In response to many recent reports of possible pesticide kills of honeybees at Ohio apiaries. The Ohio State Beekeepers association has started to independently collect information on possible kills to help in the fight to protect honey bees. If you suspect a poisoning OSBA urges you to:
- Contact your local inspector to verify the kill.
- Take pictures of the hives and collect as much information as you can, e.g. when you last saw the colonies and they appeared to be healthy; personality of the colonies (actively flying, signs of nosema,etc.) direction of the wind, crops growing (or to be planted) in fields nearby; present activity of hives; dead drones? Dead pupae being kicked out?…etc.
- Collect 50-100 bees in or on the bottom board and freeze asap. Do not collect bees that have been lying on the ground as they deteriorate quickly. Leave ~ 100 bees for ODA to collect. They may not take bees that you have already collected.
- Contact the Ohio Department of Agriculture at Reynoldsburg Ohio. – 614-728-6373. They should send someone to inspect the bees and collect samples for testing to determine what pesticide killed the bees. They will also attempt to determine who was responsible for the pesticide spraying. It could take 4 or more months to receive their report. According to recent accounts by an OSBA member, you have to be insistent that they do something and may even have to get the media (newspaper and TV) involved before you will get a response.
- Contact the EPA
- Report the kill to the Ohio State Beekeepers Association. This information will help us bring the problem to the attention of the appropriate authorities. Fill out the pesticide kill reporting form.
Additional information about pesticide kills, the law concerning pesticide application as it relates to honey bees and how to protect your bees can be found at http://www.ohiostatebeekeepers.org/resources/pesticides-and-honeybees/
Please help spread the word to your fellow beekeepers and local association members and report any suspected poisoning at: http://www.ohiostatebeekeepers.org/resources/pesticide-kill-reporting/
The more information we have on this problem, the more effective OSBA can be addressing the issue.