local-honey-bee-suppliesRJ Honey Farm

Major Bee Loss

Major bee loss.

This is not a rant against farmers or pesticides. This is of first and foremost importance. Farmers have a vested interest in being responsible with the land. Pesticides have kept up from starving from crop destruction.

That said, farmers with pesticides can kill bees. The red box shows a significant bee kill in our hives.

What happens? Farmers need to plant when the weather allows. Corn seed is coated with a neonicotinoid pesticide. The problem is that the coating is sticky. Sticky seeds don't go through the planter. A flow agent is used. Talcum powder is very common.

We all know what happens when you power with talcum. A fine cloud of dust goes everywhere. The dust cloud the farmers make is full of talcum powder made toxic due to the contact with the corn seed.

This blows all over the plants the bees are foraging on. They bring this poisoned pollen and nectar back to the hive, feed it to bees and brood, and severely harm the hive. It also kills other pollinators and insects who forage on the same plants.

Alternative flow agents have been developed to help overcome the drift issue. I understand they are more expensive and some farmers don't use them.

I write this to spread information. Any farmers, please contact me with corrections.

Please don't use this post to hate on farmers or pesticide manufacturers. We live in a big complex world under Adam's curse. The toiling hasn't gone away. What we can do is learn to live with and overcome obstacles together.

Call the Indiana State Chemist at 765-494-1492 if you have a bee kill.