chance to dry pose low direct risk to bees. The reason for applying at night is that honey bees and native pollinators should have a reduced presence.

The second concern has to do with what the herbicide is being applied to accomplish. If the intent is to kill flowering plants that are used for forage by bees than there is certainly an impact in terms of reduced forage opportunities and the potential for the collection of tainted pollen/nectar.

You should be grateful that you got any advanced notice while pushing for greater notice in the future. Use the notice to research the chemical being applied. Learn to read the label of the pesticide so that you can see how the chemical is supposed to be used and what sorts of dangers there are to non-target species and applicators. The label is a legal document and more often than not they take time to read and understand.

The short answer to your concern is that good communication with pesticide users in your area is a must. And that reactions that imply anyone wanting to use ag chemicals must want to cause harm to bees and other critters are not helpful in maintaining good communication.
 

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It's just 2-4D, I wouldn't think twice about it.
Well I guess that depends.

I'm not worried about the health of my bees by the farmer using 2-4D, but….

Got a phone call the other morning, from a chemical applicator. The farmer has hired him to kill all the honeysuckle on the farm. They are using an herbicide called Crossbow, which is a mixture of 2-4D and another herbicide. It is applied to the bark and on the ground around the honeysuckle.

This area is a good honeysuckle area and this year the strongest colonies have stored more than a medium of light colored honeysuckle honey that tastes like powdered sugar.

They killed the Purple Loosestrife. They plowed up the white clover pastures and planted corn. They tore up the hedgerows, eliminating the Sumac and brambles. They're cutting down the Basswoods and Locusts. They want to kill the Buckthorn.

And they want to know what they can do to help our bees.
 

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They plowed up the white clover pastures and planted corn. They tore up the hedgerows, eliminating the Sumac and brambles. They're cutting down the Basswoods and Locusts. They want to kill the Buckthorn.
And they want to know what they can do to help our bees.
All this focus on CO2 and climate change...to focus just a fraction of that energy towards the environment that is intimidate, something that we can change now and it tangible, would help more than just the bees
 

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Bees are a special issue, and bees mean more to beekeepers than the general public. My primary agricultural commodity is beef, and since I raise grass fed cattle with zero chemicals used my agricultural operation does not have any adverse effect on my neighbors. But before I started with bees some three years back, had I wanted to spray something with herbicide I would have done so. I see people doing horrible things to their land, (think junk cars and other trash) but I regard it as none of my business. That's how I was raised. But, bees are the only agricultural operation that comes to my mind as being dependent on my neighbors. We beekeepers share our bees with the community at large, and we expect them to be grateful and assist us. Most people have no concept of how our bees benefit them and really don't give a hoot. After all, they have lived up until now without worrying about bees.

The only reason I posted the above is to remind everyone that we need to educate our neighbors and show good will to our neighbors. They are ignorant of our needs.
 

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Bees are a special issue, and bees mean more to beekeepers than the general public. My primary agricultural commodity is beef, and since I raise grass fed cattle with zero chemicals used my agricultural operation does not have any adverse effect on my neighbors. But before I started with bees some three years back, had I wanted to spray something with herbicide I would have done so. I see people doing horrible things to their land, (think junk cars and other trash) but I regard it as none of my business. That's how I was raised. But, bees are the only agricultural operation that comes to my mind as being dependent on my neighbors. We beekeepers share our bees with the community at large, and we expect them to be grateful and assist us. Most people have no concept of how our bees benefit them and really don't give a hoot. After all, they have lived up until now without worrying about bees.

The only reason I posted the above is to remind everyone that we need to educate our neighbors and show good will to our neighbors. They are ignorant of our needs.
Amen. Lazy shooter, we run cattle too and I'm curious about your operation. How do you control weeds since you don't spray? I would love to be able to stop spraying but we have Red Pigweed on our farm and one plant can produce 250,000 seeds.... We've been spraying for 20 years and just now have started to get it knocked back.
 

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Prickley pigweed (amaranth), a really wonderful plant...grab a handful of that and yank it out of the ground...you won't do that again!!!!<groan>

I guess I need to start a thread on briars...<sigh>

Ed
You got that right. Those little stickers will go through a leather glove like nothing was there.
 

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Brad Bee:

Fortunately, we do not have pigweed. The last few years we have more wild rape than usual, but it seems to on the wane.

I bought my ranch 10 years ago, and it had been over grazed for at least 20 years. It was the case of a widow who moved from the property (absentee owner) and rented to an old family friend. The renter had mismanaged the land so bad that most of the beneficial grasses and weeds were non existent. I sought the assistance of a range management consultant from Texas A&M. His suggestion was to deep plow the land each year for three years, he made it clear that deeper was better. I bought an 11 point chisel plow and followed his suggestion. The chisel plow was his choice as it plows deep and leaves the ground in clods more than a fine textured state. Clods allow the sun to warm deeper as opposed to fine dirt that seals sun from greater depths. January was his preferred month to do this. By deep plowing and letting the sun ward the earth much deeper, seeds that had been in the ground for up to 60 years germinated and the old prairie grasses returned. You might check with a range science person in your area and see if this would work for you.

I brought back an abundance of side oats gramma, little blue stem, indian grass, needle grass, Texas winter oats, and wild flower galore. I also don't fertilize. I drag over my pastures in the early spring to break up and spread the cow manure. Hey, good luck to you.
 
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