Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was informed today by the farmer who owns the land my hives are on that he will be planting tobacco this year in the fields around my hives. The closest field will be maybe 30 yards away. Should I move my bees away from that area? I know they spray tobacco for worms numerous times throughout the year. Also I have 18 hives what is the best way to move them? The nector flow will be on in a few weeks so I worry about hurting my honey crop.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
And then the farmer says fine pack your blank and get off my land and dont come back. A few years in the future a new beek sees the farmers land as a great place to place hives. But becuase of pasts experiances the farmer says not just no but hell no. I say just find a new place and dont burn this one. You may want to return.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
648 Posts
Lowe, you might be onto something there but it would be such an inconvenience to move the hives and what about the honey crop?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
535 Posts
Bees will not forage tobacco. Part tobacco management is cutting the bloom off as soon as it begins to flower out. The only thing I would worry about is when he sprays. A couple of things to consider: What kind of sprayer does he use? I will check with a friend who grows tobacco here, I think it is more of a liquid form, applied directly to the plant, not a huge vapor cloud of pesticide in the air, but like you said the only sure way it to move them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,799 Posts
Take the time to make this a learning experience for yourself. Find out what the farmer will be spraying, on what schedule and for what pests. Find out if the farmer does IPM or follows some recommended schedule.

Learn what of the sprays are harmful to bees and if the farmer is taking any steps already (like spraying at night) to reduce the impact on native pollinators. Learn what the dangerous times for your bees are. Are there attractive weeds in the field that are likely to attract your bees? Is the spray harmful primarily when wet?

Don't be too quick to give up on this location unless the farmer is not willing to communicate openly with you.

Remember "Organic" pesticides are not necessarily bee friendly.

Take the time to learn to read a pesticide label. The label describes how the pesticide must be used and what precautions humans must take handling the pesticide.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
I understand the inconvenience, but if this site is of that much value to you. If handled wrong it could be lost for ever. Does this farmer have another place to move them to? Is he willing to call the day before spraying? And then spray after dark so you can cover your hives. I have seen beekeepers that once setup on someones land feel they now have the right to dictate land use and management. They forget they are guests not the owner. If the landowner cant make a profit from their crops you will have a housing development in place of that field. So talk to them and see if you can work things out. If not leave on good terms.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
648 Posts
But wouldn't it be better if the farmer didn't spray and the beekeeper didn't have to move the hives? Wouldn't it be best if both parties just did nothing? Less chemicals and more honey.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
535 Posts
But wouldn't it be better if the farmer didn't spray and the beekeeper didn't have to move the hives? Wouldn't it be best if both parties just did nothing? Less chemicals and more honey.
The tobacco farmer has thousands of dollars tied up in his crop. If he doesn't spray, tobacco worms will destroy his crop, that is money he uses for his family, house payment, etc. That is his job. I am not trying to get into a debate about the merits of raising tobacco, or the use of pesticides, but that is HIS land. The poster is a guest there. If the farmer was willing to let him set up 18 hives, I bet he would be willing to spray in the evening, or at least let the poster know what and when he was spraying.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
269 Posts
omg Haraga ... the point is that it is not the poster's land. It doesn't matter a hoot whether or not the farmer "should" or "should not" go treatment free, the only question is whether to move or not based on what he in fact will do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I want to keep good ties to this farmer and yes he owns the land. My main cconcern is if the chemicals sprayed will kill my hives. I feel that he would work around and spray in the mornings or late evenings for me
I'm afraid of bee kills and also if I move them will it stress them to the point of ruining my honey crop.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
I want to keep good ties to this farmer and yes he owns the land. My main cconcern is if the chemicals sprayed will kill my hives. I feel that he would work around and spray in the mornings or late evenings for me
I'm afraid of bee kills and also if I move them will it stress them to the point of ruining my honey crop.
You may just have to sacrifice some honey production. Unless you own the property that your hives sit on you are at the will of the owner. I should add unless you have a written contract stating each parties responsibilities.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
276 Posts
I think some communication is in order, but I dont think a simple move would destroy your potential for honey. They would need to be moved a sufficient distance but they will reorient in a couple days and bee off and running!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
My main cconcern is if the chemicals sprayed will kill my hives. I feel that he would work around and spray in the mornings or late evenings for me. I'm afraid of bee kills and also if I move them will it stress them to the point of ruining my honey crop.
That's great that he'd be willing to spray at certain times for you! It would likely help if we knew what he's planning on spraying. Can you ask him? Some things like Bt won't hurt your bees (plus, he'll likely spray at dusk to maximize the caterpillar-killing effectiveness), while other things just might, even though, like Matt said, they won't forage the tobacco.

Cross your fingers that it's Bt he's going to spray. Then you can leave your hives.

(BTW, I'm not a beekeeper yet, but am a horticulturist at a local organic garden center, so field this type of question every day from homeowners who don't want to harm beneficial insects and other organisms. Once you find out what he's spraying, post it here and I'll be glad to do some research and ask my coworkers about it.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,050 Posts
Personally,
I would try to work with the farmer. Figure out what he sprays, what he sprays and when. Most farmers will have a pretty good idea how far overspray goes and they can give you some pointers on how to position your hives, so that they are safe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
If I decide to move them how do I close them up? Hadn't moved my hives since I started keeping bees 3 years ago. I've heard some close up the hive but others just load them up and count there losses.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,799 Posts
If I decide to move them how do I close them up? Hadn't moved my hives since I started keeping bees 3 years ago. I've heard some close up the hive but others just load them up and count there losses.
Depending on outside temperature, I generally screen the bottom entrance (about an hour before dawn) and put a screened inner cover on. Presuming the bees are not on pallets use hive staples or something similar to attach the bottom board to the first box. Depending on the move distance, I will often use a ratchet strap to keep the hive together during the move.

Straps are becoming an all year piece of equipment for me as the winds we have been getting locally seem to have increased in strength and I'm tired of tops blowing off of hives. My year round straps are not ratchet straps (too expensive) but lashing straps. I've had rocks slide off of hives only to have the cover then blow off.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top