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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just started out with four hives. They are located in my hayfield a few hundred feet from my apple orchard. The orchardist has informed me he sprayed his orchard nearby today, and will be spraying mine tomorrow, and said I should confine the bees in their hives for three days. I took beekeeping class last year and was told having bees near an orchard would not be a problem, just confine them during a spray and after it has dried they could be let loose. I have the hives outfitted with robber screens that can be closed off to confine the bees. Last night I shut them in. Other than a few who showed up today and are buzzing about, the mass are inside the screen. I took off the sliding board off the bottom screen last night thinking it would help them moderate hive temperature. Any advice on how to proceed? For at least this apple year this will be an issue.
 

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there we go cn, sorry for the confusion.

i've no experience with orchards being sprayed, but there are some on the forum that should be able to help you out.
 

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Find out what he is using and look up the label and read it yourself. If the apples are in bloom he is almost certainly not using an insecticide. If post-bloom and using insecticide, what is blooming on the orchard floor would be the concern.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I had thought of that earlier, so I went over to his orchard. He was spraying a liquid calcium, a fertiliser, a fungicide, and product to control scale. None of the labels mentioned toxicity to bees. However, he had bottles of Carbaryl sitting out, those labels said highly toxic to bees. It said beekeepers within one mile must be notified and spraying done around sunrise or sunset when bees are less active. It also said not to use when target plant or weeds are in bloom. He said he intends to spray the Goldens (I have Red and Golden Delicious) with it next Wednesday. Most of the bloom is off the apples, once enough fruit is set he sprays the trees with lime and sulphur to halt the bloom. He does that even when the rental bees are here. However the floor is loaded with dandelions, so that will need to be mowed down. Label said nothing of confining bees, only to notify keepers so they can take measures to protect. So I'm still wondering how long they can be confined in the hive. If anyone has any experience with nearby orchards (even if I tore out all my trees I still have three within a mile) I would appreciate knowing how you handle it.
 

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he is probably using the carbaryl for thinning the fruit, get him to mow the orchard floor and spray b/4 the dandelions open in the morning. You can place burlap over the hives and put a lawn sprinkler running on them if close to water, if he does his part and you do your part normally no problem releasing after it dries. but find out what other pesticide he will be spraying next wed. with the seven.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Thank you for your reply. Last night I mowed as much of the orchard as I could with a small tractor. He's already out there spraying. The bees are not located in the orchard, they are behind a mound about 300' from the trees, but I'll pick up some burlap and put a sprinkler on them. The section of the hayfield where the bees are is to be planted in bee forage, so I have water there already. After the spray dries I'll continue mowing and let the bees out tomorrow and hopefully they'll work the hayfield which has unsprayed dandelions in it. Tomorrow I can check the hives and refill the feeders and pollen patties.
 

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It's good advice to know what is being sprayed and when and to read the labels.

I pollinate apples and the growers cut the orchard floor during the afternoon and spray beginning at sunset of the same day, some use lights.
This after they were blamed by beekeepers for killing pollinating bees in the past. In fact that is how I got the pollination gig, the growers didn't
want the other beekeepers to pollinate the orchards anymore because of all the finger pointing and the blame game. They called me in needing bees for pollination and laid out the problem and asked how they can manage their fruit trees and cause as little trouble for the bees as possible. One said outright that he didn't want to kill my bees and might go without bees for pollination until his wife made us go in the truck together through the orchard and talk 'about it'.
The growers really came up with the spray procedures and it's worked out.

An adjustment I've made is to try and change out 2 or three drawn frames in every box every year to keep wax contaminants down and I don't keep bees in the orchard all year round. I've also come to realize that fungicides are also a problem and should be viewed as one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you, and I agree. We are still working out the details of the contract and I will add that he must provide labels and information prior to spraying. Getting him to give notice was a milestone, last year he would just show up. I recently spoke to the field man from the packing house, he is helpful and I believe he had something to do with getting some cooperation.

The apple industry seems to be having its woes, especially the varieties I grow. In the two years I've been here I seen hundreds of acres of trees ripped out. Some land is laying fallow, some converted to hay, one recent one is now being fenced for a marijuana farm. My plan is to turn the orchard into a bee sanctuary, all forage for bees with flowers and vegetables for crop. Down the road, much of the hayfield will be meadowed in wildflower, and I'm already starting trees and shrubs, such as Evodia and maples, for them. However I still have an organic apple orchard directly across the road, the orchardist's orchard, a cherry orchard, and another apple/cherry orchard all located less than a mile away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The rental bees move on before the spraying begins. They are trucked all over the country. I never see the beekeeper, s/he brings them in one nights and a couple of weeks later there are taken in the night. The nucs I bought were from such a service located in Spokane, WA. I'll try contacting him, thanks for the idea.

This was a response to @squarepeg post #5
 
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