IN YOUR ORCHARD
Principle 4: Pollination’s Interplay with Bee-friendly IPM During Bloom and Beyond Principle: These principles come directly out of Almond Board of California’s Honey Bee Best Management Practices for California Almonds²: 1. Maintain clear communication among all parties involved, particularly on the specifics of pesticide application; 2. If it is necessary to spray the orchard, for instance with fungicides, do so in the late afternoon or early evening;
Principle 5: IPM within the Cover Crop and Monitoring for Pests, Pre-Termination Principle: Cover crop may provide occasional structure and food (e.g., for gophers) for unwanted pests, but just like any IPM program, careful monitoring of cover crop can and will make all the difference. Even though this is a factor in cover crop management, our experience and participant surveys strongly suggest that cover crop has vastly more benefits than drawbacks with almond IPM. This is a developing topic in California almonds and cover crops. There have been a small number of instances over the last few years where a few technical advisors in the Seeds for Bees’ BioBuild3 Mix. This orchard in San Joaquin County has high distribution uniformity with a solid set system. This cover crop bloomed the brassicas first during almond bloom, then, shown here after leaf out, with peas, grass, and bell beans, providing more floral resources before the bees depart to their next job.
3. Until more is known, avoid tank-mixing products during bloom; and
4. Avoid applying insecticides during bloom until more is known about the effects on honey bees, particularly to young, developing bees in the hive. Fortunately, there are several insecticide application timing options other than bloom time treatments.³ As a principle, our operation does not spray during bee flight hours/temperatures. Simply put, don’t spray your bees, especially not with tank mixes that we know little about. This is especially becoming more and more true for adjuvants 4 — we simply do not know enough about the plethora of adjuvant materials out there.
2 https://www.almonds.com/sites/default/files/honey_bee_best_management_practices_for_ca_almonds%5B1%5D.pdf. 3 Almond Board of California’s Honey Bee Best Management Practices for California Almonds 4 See, for example, the research of Diana Cox-Foster’s, et. al.: Chronic exposure to an agricultural spray adjuvant and honey bee pathogen causes synergistic mortality in larval honey bees (Apis mellifera) J Fine, C Mullin, D Cox-Foster. 2016 International Congress of Entomology. Pollinators as keystones of agriculture and natural ecosystems: Impact of organosilicone spray adjuvants on their health and reproduction. D Cox-Foster, E Klinger, W Doucette. ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY 258. Altered Feeding Behavior and Viral Detection in Honey Bees Exposed to Organosilicone. M Thompson, E Klinger, K Kapheim, D Cox-Foster. An inert pesticide adjuvant synergizes viral pathogenicity and mortality in honey bee larvae. JD Fine, DL Cox-Foster, CA Mullin. Scientific reports 7 (1), 1-9. Impacts of honey bee viruses, an agricultural adjuvant, and their interaction on blue orchard bee (Osmia lignaria) larval development. N Boyle, MKF Williams, E Klinger, D Cox-Foster, T Pitts-Singer. Entomology 2019.
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