Note: Applications of insecticides are of greatest concern to bees but other products including fungicides may have advisories on the label. Ohio Pesticide application law puts the burden of protecting bees on the applicators. Apiary Registration are done by June each year with the Ohio Department of Agriculture-Apiary Program who can provide a list by county of hive locations and contacts.
Applicators are required to read the label and follow directions to avoid harm to the environment, non-target organisms and endangered species. The label will indicate if the pesticide is toxic to non-target organisms such as fish, aquatic invertebrates, bees or other organisms.
According to Ohio law, if a pesticide is toxic to bees, it is the applicator’s responsibility to contact the beekeepers with registered apiaries (beehives) within ½ mile of the target area if it is more than ½ acre in size and the crop is in flower. The apiary should have the name and phone number of the beekeeper posted. A list of registered apiaries is available through the Ohio Department of Agriculture.
Applicators should avoid spraying when bees are active in the field with flowering crops or weeds. Other times to avoid spraying are from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. or when temperatures are above 65 degrees F. On extremely hot days, bees may be active later into the evening.
Follow label precautions that relate to drift and be aware of the potential risk to neighboring crops or areas. Filter strips or other conservation areas that border fields may have flowering plants with foraging bees. Bees have a long range and can forage up to two and one-half miles from the apiary.