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Posted 13 November 04

Bee friendly ??

If I were to ask you a question …”what do you understand ‘Bee friendly‘ to mean” … how would you answer ?

Non-hostile, amicable or maybee even ... hospitable towards your bees ? Yes, why not … Now, if I said a pesticide was endorsed as ‘Bee friendly’ ?

What would you say …? Wouldn’t hurt the bees, benign, you could bath in the stuff ??

……WRONG answer! Confused ?

I shall explain. The British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) has entered into signed contracts in the year 2000 with various agrochemical companies and have endorsed four pesticides as ‘Bee friendly’.

Ah …! But this is a ‘bee friendly' product. Would it affect your bees ? Yes it would. For a list of these ‘bee friendly‘ pesticides please see below ...

BBC Radio Scotland Grass roots programme broadcast end of August this year (2005). The BBKA pesticide endorsements were mentioned. Grass Roots contacted Scottish Farmers Cereal Union who said and I can quote ....

Scottish Farmers Cereal Union spokesman ... David Haughton ... said ... as part of a national quality assurance scheme arable farmers had to adhere to guidance on the use of insecticides and use a variety that were 'bee friendly'

Ergo … The Scottish Farmers Cereal Union are insisting their members use ‘bee friendly’ pesticides ... the ones the BBKA sponsor ?.... which are listed as highly toxic to honeybees.

But … like most people the Scottish Farmers Cereal Union are of the opinion that these pesticides are harmless to bees … so called ‘Bee friendly’ ?

The BBKA are claiming that by endorsing these pesticides as ‘Bee friendly’ they are promoting the safe use of ‘The code of conduct for the spraying of pesticides’ … and in consequence the BBKA have a caveat …these pesticides are only 'bee friendly' if you don’t spray the bees.

Now please do not misunderstand me. The BBKA represent the English beekeepers only, although their title would make you believe otherwise. The Scottish, Welsh and those of Northern Ireland have their own National Associations and are not represented by the BBKA in any way, form or manner.

Why do the BBKA do it ? For money of course. I am told sums in excess of £25,000 have exchanged hands.

I have also been informed that some 'Bee Inspectors' in England do not see the need for 'Spray Liaison' co-ordinators in local associations as all pesticides are now Bee friendly ...

Now lets be quite frank, there are NO bee friendly pesticides, they all take their toll whether in the form of insecticides or the bees returning to the hive covered with traces of herbicides or fungicides. These bees are either refused entry or on forcing their way in, disrupt the hive with their noxious smell.

Do you find this untenable ?... write to your National Association asking them to make representation to the BBKA or write direct to the BBKA telling them to desist.

Surely we have enough problems at present with Varroa and the possibility of the arrival of the small hive beetle.

The 'English'  beekeepers have promoted ....

1. 'Hallmark'  with Zeon Technology by 'Syngenta'


"Ecological Effects

This pesticide is extremely toxic to fish and aquatic organisms and  toxic to wildlife. Do not apply directly to water or to areas where surface water is present or to intertidal areas below the mean high water mark. Do not apply when weather conditions favour drift from treated areas. Drift and runoff from treated areas may be hazardous to aquatic organisms in neighbouring areas. Do not contaminate water when disposing of equipment wash waters.

This product is highly toxic to bees exposed to direct treatment or residues on blooming crops or weeds. Do not apply this product or allow it to drift to blooming crops or weeds if bees are visiting the treatment area.

Toxicity to Non-target Organisms

Improvements in Environmental Impact - Bees

It is no secret that bees and their pollination activity are important to agricultural production. Numerous studies have proven that lambda-cyhalothrin can be used safely with minimal impact on bees as long as there is not direct spray over foraging bees or bee hives. This can be easily managed by timing of application and placement or temporary removal of bee hives. One of the reasons Hallmark can be safely used is because of its high repellency to foraging bees."

2.'Decis'   by 'Bayer Crop Science', BCS used to be known as Aventis


High acute mammalian toxicity. Acute oral LD50 rats (mg/kg) = Decis (395). Severe eye and skin irritant.
Very toxic to aquatic organisms and fish.
Toxic to bees and other beneficial insects.Do not apply when bees are foraging."


3.'Contest & Fastac'   by 'BASF'


"Harmful in contact with skin or if swallowed
Irritating to skin. Risk of serious damage to eyes
Dangerous to bees. Do not apply at flowering stage except as directed on oilseed rape and cereals "

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