The Beekeeper’s Companion Since 1861
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Spray applications into blossoming oilseed rape – A technological chance of minimizing residues of crop protection products in honey bee colonies

- June 1, 2016 - Dr. Klaus Wallner - (excerpt)

Crop protection products assure yield and quality of agricultural products. However, media is sensitizing the community, i.e. dramatic reports of increased bee mortality. Hence negative criticism of chemical crop protection is growing. Today, bee protection and crop protection are very meaningful topics and are gaining importance in political context.

Oilseed rape is a relevant food source as well as a source of chemical residues. In particular, winter oilseed rape is one of the most important flowering plants in spring. In some landscapes it is the only crop providing nectar and pollen. Harvesting of hay in biodiverse grasslands is increasingly abandoned in favor of silage making. This leads to a replacement of numerous meadow flowers and a successive loss of flowering species. In intensively managed orchards as well as in orchard meadows the same shift of flowers to more dominant grass species is observed. Due to a lack of alternatives, pollinating insects are forced to…