This past Thursday evening, I attended the Utah Managed Pollinator Protection Plan open house hosted by the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF). UDAF is passionate about pollinators and has released a draft plan advising beekeepers, pesticide applicators and landowners on how they can do their part to protect and promote bee populations. Here are seven simple and inexpensive steps UDAF suggests that landowners can do to prevent honeybee poisoning and reduce damage to non-target insect populations. Click here for additional tips for backyard hobbyist beekeepers.
- Work with beekeepers to choose hive locations. The beekeeper and the landowner should work together to find a location which suits both parties.
- Discuss honey bee issues with renters. There should be good communication between parties regarding considerations related to beekeeping.
- Decide who is responsible for locating hives and notifying beekeepers of application. If a commercial pesticide applicator is contracted to make applications, be sure to make clear who has the responsibility of locating and notifying nearby beekeepers.
- If it is dangerous to bees, consider selecting an alternative chemical. Read the label to determine if a pesticide is hazardous to bees. Consider using a different chemical or formulation that is less hazardous to bees.
- Control weeds before they begin to bloom. If weeds are already in bloom, kill them mechanically or with a selective herbicide that is not hazardous to bees.
- Advice from agronomists should incorporate pollinator concerns. Crop consultants and agronomists should consider the effects of management recommendations on pollinators.
- Plant for pollinators.
Plant flowering plants, trees and shrubs to provide forage sources for honey bees, especially in non-crop or non-farmable area.
For additional information on why this “Utah Managed Pollinator Protection Plan” is being drafted, read the KSL article “Proposal aims to curb decline in honeybees” and watch the FOX 13 News video below!