NZBF: Insecticides near Motueka

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2
1
Lower Moutere
Experience
Beginner
Kia ora koutou,

I'm currently doing the L3 Certificate in Apiculture via NMIT. Loving it so far and looking forward to getting some bees on our little 1.2 hectare block. We live close to Motueka.

One concern I have – given that we're surrounded by apple orchards – is insecticides. We have hedges and shelter belts between us and the orchards but they do a fair bit of spraying. I'm really hoping that by putting the hives in the middle of our property, away from the fences, the spray won't reach the bees in any meaningful concentrations.

Anyone have experience with bees near orchards in this part of the country??

Ngā mihi nui
 
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Josh

Gold
981
717
Christchurch
Experience
Hobbyist
Kia ora koutou,

I'm currently doing the L3 Certificate in Apiculture via NMIT. Loving it so far and looking forward to getting some bees on our little 1.2 hectare block. We live close to Motueka.

One concern I have – given that we're surrounded by apple orchards – is insecticides. We have hedges and shelter belts between us and the orchards but they do a fair bit of spraying. I'm really hoping that by putting the hives in the middle of our property, away from the fences, the spray won't reach the bees in any meaningful concentrations.

Anyone have experience with bees near orchards in this part of the country??

Ngā mihi nui
The problem is the foraging range of bees is vast. So even though your hives will hopefully be safe, the foraging population is at risk. But that’s a reality anywhere. Lots of urban spraying also happens
 
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Reactions: Mummzie
3,513
6,576
Hawkes Bay
Experience
Commercial
I can only comment on poisoning in Hawke's Bay but I imagine it is somewhat similar to what you would down there. In my grandfather's time the lead arsenic sprays killed hives out right and various other sprays have been killing bees ever since. In the last 10 years it has become much less of a problem with newer sprays and orchardists being a lot more careful. At my home here I can remember seeing over 50% of the bees in a hive being killed but I haven't seen any poisoning at all for around 10 years. It's not just sprays that go on the apple flowers but also the sprays getting onto flowering ground plants like clover and hedges like Willows.
The bottom line is these days it's generally reasonably safe to keep bees around orchards although you will get some poisoning sooner or later.. Bees die all the time and the odd bee lying dead out the front is generally not poisoning. With poisoning you will see dead bees both on the entrance and immediately in front of the hive that have all died within a very short time of each other.
These days I am more scared of getting AFB from poorly maintained orchard hives than getting my hives badly poisoned. Orchard areas have always been and probably always will be a danger zone when it comes to AFB.
 
2
1
Lower Moutere
Experience
Beginner
Thanks for your replies - they sound pretty encouraging.

I have had people say to me that they considered getting bees but decided not to after seeing how much insecticide was sprayed. It made me question if I was spending all that time and money for a load of dead bees. It sounds like I'll need to be on my game to spot the early signs of AFB though!!
 

yesbut

Staff member
11,892
6,999
Nelson
Experience
Hobbyist
I've had my first afb warning notice of the summer. I'm expecting lots more, anecdotally top of the south is more of a hot spot than usual.
 


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