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Author Topic: They Killed My Bees!!  (Read 4089 times)
Rebel Rose Apiary
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« on: June 05, 2009, 10:23:03 PM »

Since I live in an agricultural area that uses lots of pesticides and does arial spraying, I contacted the pototo growers early this spring about letting me know when they would be doing any arial spraying, etc. All was fine until I seen a Camel flying around spraying the potato fields not 1/4 mile from my hives!

I now have a major kill on my bees with hundreds of them laying in front of the hives!

I tried calling the field manager for the potato farm and since I worked for them some years ago he and I have not been too friendly. It was his job to let me know when they would be spraying and to let the company doing the arial spraying to contact me before they sprayed! They used several different arial spraying companies, so trying to contact them all would be useless.

I tried calling all of the farms and finally got in touch with one of the family members who is supposed to leave an email for the owner of the local farm.
I was told the owner is out tonight to some event for his daughter....so he will not answer his phone....

I had a long talk with the green bean growers about my bee hives and them spraying the fields next to my property....they worked with me very well and nolonger plant green beans near my property....the potato growers....well, as I said the man in charge of the local farm is not paying any attention to my bees....or to me.

Right now, I am about as sick as I can get.....

Brenda
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Natalie
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« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2009, 10:30:20 PM »

Oh Brenda, I am so sorry to hear about your bees. That is a terrible situation to be in, when someone has total disregard for you.
I hope its not a total loss and will keep my fingers crossed that at least some of your bees survive.
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doak
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« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2009, 10:39:16 PM »

Check with your local agriculture extension office. You may qualify for reimbursement.
Worth looking into.
Sorry to hear about your loss.doak
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Rebel Rose Apiary
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« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2009, 11:09:41 PM »

I just picked up an order from Dadant's and have been putting together more medium supers and frames to add to them, as the hives were booming! I had to leave the property today and it was on the return trip back home that I seen the Camel spraying in the fields!

I will check with my local extention office on Monday! Thank you much for the information. I would really like the potoato growers to show some respect for my CROPS of honey, etc.

I am pretty sure that they use the microencapsulated type of pesticides....a sort of liquid formula that contains capsules about tehe same size of pollen grains...they attach to the bees pollen baskets like pollen does and is  carried back to the hives...the pesticide is then killing bees for several months!

There goes not only my bees, but also my honey crop! It was going to be a bumper crop this year for the 'home hives'. There was also lots and lots of brood, eggs, etc. and my pretty queens.... angry You know, mad is not the word for how I feel right now.

Brenda
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Ernest T. Bass
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« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2009, 12:05:53 AM »

If these pesticides kill the bees, what are they doing to us? And the agricultural world complains about the lack of pollinators.. The DNR will probably end up releasing pesticide-immune pollinators of some sort that will overpopulate and cause havoc.. Wink It's totally crazy.
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« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2009, 12:16:57 AM »

That's totally sickening! I'm worried about my own here, as we're surrounded by nonorganic agriculture, including alfalfa right next to the bees that will probably get sprayed for leafhoppers. My farmer friend told me that by law farmers are required to let beekeepers know if they are about to spray a bee-toxic spray. It's to give us time to close up the hives for a bit.

I would definitely look at your local NRCS, DNR or extension office on reimbursement. I was asking my own county about this recently so I would know what to do in case of hive loss. There is $ out there to help pollinators. Good luck to you!
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JP
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« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2009, 12:56:05 AM »

What a drag Brenda, so sorry this happened!


...JP
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greenismycolor
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« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2009, 01:10:42 AM »

I'm so sorry to hear this Brenda, even money can't replace what you lost, but maybe the extension can help you get another start!
 Sad
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« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2009, 02:24:27 AM »

wow, I'm sorry. (two words - "punitive damages")
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Ken
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« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2009, 05:49:43 AM »

I think for the sprayer to inform you,the hives need to be registered somewhere. Were your hives or apiary registered?
This is one of the reasons for registering an apiary.If so,ands the sprayer did not follow channels notification if its required,you may have grounds for damages.
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Rebel Rose Apiary
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« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2009, 08:52:29 AM »

I think for the sprayer to inform you,the hives need to be registered somewhere. Were your hives or apiary registered?
This is one of the reasons for registering an apiary.If so,ands the sprayer did not follow channels notification if its required,you may have grounds for damages.

My hives are registered with the state as required by laws here. I also took the added caution to send a letter to the potato farm to let them know that there would be bee hives here on my home property and to let me know when they were going to spray chemicals. It does no good to try and call them, as it is a seasonal farm, thus the letter was written and sent.

The man who is manager of this farm, drives by my property at least 20 times a day checking the farm, irrigation systems, etc. He knows me personally, as I used to work for this farm. He drives by slowly and 'looks' at my place when he goes past....not much else to see other than my livestock, bee hives, etc.
He drove past not too long ago and I was unloading some hives....he knew they were here and was notified about them by mail as well.

Brenda
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slaphead
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« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2009, 09:11:57 AM »

Brenda,

I'm so sorry to hear this has happened to you and your bees. 

SH
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Rebel Rose Apiary
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« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2009, 09:40:33 AM »

I am going to start making some more phone calls. I have piles of dead bees in front of the hives and dead and dying bees inside that the healthy (for the moment) bees are trying to remove.

Ants have found the piles of dead bees in front of the hives as well....the birds too. This situation seems to be getting worse.

Thanks to everyone,

Brenda
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JP
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« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2009, 09:52:09 AM »

Hey Brenda, we all wish you the very best with this. After Katrina we had mosquito sprayers overhead and I lost some bees, it was a drag to say the least.

The thing is they did announce they would be spraying and literally as I was hearing the news, I heard the plane fly overhead, ran out to my yard to see hundreds of bees from a couple of my best hives doing flips and cartwheels, dying from the overhead spraying.

I tarped the area and somehow they made it through by the skin of their mandibles.

How many of your hives have been affected?


...JP
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"Good friends are as sweet as honey" Winne the Pooh

My pictures can be viewed at http://picasaweb.google.com/pyxicephalus
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Rebel Rose Apiary
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« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2009, 10:27:30 AM »

I just got off of the phone with the arial spraying company....who now claims that they were just spraying a fertililizer and herbicide base.....but at a very concentrated level as requested by the grower. At the usual level, it should not be toxic to the bees...but he was unsure about a higher than usual application. huh

As I expected, the grower had not told them about the bee hives and they said they did not remember getting a letter from me 'that they know of' concerning spraying in my area and the location of my hives!  Undecided

JP,

 I might be down next to starting over again. I lost some of my hives from the flooding; one very dark Russian queen and her workers were wedged in a tree and I recovered them! They are now in a nuc and in a safe area.

Now I lost the main honey producing hives (established hives that I would get a honey crop from), which leaves me only the nucs and swarms that were not sprayed or flooded. No honey crop this year for me.

I counted 8 hives without any activity at all, 6 more with a few bees at the entrance (under 10 bees) and maybe 2-5 foragers....and the rest of the hives all have handfulls of bees piled up in front of the them...with maybe 10-15 bees exiting the hive in 3 minutes time of observation. It is cool morning here, so I do not want to open any of the hives until it gets warmer.....looks like rain here as it is cloudy and dark, so that might not be happening today.

The bees were covered in a sticky substance and the dead bees last night were all sticky and wet. After speaking with the pilot of the Camel, I think the higher than recommended application of the chemicals is to blame? It also was cooler than usual yesterday, so the sprayed/wet bees might have chilled? I just cannnot believe that I had that many bees in the field that would have been killed.

Brenda

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utahbeekeeper
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« Reply #15 on: June 06, 2009, 02:37:57 PM »

If the rate was so high as to be in violation of the label, and they MUST keep records . . . . you have an EPA investigation and suit at your fingertips.  Does not help today I know, but folks just cannot be careless or off label with pesticides.
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annette
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« Reply #16 on: June 06, 2009, 04:08:10 PM »

Brenda

My heart goes out to you, and I would be crying today if I was in that same position.  I really do hope you at least get some reimbursement for this horrible situation.  Take photos of the dead bees right now.  With all the ants removing them, you may not get a chance to show the pile to anyone. 

Keep us informed how this all unfolds and I send a prayer to you to calm you down and keep you as peaceful as possible throught this whole ordeal.

Sincerely
Annette
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HAB
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« Reply #17 on: June 06, 2009, 05:52:04 PM »

Put some of those Bees in a ziplock bag and freeze them for later evidence and testing.
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GJP
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« Reply #18 on: June 06, 2009, 06:03:11 PM »

Sorry about your girls! 

I'm across the road form 60 acres of soybeans that were planted on rented land by a farmer I don't know.  I'll track down the owner tomorrow and ask about spraying!!!!
Never thought about the arial spraying!
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Schoon
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« Reply #19 on: June 06, 2009, 09:14:15 PM »

Brenda

  Sorry to hear about your bees.
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Bobby
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