This is a great question to ask. Many bees die from a combination of poor nutrition, mites, and pesticide exposure every season, every year. There’s room for improvement in the communication about pesticides. Here are some other helpful tips:
Talk about pesticide use with your neighbors and pollination contracts
Start petitions like the Pesticides Action Network to enact legislative changes
Track publicly available pesticide application data to avoid direct spraying
Buy organic food
Importantly, pesticides remain in the environment long after the spraying occurs. These toxins can still impact the health of your bees days and weeks later. In addition to making sure your bees are getting the proper nutrition and mite control, using probiotics can make a big difference - not only in terms of gut health but also in terms of pesticide toxicity.
Science Can Help with Clean-Up.
The microbes in the soil play an essential role in decomposing pesticides. Did you know that bacteria are used in superfund sites to decontaminate pollutants and pesticides, even to clean up oil spills? Now, in the recent issue of Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology, a probiotic Pediococcus bacteria was found to protect honeybees from pesticide toxicity. There are multiple mechanisms at play - bacteria can clean up the toxins, and bacteria also stimulate honeybees' innate detoxification system. In the end, Pediococcus bacteria has a positive impact on honeybee health, in presence of thiamethoxam and boscalid.
Highlights of the study reported by the authors included:
The honeybee physiology was disturbed by Nosema ceranae and pesticides
Feeding Pediococcus helped honeybees infected by Nosema ceranae
Feeding Pediococcus rescued honeybees from adverse effects of pesticides
How do you keep your bees healthy?
Strong Microbials works diligently to understand how bacteria can help to prevent pesticide damage and restore health and vitality to honeybee colonies.
What resources do you use to protect your bees from pesticides?
Do you take special measures to protect your bees?
If you have ideas, questions, or advice, we’d love to hear from you.
Leave a comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Vera Strogolova
Co-founder & CTO of Strong Microbials