Chemical users BeeConnected about pollinator safety
17 December 2019
Agriculture Victoria is encouraging chemical users to actively engage in BeeConnected.
BeeConnected is a national databse and app that connects registered beekeepers with registered farmers and contractors, enabling two way communication on the location of hives and crop protection activities.
“It’s one of a number of tools available to chemical users to help them follow the highest possible safety standards for the benefit of consumers, the environment and especially managing any risks to pollinators,” Agriculture Victoria Statewide Specialist Chemicals Steven Field said.
Mr Field said the timing of chemical use can sometimes coincide with when bees are actively foraging for pollen and nectar, particularly in the spring and summer months.
“The risk of chemical use to pollinators is shared between the chemical user and the bee keeper. Chemical users, including aerial operators and ground-based sprayers, have a responsibility to conduct an on-ground inspection of paddocks to determine whether there are bees foraging on flowering plants, or bees in flight before applying chemicals,” Mr Field said.
He said commercial and hobby beekeepers should register their hives on BeeConnected, to enable chemical users to easily identify and notify beekeepers when and where they are going to be spraying.
“Chemical users must read and understand the product label, paying specific attention to DO NOT statements that appear under the Protection of Livestock section of a chemical label.
“These DO NOT statements are enforceable and constitute an offence* if they are disregarded.
"Spraying early in the morning when bees are less active or spraying on cooler days when bees are less likely to be flying and foraging are further strategies chemical users can adopt.”
Mr Field said pollination from honey bees was a critical element of agricultural and horticultural production in Australia, increasing yields and seed production for growers of a variety of different commodities.
“Cooperation between chemical users and beekeepers is critical for the success of industries and survival of bee populations,” he said.
The BeeConnected database can be found at beeconnected.org.au.
For more information, visit agriculture.vic.gov.au/chemicals, or call 136 186.
*See Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Control of Use) Act 1992.
Contact Name: Deb Banks
Contact Number: 0447 388 193
Categorised under: Agriculture,Biosecurity