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Bees and insecticides?

Instructions always say do not spray when bees are actively foraging. When exactly is this foraging time?

From when they come out of hibernation until they go back again?

Throughout daylight hours?

Can I remove open flowerheads before I spray a particular plant in the evening?



  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 61,396

    I don't risk it ... I don't use insecticides ... there's always a bee or two about in this garden ... even on a dull damp February day like today we've got bees making busy in the hellebores. 

    As I see it, even if you spray late in the evening after the bees are supposed to have gone to bed how do I know that aren't a few staying up late ................ and there must be some residue of the insecticide remaining on the plants next morning.  

    Since we've been here (2011) the natural predators (ladybirds, lacewings, hoverflies, bats, birds, hedgehogs, frogs, toads etc) have built up and now we really don't get bad infestations of aphids or similar problems.  If there are a lot of aphids on the rose buds early on before the predatory insects are about I just brush them off with a finger and thumb, leaving a few for the ladybirds of course. 

    In my opinion bees are so vital to this planet and under such threat  I'm not going to risk a single one.


    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 25,271

    I'm with Dove. 100%

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 16,830

    ME TOO.


    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Another "Me Too" - both Honey and Bumble bees ( not very technical terms I'm afraid ) are about in my garden throughout the winter months as well as all summer.

    Rarely worth spraying anything in the garden unless you have a specific pest which you have identified and wish to target.  Even then, it is usually possible to find an alternative solution without the use of manufactured insecticides.

    Perhaps if you say exactly what you are trying to eliminate, others may be able to offer you a more environmentally friendly solution.  There is rarely any shortage of advice on this forum and it is always worth askingimage

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,127

    When should you not spray? Every day.

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 20,437

    No sprays here either.  I did once buy some Provado to deal with lily beetles which were ravaging my numerous pots of lillies but never used it.  Instead I gave up growing lillies for a few years.   

    We need beneficial insects to pollinate our crops so can't afford pesticides whose reach can't be 100% controlled in a garden.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 61,396
    Obelixx says:

    No sprays here either.  I did once buy some Provado to deal with lily beetles which were ravaging my numerous pots of lillies but never used it. ...

    See original post

     I did that once Obelixx  and like you I never used it.... not once I'd read how it actually makes the pollen of the plants treated poisonous to bees, even if you've only put it on the roots or  foliage ....... it stayed in the shed for a few years then went to the Hazardous Waste place at the local tip.  Never again. image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Mark56Mark56 Windsor, BerkshirePosts: 1,653

    I agree with everyone else, an organic approach with a wildlife friendly garden is so much more appealing to me. Nothing better than sitting back with a cool drink in the Summer listening to the 'buzz'.

    Honeybees are active most days, all year round and the bumbles have certainly already risen from hibernation here - some may have stayed around all Winter. The bumble queens will be looking for nest locations soon. 

    Last edited: 21 February 2018 17:13:36

  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 15,941

    No sprays, but I have to admit to using a bug spray in my conservatory at the moment, trying to control white fly on fuchsia cuttings, one they are grown on a bit and go outside that will be it. Greenfly on roses can be rubbed off, but I don’t get outside pests except slugs, and I will also own up to using a few slug pellets, and when I say few, I mean two or three grains on newly emerging delphiniums.

    absloutel no need to put them on so the soils blue! 

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • micearguersmicearguers CambridgePosts: 363

    Make love, not war.

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