Neighbour Notification for pesticide application- How far is reasonable?

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KATIKATI
Experience
Non Beekeeper
Hi Members.
New to the Forum.
I am looking for ways I can reduce environmental impact of my Drone spraying business. I am about to operate in the BOP (surrounded by orchards and lifestyle blocks) and my aim is to develop practical strategies around protecting local hive activity as much as possible.

I suppose my first question to you would be during my Neighbour Notification process, how far do I spread the notification (1000m perimeter reasonable)? Would time of season play a part in how far I should notify?
 
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yesbut

Staff member
11,698
6,760
Nelson
Experience
Hobbyist
Welcome to the forum Ian, and a big thank you for asking ! The single big issue is that beekeepers cannot control where their bees forage.
Foraging can range several kms quite easily, according to the floral resource available at the time. Commercial beeks may have the option of moving their hives temporarily, hobbyist's/lifestylers can't. Toxicity to foraging bees of chemicals dried on a flower is one item, the other is toxic surfactants in the aerosol affecting flying bees.....other input will be along shortly....
 
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193
269
Bay of Plenty
Experience
Commercial
Hi Members.
New to the Forum.
I am looking for ways I can reduce environmental impact of my Drone spraying business. I am about to operate in the BOP (surrounded by orchards and lifestyle blocks) and my aim is to develop practical strategies around protecting local hive activity as much as possible.

I suppose my first question to you would be during my Neighbour Notification process, how far do I spread the notification (1000m perimeter reasonable)? Would time of season play a part in how far I should notify?
Need more info on what and where and who for, you spraying
 
3,371
6,239
Hawkes Bay
Experience
Commercial
I have had many hundreds of hives poisoned over the years by insecticides and surfactants. Having said that, spray poisoning is nowhere near as common as it used to be and most people behave responsible with their sprays these days.
It is of course illegal to spray insecticides onto flowering plants that may be visited by bees and this includes flowering weeds in places like orchards. I have on occasions been asked to move bees because of spraying but I now have a fix policy of refusing to move hives as if spraying is done according to law it will not cause me any problems. My worst losses have been caused by gorse being sprayed. The herbicide is not toxic to the bees but unfortunately organo- silicate surfactants are deadly whether wet or dry and this is not listed on the label. Other surfactants are toxic to bees if they are sprayed directly with them but otherwise are relatively harmless.
It is best practice to spray any plants either before or after they have flowered and that really removes any risks involved.
Thank you for taking the time to ask this important question. If spraying absolutely has to happen then early morning and late evening of the best times to avoid too much contact with bees. Under no circumstances should sprays be applied over or immediately around beehives and this includes herbicide such as roundup as they can contaminate honey and cause problems with residues.
 

Alastair

Founder Member
8,080
9,291
Auckland
Experience
Semi Commercial
Thanks for being so conscientious.

In my view notifying everyone within a km is overkill, the only people likely to be affected would be beekeepers, but within a circle that big around your operation there is likely to be somebody who will raise some baseless objection and make your life hard.

Me, I just ask people who approach me about spraying near my hives to not spray flowering plants, if you can manage that, you will do well. Sometimes it is unavoidable though for example gorse which can be flowering all the time, or, weeds under the target species. In such cases you could attempt to notify nearby beekeepers, or, attempt to avoid overuse of surfactants. You could also seek feedback from them afterwards so you can discover what works and what doesn't work.

Bottom line though, weed control has to be done. Beekeepers have to be able to go about their business but so do the people who need weeds controlled. My own experience is that I have had no hives poisoned that I am aware of for many years, I think that most people use weed spray responsibly and co existence between beekeepers and weed sprayers is going reasonably well over the last couple of decades.
 
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4
6
KATIKATI
Experience
Non Beekeeper
Appreciate your replies Guys,

Most of my operations at this point are gorse and woolly nightshade which is endemic in the bay.
My Job Hazard Analysis when identifying Hives is for Morn/Evening spraying (with Apiarist notification).

Wasn't aware that dry organosilicone is just as nasty as the wet...

I am looking at a Spray oil Adjuvant which may be less aggressive to replace need for organosilicone.

I know what you mean Alister around neighbours...
At one point I was working for Downer ground spraying kerb and channel on the road berms and some people would get very agitated around the use of glyphosate. They would engage me in the street to debate it's use, or warn me away from their properties ( when I was even 30m away).
 
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4
6
KATIKATI
Experience
Non Beekeeper
I have had many hundreds of hives poisoned over the years by insecticides and surfactants. Having said that, spray poisoning is nowhere near as common as it used to be and most people behave responsible with their sprays these days.
It is of course illegal to spray insecticides onto flowering plants that may be visited by bees and this includes flowering weeds in places like orchards. I have on occasions been asked to move bees because of spraying but I now have a fix policy of refusing to move hives as if spraying is done according to law it will not cause me any problems. My worst losses have been caused by gorse being sprayed. The herbicide is not toxic to the bees but unfortunately organo- silicate surfactants are deadly whether wet or dry and this is not listed on the label. Other surfactants are toxic to bees if they are sprayed directly with them but otherwise are relatively harmless.
It is best practice to spray any plants either before or after they have flowered and that really removes any risks involved.
Thank you for taking the time to ask this important question. If spraying absolutely has to happen then early morning and late evening of the best times to avoid too much contact with bees. Under no circumstances should sprays be applied over or immediately around beehives and this includes herbicide such as roundup as they can contaminate honey and cause problems with residues.
I had this report forwarded to me that may be of interest..........................
 

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  • EFFECT OF SURFACTANTS ON HONEY BEE SURVIVAL.pdf
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3,371
6,239
Hawkes Bay
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Commercial
I have had 50 hives between two apiarys killed by organo silicone surfactants used to spray gorse . I don't blame the spray operators as the surfactants are not labelled as toxic to bees. Numerous attempts have been made to persuade MPI to do something about this problem and as far as I'm concerned they are responsible as they continue to ignore the issue.
 

Dave Black

Gold
BOP Club
3,068
3,681
Bay of Plenty
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Retired
It’s true that generally studies have found that in a ‘resource-rich’ region honeybees mostly forage within one kilometre of the nest (hive). The furthest distance I remember noted was 13.7km, but rarely does it exceed 2 – 3km. These ‘averages’ don’t really provide a reasonable picture of what happens in real life, and don’t really tell us much about mitigating the effect of poisonous sprays.

If we put to one side the physical environmental constraints on foraging, like daylight, temperature, precipitation, and wind, we can think of it in terms of supply and demand for all the things they forage for; nectar, pollen, water, and resins. Unlike other pollinators, honeybee foragers will be members of groups that tend to specialise in collecting each of these supplies, found in separate places and various distances from the hive. The demand for these things changes throughout the colony’s development, and big colonies (>20,000 bees) forage differently and more extensively than small colonies (<10,000 bees). For most of the summer the emphasis is on nectar, pollen, and water, in that order. The demand for pollen is fairly finite with only a kilo or two on hand per hive, the demand for nectar seems pretty infinite, into three figures with sufficient time and availability. Water is collected for cooling and consumption as required from the meniscus of usually still, shallow sources, drips, or seepage. Foraging for all the hive requirements can be carried out simultaneously by different groups of foraging bees in different places. Picture a busy international airport with multiple runways and aircraft leaving and arriving from different countries.

The resource supply is dynamic, complex, ephemeral, weather-dependant, and competitive. Honeybees are not the only consumers. For nectar and pollen scout bees and foragers will find and exploit many flower patches in an area of easily more than 1000ha, switching from one to another and back as the environmental conditions change and/or the resource becomes depleted or too competitive during the course of the day. Provided their home range is not too homogeneous foraging is well dispersed across space and in time. It would be true to say bees (all kinds) prefer ‘weedy’ species.

What can we do? Trying to work out where honeybees will be is more than tricky, and it’s not clear to me that advising beekeepers of spray intentions achieves very much. It clearly doesn’t do anything to protect any of the unmanaged foragers out there, all the complementary pollinators and pest controllers that provide the system resilience we mostly lack. Targeting application for when honeybees are not about is easier, but that comes with its own practical difficulties and still doesn’t address the problem of the unmanaged service providers. The usual mitigations, not on flowers, dawn or dusk, are limited, legal requirements, and Growsafe’s Best Practice lists the necessary principles. Other than that, all we’ve got are better management systems and smarter chemical development.
 
4
6
KATIKATI
Experience
Non Beekeeper
Thankyou so much for your replies.

I have gained further information from a very experienced Aerial Operator who has indicated that Flowering Gorse is actually the poorest time to spray, as the susceptible part of the plants can be protected by the profusion of blossoms collecting the pesticide 'umbrella like'.
Blossoms die off to leave a potentially unscathed plant.
 
1,304
1,774
North Canterbury
Experience
Commercial
Thankyou so much for your replies.

I have gained further information from a very experienced Aerial Operator who has indicated that Flowering Gorse is actually the poorest time to spray, as the susceptible part of the plants can be protected by the profusion of blossoms collecting the pesticide 'umbrella like'.
Blossoms die off to leave a potentially unscathed plant.
This may well be fact, however rest assured that in my experience, when that machine gets working the air from above and the chemical is flowing it really doesn’t matter if it’s in bloom or not it still wipes it out.. once they’ve flown over it once in one direction they hit it again on the diagonal to cover any ‘misses’ she still turns spray grey pretty quick.
 


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