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Mar 11

Honey Bees and Pesticides (Bee Info Series - Part III of V)

Posted on March 11, 2016 at 3:55 PM by Allan Warren

Bee Info Series 5Bees are born to work. They are perhaps the hardest working creatures on the planet, and their labor benefits food production in the most valuable way.

Bees are responsible for pollinating about one-sixth of blossoming plants around the world, and approximately 400 different types of agricultural plants. Honey bees are the most economically valuable pollinator worldwide, and many high-value crops such as our apples, pears and cherries are entirely reliant upon pollination. Globally, 9.5% of the total economic value of agricultural production for human consumption comes from insect pollination. This amounts to around $200 billion annually. 

DID YOU KNOW: There are around 4,000 different bee species in the U.S.  The Apidae family is perhaps the most well-known bee family, with familiar members such as the honeybee, carpenter bee and the bumblebee.  
              
In the U.S., honey bees pollinate nearly 95 kinds of fruits (including apples, pears, and cherries). While some plants are able to self-pollinate (sometimes using the wind to help disperse pollen), commercial fruit trees rely on bees for pollination. 

We can all help the honey bees by using low-impact chemicals and spraying during the time that will cause the least harm to the bees. If possible, spray pre or post bloom, and try to do this at night when the bees are not present. This will give the chemical time to dry on the plant before the bees become active again the next day. If late evening is not possible, then early morning would be the next best option. ALWAYS Read all labels thoroughly to ensure proper application rates and timing.

Explore the Other Parts of the Bee Info Series Here:

The Bee Info Series was produced by the Washington Ag Forestry Class 37. Several of the members of this class authored the articles as part of a public policy project. If you want to learn more about the Ag Forestry program visit their website: http://agforestry.org/

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