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Pesticides and Pollinators

All pollinators are vulnerable to a number of different pesticides. Application of pesticides on flowering plants is the greatest hazard. In 1889, William B. Alwood, horticulturist and pest management specialist at Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College (now Virginia Tech) cautioned grape growers in Albemarle County (VA) to not spray their grapes when in bloom to avoid killing honey bees. Professor Alwood's advice is the most important practice of pollinator protection when dealing with pesticides.

IPM Elements for Beekeepers

Honeybees demand protection from pests and diseases. As a result, beekeepers use pesticides and other pest management strategies. Beekeepers must use pesticides sparingly and properly. Maintaining a strategy of integrated pest management protects the health of the bee population, the beekeeper, the environment, and the public. It also assures that viable pest management strategies are available for future use. IPM Elements are best management practices in IPM for apiculture.

IPM Elements (Best Management Practices) for Honey Bees in the Mid-Atlantic States

 

The purpose of this document is to consolidate current integrated approaches to honey bee pest management in the mid-Atlantic region. The goals are: 1) to form a general working definition of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for honey bee management, and 2) to develop a system of assessing how well apiarists adopt IPM guidelines, and if their operations have implemented enough core practices to qualify them as "IPM Practitioners" under these guidelines.


Beekeepers should use this document and its sub-headings as a checklist of possible IPM practices. Apiarists should count only the activities they perform in their honey bee pest management practices and aim to be compliant with 80% of the activities listed below.


This document is intended to help beekeepers identify areas in their operations that possess strong IPM qualities and also point out areas for improvement. Beekeepers should attempt to incorporate the majority of these specific techniques into their usual production and maintenance practices, especially in areas where they fall short of the 80% goal.

 

To view the document, click HERE [PDF].

 

 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:

 

WRITTEN AND DEVELOPED BY:

  • Rick Fell - Professor, Virginia Tech Dept. of Entomology, 324 Price Hall, MC 0319, Blacksburg, VA 24061 - rfell@vt.edu
  • Holly Gatton - Project Manager, Virginia Tech Pesticide Programs, Dept. of Entomology, 302 Agnew Hall, MC 0409 Blacksburg, VA 24061 - hgatton@vt.edu
  • David Tarpy - Extension Apiculturist, North Carolina State Univ., Dept. of Entomology, Campus Box 7613 Raleigh, NC 27695-7613 - david_tarpy@ncsu.edu
  • Steve Toth - Associate Director, Southern Region IPM Center, Campus Box 7613, Raleigh, NC 27695-7613 - steve_toth@ncsu.edu
  • Mike Weaver - Professor & Director, Virginia Tech Pesticide Programs, Dept. of Entomology, 302 Agnew Hall, MC 0409, Blacksburg, VA 24061 - mweaver@vt.edu

 
 

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