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I live in a neighborhood and have my hives in the backyard. I’d like to post a message on Front Porch Forum (a neighborhood listserv) explaining how common lawn and garden chemicals can harm bees and suggesting pollinator friendly lawn care practices. But I’m not up to speed on all the details of what pesticides people commonly use, which are the most harmful, suggested alternatives, etc. Does anyone know where I could find sample text for a message like this? I’m guessing there are organizations that put out this kind of material.
 

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I can't help with that but I do know that if you Post ni your Front yard that you have a Bee colony that the people that do the Spraying are suppose to make sure that nothing goes to your yard.
I caught the guy across the street because he sprays for bugs at that house. He said that he looks for signs about Bee Hives and is careful. Now I am not sure if he is blowing smoke up my skirt but he at least seemed to say the correct wording......... he also has a pic of a Honey Bee on his truck with Pesticide on it :rolleyes:
 

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First consider whether you really want your neighbors to know you have hives.
 

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Bush Pilot is right. Rightly or wrongly, some folks are just as scared of bees, as you are of pesticides.

The few who know about your bees may be supportive. But the more people you let know you have bees, the more likely that 1 percenter loony will find out and give you no end of grief.

Also, can you really attribute any harm to your bees, from lawn chemicals?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah, it's a good point about potential issues that can arise from making it widely known I have bees. All my immediate neighbors know and think it's great but that's just the people who border my property. I did advertised my honey on the neighborhood listserv last fall but that probably elicits a different reaction than talking about pesticides.

In response to Oldtimer - a lot of common garden products contain neonicotinoids. For example, "Bayer Advanced 2 in 1 Systemic Rose and Flower Care" and "Ortho Tree & Shrub Insect Control Ready to Use Granules."

Here's a link I found that lists some of them https://ag.umass.edu/home-lawn-garden/fact-sheets/protecting-bees-pollinators-from-pesticides-in-home-gardens-landscapes
 

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Do you think your bees have been affected?
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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BurlingtonBee, although VT is not yet participating, many states are participating in the BeeCheck apiary registration program operated by FieldWatch. www.beecheck.org Pesticide applicators are required to check for registered apiary sites before applying any pesticide or herbicide that is harmful to bees. Of course this does not prevent Joe Homeowner from using 10x the recommended rate of a pesticide to control the ticks and mosquitoes in his yard.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
RE: Oldtimer -- good question and one that's complicated to answer. I haven't had any hives suddenly collapse or abscond. But if anyone in the area is using neonics or other pesticides there's a good chance my bees are picking it up and bringing some amount back to the hives. I have no doubt that if I got a pesticide residue analysis on my comb toxic pesticides would be found. And those chemicals certainly aren't helping their overall health. So in that sense yes they're being affected, along with anyone who eats my honey.
 

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You had better post your message in every neighborhood within 2 miles of your bees. They don't just feed in your neighborhood.
 

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In that case it could be a case of measuring what harm there may or may not have been to the bees, against possible unintended consequences that could result from attempting to get everybody in the neighborhood to stop using chemicals that contain neonicitinoids.

My own bees have suffered no measurable harm from pesticides for many years now that we have moved towards neonicitinoids, in contrast to the "old days" when people blanket sprayed with far more dangerous poisons that are now banned. Whole apiaries used to be decimated sometimes.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Oldtimer, glad to hear your bees are doing well. Must be devastating for people to lose a whole apiary that way. GrehH, yeah no way I could reach everyone in the 7,000 acres my bees are foraging in but it's a matter of degrees. If a few people use fewer unnecessary pesticides that's a good thing. My guess is that a lot of people haven't given the pesticide/pollinator issue much thought and that hearing from a neighbor about how common lawn/garden products can cause harm might inspire a few people to consider doing things differently.
 

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This is one of the more challenging aspects of bee keeping- opening the eyes of the ignorent. In my village, when I asked for permission to set up bait hives, the mayor told me no! We pay to have a rent to kill company come in and spray. Can't have anyone in the park getting stung... I just stood there, mouth open- dumb founded. Light bulb went on and I thought to myself, when is the next election?
 

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I live in a neighborhood and have my hives in the backyard. I’d like to post a message on Front Porch Forum (a neighborhood listserv) explaining how common lawn and garden chemicals can harm bees and suggesting pollinator friendly lawn care practices. But I’m not up to speed on all the details of what pesticides people commonly use, which are the most harmful, suggested alternatives, etc. Does anyone know where I could find sample text for a message like this? I’m guessing there are organizations that put out this kind of material.
Depends on your neighborhood too.

Why do you think your neighbors will be spraying pesticides?
 

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In that case it could be a case of measuring what harm there may or may not have been to the bees, against possible unintended consequences that could result from attempting to get everybody in the neighborhood to stop using chemicals that contain neonicitinoids.

My own bees have suffered no measurable harm from pesticides for many years now that we have moved towards neonicitinoids, in contrast to the "old days" when people blanket sprayed with far more dangerous poisons that are now banned. Whole apiaries used to be decimated sometimes.
What did they used to blanket spray in the past, was it corn fields with an airplane? I'm just curious.
 

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One thing to remember is that every person who knows you have bees will consider EVERY bee, hornet, wasp, yellowjacket is yours. Especially when they are misbehaving.
Someone's kid gets stung by a yellowjacket, it's your bee that did it.
Bees getting water out of someone's dog bowl, or hot tub....it's your bees .

Best to be discreet.
 

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What did they used to blanket spray in the past, was it corn fields with an airplane? I'm just curious.
About anything and everything Username.

What a lot of younger people don't realise now, is the history of widespread pesticide use is actually pretty recent, and the learning curve has been steep. The one that is now the poster child for misuse, DDT, was not even much used till after the second world war. It was at first considered like a wonder drug. Crop productivity per acre doubled or tripled, and armies of diligent housewives who carpet sprayed their houses with it completely exterminated bed bugs in the USA, which had formerly been endemic and uncontrollable. It's only the last few years that (now) resistant bed bugs have re invaded with returning travelers.

Following the success of DDT, a host of other pesticides were developed. At first there was little to no understanding of health risks and dangers to the environment. It took time to discover that some of them were carcinogens, and all kinds of other bad things. As safer and safer pesticides are developed, the older, dangerous ones are gradually retired.

My bees are a lot safer now, than when I started beekeeping around 50 years ago.

To see how things were blanket sprayed, how ignorant people were, why bees suffered, and how much things have changed for the better, check this video, shot in the 1960's.

I'll stick with sensible use of neonicitinoids thanks.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dDy0o3IIpk
 

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My bees are a lot safer now, than when I started beekeeping around 50 years ago.

To see how things were blanket sprayed, how ignorant people were, why bees suffered, and how much things have changed for the better, check this video, shot in the 1960's.

I'll stick with sensible use of neonicitinoids thanks.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dDy0o3IIpk
Totally agree, I remember so many bee losses in the 70's and 80's, whole yards almost wiped out.
And yes, in the 60's, we used to like to ride behind the fogger as kids in our bikes as well. Crazy huh? However, we were eventually scolded by adults and told to ride our bikes elsewhere.
 

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My 3 hives are backed up to a fencerow next to a crop field, 6 or 7 years now. Rotates corn soybeans every other year. I've had no issues, pretty sure the farmer is only spraying roundup weedkiller. I might have to ask him though what he's spraying.
 

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you don’t need to tell everyone you have bees. i post in my neighborhood list serve
, about the time the mosquito death squad starts to advertise, facts about pesticides and their non-negligible effects on lots of beneficial insects, and note that i don’t have the authority or desire to tell anyone they can’t use pesticides but hope that people will consider their risks. that said, everyone in my neighborhood knows i have bees (have had them for many years) and i make sure they get honey from me every year. i have not had any negative comments and a number of people are thrilled to have bees in the neighborhood. they think it’s cool.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks agastache. That's pretty much the approach I'm going to take. I'd welcome any links/info/sample text you wanted to pass on.
 
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