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Will lawn treatment harm my bees

21695 Views 12 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  SeaCucumber
My lawn service applied MEC AMINE-D made by Loveland to my lawn for weed control. They say it is all herbicide and no pesticide. I would like to try to confirm that this is not harmful to my bees. The active ingredients are Dimethylamine Salt of dichloro-phenoxyacetic acid, Dimethylamine Salt of propionic acid and
Dimethylamine Salt of dicamba. A lot of fancy names. Do I have to worry about this or is this safe to use on my lawn around my bees??
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Well, if it is already applied, confirmation that it will not harm your bees will become evident in the next few days. There likely is not much attractive to bees in your lawn anyways. Those ingredients are common lawn weed control chemicals. They disrupt the life cycle of broadleaf plants, thus killing them. Notice that the selective chemicals won't even harm the grass. Your neighbors probably have it put on their lawns also, so it's not just your lawn that is available to the bees. Don't worry about it, they'll be fine.
There is much discussion in recent years whether or not herbicides are directly hurting bees. They probably are but the jury seems to still be out. They obviously hurt bees indirectly. They destroy their food supply. A bee looks out on a field of grass and sees a desert with nothing to eat.
Here's the link to the MSDS: I found it via a link from the manufacturer's website (they're legally required to post the MSDSs for all their products).

It doesn't list anything about bees. Not sure if that means they didn't test it on them, or if they just haven't noticed any direct ill effects yet.
I agree with Mr. Busch, I have a friend that has 11 acres of grass. He spends a huge amount of money keeping out all the "weeds" in his lawn. He always complains how it is a battle to keep it weed free and dark green. Nothing for the bees to eat. The only thing I did this year was add some clover seed in mine.
I have a friend that has 11 acres of grass.
Oh wow! that is like a smoking habit. All that money wasted on a plant that will grow after a forest fire.
I don't have a direct answer, but can maybe add something to the discussion that would allow others to help.

The herbicide that you mentioned is the dimethylamine salt of another: 2,4-D (a.k.a. 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacxetic acid). I would expect the applied herbicide to have similar effects to those of 2,4-D. If anything is known about 2,4-D and bees, it should be possible to extend that to the substance you mentioned.

The herbicide will not directly impact bees. If it kills plants that would have been forage for bees than there is an impact.

A little pet peeve of mine. Pesticide refers to pest control chemicals. So, herbicides are pesticides. The main ones we look out for are insecticides.

What other people spend on their lawn/fields I don't consider any of my business. Weeds are extremely successful at reproducing themselves. If you have a lot of weeds in your lawn, they will also be in your veggie garden, flower beds, driveway, potted plants and your neighbors yard. I don't have time to devote my life to pulling weeds from where they are not welcome. I don't have 11 acres, only 4 but keep the lawn around the house, about 2 acres, pretty decent. (keeps the deer tick numbers lower) I also have areas that are planted with white dutch clover, wildflowers, fruit trees and completely wild wooded areas. My bees do not get to veto how I maintain my property. (I guess that they do influence though) Do I consider how an action will affect my bees? Absolutely! I will not harm my bees because there are ways to take care of landscape problems without doing so. Do I spray my 15 fruit trees? Yes if I want any fruit at all. But I never spray during bloom or even if there are a few late blossoms. I've never noticed any bees on the lawn while I was spraying for weeds, and I look. I spray 1X per year. Mowing usually keeps flower stalks to a minimum. I do have about 1/4 acre section of lawn that has a lot of clover which I allow to bloom. When it slows, I mow it to encourage another flush of bloom. I do the same with the nearly pure patches (2) of white Dutch clover mentioned above, alternating mowing with the lawn clover to keep some available as long as possible. I would guess that more bees would be killed mowing a grass/clover lawn than by weed killer applied properly. Even that could be avoided by mowing when the bees are not flying, if we can manage.
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There have been some recent studies suggesting that pollen laced with herbicides has a similar negative impact on the health of the hive as does pollen laced with insecticide. Any of these chemicals finding there way into the hive can't be good.
I have a friend that has 11 acres of grass. He spends a huge amount of money keeping out all the "weeds" in his lawn.
and these are the same kind of people who come up to me at a show and tell me about when they were kids you couldn't even walk across the "lawn" without getting stung.
I've been trying to create a lawn that will generated wealth for my family (like a solar panel). I've used some weed killer in the past. That's all done with. I've been carefully choosing and planting a variety of plants, such as snow drops and legumes in the lawn. I've been adding key microbes. I have a thread: "lawn flower mix (Northeastern USA)". I ask questions, and people have given me great information. I saw a TV show called "Breaking Bad". I learned something about lawns, but it wasn't something I would study or remember.
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