BBKA Forum

British Beekeepers Association Official Forum 

  • Insecticides

  • General Q&A, Bee chat and only Bee chat please
General Q&A, Bee chat and only Bee chat please
 #3710  by Sian
 22 Jun 2019, 21:59
My neighbour appears to have sprayed a colony of honey bees today. My understanding is that the hive entrances need to be blocked to prevent spread of the chemicals to other hives. If the entrance is blocked, would the bees not be contained? We have a lot of bees dropping and writhing around. My husband saw a cloud of bees fly up then them begin to drop. I was wondering if this is normal and if not, is there anything that can be done retrospectively to stop contamination? Or is it likely it was a swarm instead o a nest? Also, if it is dangerous to other animals who may eat the bees?
 #3717  by Patrick
 23 Jun 2019, 11:26
Hi Sian,

I am a bit reluctant to start making definitive statements here because it’s not really clear what is going on with your neighbour. Are you keeping bees yourself or just concerned about his? Is he a beekeeper or just treating a colony that has taken up residence in his property? Are the bees you saw come out and drop to the ground yours or his? Do you know what he “treated” them with? By the fact you are asking on here, rather than your neighbour is there some existing friction or issues between you?

Best wishes Patrick
 #3718  by Sian
 23 Jun 2019, 12:01
Hi Patrick

No they are not mine and I don't think they are his. There's no friction - I don't know them at all. I actually didn't think it was legal to kill bees but after a bit of research figured that isn't the case and it's more of an ethical issue than a legal one. I was really angry so figured it was probably best not to go and demand details off him.
I'm worried about the impact - I have hens who will eat anything that wriggles on the ground and inquisitive cats that also eat anything that moves - I had to put one of them inside yesterday as he was repeatedly trying to eat them. I thought someone on here might have some knowledge of the dangers. I have no idea what was used but surely there can't be that many products available for none commercial use?
I was also wondering what it actually looked like when a hive was sprayed, blocked or not. Would the bees fly out en mass or is it more likely that this would have been a swarm? If there is a possibility it is a hive I would go and ask him about it as I would be really worried about other bees.


 #3719  by Patrick
 23 Jun 2019, 13:35
Hi Sian

tackling neighbours one has not previously met when you are less than happy is probably not the best plan - so understand you trying to get a handle on things before wading in.

As you say, killing honeybees is not illegal. There are circumstances where householders have little choice. I can only speak from a beekeepers perspective and it’s still not clear to me he actually is a beekeeper. Killing a hive of bees in situ is pretty unusual and as you say would not be done with open entrances.

Your entirely understandable concern is your chickens. Sorry but it is entirely speculative what he sprayed them with and so we can’t advise either on it’s possible impact on chickens.

If you are still concerned I think the tactful enquiry route is your only route. Sorry can’t be of more help.