Hello all -
I'm a newbie here, and in my first year with my first hive. I've been notified recently that for the first time, Japanese Beetles were found in my area (Orem, Utah), and thus the county is goign to spray to eradicate them. The issues are that they suggest we move beehives at least 4 miles away from the nearest edge of spraying (see email #2).
Below is the first email message regarding this announcement:
--- Start ---
Last night's meeting went very well. Clint Burfitt with the Division of Plant Industry for the state and Danielle Downey (Salt Lake County bee inspector and Division of Plant Industry employee) both came down to discuss the impact of the Japanese Beetle eradication program on beekeepers in Utah County. Below is a quick summary of what was discussed specific to beekeeping.
First, everyone should be aware that bio control options were evaluated by the state. Bio controls are very effective when there is a large established population of Japanese Beetles. In this situation they would not be effective since the population levels are very low and most bio control options are species specific.
Second, the state is asking for the cooperation of all the citizens in the containment area to lend their cooperation as this is the only chance they have of eradicating the beetle before it becomes established in Utah County. If the beetle does become established in Utah County, the county would enter a quarantine status and producers of turf and ornamental host plants would not be able to export their products outside of the county and this could have some unforeseen economic impacts.
Third, there has been a confirmed capture of a Japanese beetle in American Fork but the exact location is unknown. The state is going to increase their trapping and monitoring program throughout Utah county to determine the population levels throughout the county. Depending on their results, additional treatment areas may be identified for later this year and will be included in the future treatment program.
So what is the impact for beekeepers with hives in the area? The state is making the following recommendations:
do not keep hives in the quarantined areas or within one mile of the area during the entire 3 year treatment.
when they are going to be applying the pesticides, they are strongly recommending that there are no hives within 4 miles of the treatment area and that hives are kept out this 4 mile radius for about 2 weeks after each treatment.
As beekeepers this does not mean you cannot keep bees in Orem. The state will begin their treatment plan this June by applying a flowable Merit product directly to turf and ground. You will need to have your hives moved out the 4 mile containment zone no later than June 1. There will be two additional treatments with Tempo in mid June and early July. This chemical will be applied to the leaves of plants. Approximately 2 weeks after the last treatment, hives can be moved back into the area (again, not in the actual spray area). Clint has committed to communicate the spray dates to us so that we can pass them on, however, it is probably a safer bet to have your hives out of the area by June 1 and move them back in around Aug 1.
As an association, we need to help our fellow beekeepers in the spray area and within the 4 mile radius locate alternative apiary sites for the duration of the spray/treatment program. If you need help with a new site or can offer a spot, please let the association know and we can create a list of those who need help and those who can help.
If you are unsure about your apiary location and where it sits in the 4 mile radius, shoot us an email. I have a map of the county and can tell you (based on apiary address) if you are within the four miles or not. If you are wondering why 4 miles, you should understand that the two pesticides are metabolized by bees in about 8-16 minutes and that based on their flying speed (15mph) bees can cover 3.75 miles (approximately) before the pesticides would kill them. This distance would prevent (hopefully) the bees from bringing the chemicals back to the hive.
Some final points of interest:
the traps apparently look somewhat like a pipe bomb but with colored caps.
the state will be monitoring the impact on native pollinators
there will be monitoring of well water to ensure minimal impact on water shed
there is the ability to check honey if there is a concern about contamination
As more information becomes available, we will pass it directly along to you. If there is a need for additional meetings, we can arrange them with Clint.
--- End ---