Pollinator and Beneficials Toxicity Table

Protecting Pollinators and Beneficials from Pesticides

  • Take advantage of the delayed dormant timing, when bees are not active, for many insect pests.
  • Choose the least toxic insecticide possible.
  • Do not spray trees in bloom.
  • Apply insecticides in late evening, night, or early morning while bees are not actively foraging.
  • Even if trees are not in bloom, plenty of plants are blooming on the orchard floor or border. Evening applications are generally less hazardous to bees than early morning applications. Bees can be considered to be active when temperatures are above 52°F.
  • Before making a pesticide application, notify the beekeeper or your county bee inspector of the application, the type of pesticide, and the area of application.
  • Select herbicide formulations that are the least harmful to bees for roadside and other weed control operations. Tests have shown that at maximum dosage, 2,4-D, isopropyl esters, and herbicides that have an oily formulation, are more toxic than other forms.
  • Spraying in late afternoon or evening will also lessen the hazard, since bees will not visit the blooms after they become curled.
  • Blossom-thinning sprays have not been hazardous to bees in orchards. However, Sevin used as a fruit thinner 15 to 25 days past full boom of apples is highly hazardous if cover crop blooms become contaminated.
  • Learn about the beekeeper's problems with the poisoning of bees and enter into mutually advantageous agreements with him or her to best produce bee-pollinated crops.

Understanding the Table

   ++++ = Most Hazardous - Do not apply to blooming crops or weeds.
     +++ = Hazardous - Apply only during late evening.
       ++ = Moderately Hazardous - Apply only during late evening or early morning.
         + = Reasonably Safe - Can be applied at any time.
        --- = No information available.