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I've been keeping this blog for all of my beekeeping years and I am beginning my 19th year of beekeeping in April 2024. Now there are more than 1300 posts on this blog. Please use the search bar below to search the blog for other posts on a subject in which you are interested. You can also click on the "label" at the end of a post and all posts with that label will show up. At the very bottom of this page is a list of all the labels I've used.

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

My Own Private Pesticide Protest

Honey bees and other pollinators are all in danger from the pesticides that are currently being sprayed to kill the mosquito in the panic over zika. Pesticide operators apply the poison without discretion, often not paying attention to the instructions for its application.

In addition, they spray indiscriminately in the daytime when all of the pollinators are flying, despite the fact that pollinator organizations have spoken out about the need to spray after dark. After all, they would have to pay their workers overtime to do so. And the definition of after dark in the summer is typically after 9 PM - can you imagine them actually following that directive? Does the photo below look safe to you?

Please try alternative methods.

I have my own private pesticide protest. I walk my dog two to three miles a day through our Virginia Highlands neighborhood. At least ten beekeepers live in my area within a couple of blocks of me. Every time I see one of the signs indicating that mosquito spray has been used in the yard, I pull the sign out of the ground and lay it on its side on the grass so people won't see it as they go by. On Mondays (which is trash collection day), I put the signs in the curbside garbage containers.


  1. You go, girl!!! Just don't get caught ;) I have a problem in my neighborhood with the pot growers. They all use neonics. Funny, they claim to be organic, but a small seasonal stream that runs through some of the "farms" is absolutely polluted with pesticides. I would complain, but two of them are cartel, and I value my life and that of my family. Our county and state have made laws about growing the "weed", but don't have the money to enforce the laws. So, to keep my little girls safe, I have been trying to fill my yard with bee friendly plants, hoping that they will stay home and not wander off!

  2. I very much appreciate your thoughts on insecticides and their harm to pollinators, especially honey bees. I would be better if they treated in the late evenings. I have learned so much from reading your posts over the years and my husband and I are hoping to move soon...high on our list is having bees.

    However, I have a bit of a problem about signs being pulled out. I MUCH prefer to know who is having there property treated so that I can avoid their yards, especially when I walk my dog along side them in the road with my silly cat following us in the grass.

    And, Linda, what you are doing is, in fact, illegal, because you have to go onto the property without the owner's permission with the intention of stealing the sign, which is not your property. Although you wrote that you just put them on their side, you also wrote that you put them in the trash, which suggests that you took them.

    On another note, we have someone in our neighborhood who for years has put up a horrible bright yellow sign of a hand-drawn dog pooping (yes, illustrated with poop coming out from the back end) to say they do not want any dog doing this in their yard. As much as EVERYONE else in the neighbor hates it, because they are near the entrance of our subdivision, we all have left the signs be, because as much as it is an eyesore, they are within the property owners' rights to have that sign there.

  3. You are probably right and I have been worried about that too, so I have stuck to laying them on their sides rather than put them in trash (I did put two in the trash, but since then, not). I actually don't go onto anyone's property. The signs are usually in the no man's land between the sidewalk and the street and I am standing on the public sidewalk when I pull them out and lay them on their sides.

    1. I do know, from putting out signs for our church years ago, that signs on the side of roadways can come under ordinances of the county or city that they have to be removed after so many days or that movers can trash them, but I think that is because people put them out and leave them, which causes cluttering or even littering. Yard sale signs are usually a problem that way in our area.

  4. It's so frustrating. The need to push back against the "kill all bugs" narrative is strong but we don't want to alienate those that need to be educated. I think we should make our own signs that say "Pesticides Poison Everyone!" or "Pesticides Kill Pollinators" or "My Lawn is Pesticide Free" as a counterpoint. Maybe get the people not having their lawns sprayed to put up those signs and the other people will get the message.

  5. Li, This is a brilliant idea. I'll work on figuring that out for my yard, at least!

  6. I'm lucky in that I've had a couple of really nice talks with the guys that spray (from the city) in my neighborhood. They assure me that the mosquito spray that they use only sterilizes mosquitoes instead of killing them, so it should only affect the bees if there is a virgin queen on a mating flight. They still humor me and turn off the spray around my house/outyard.

    I'm glad you mentioned the rosemary. I have a nice little spot set up where I can sit and drink coffee and watch the girls come and go in the morning, but lately the mosquitoes have been getting up earlier and earlier. I don't mind DEET, but I'd rather not smell like off at 6:00 a.m. I thought about putting a citronella candle out there, but I read that citronella will deter bees and I don't wanna do that when I'm sitting 10 feet from their hive. I'm supposed to be relocating a big rosemary bush soon so now I know where I'll put it!

  7. Didn't know rosemary can avert mosquitoes,thanks for the information.


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