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BeSure! to Protect Our Pollinating Pals

April 22, 2022

The BeSure! campaign from the Growing Matters coalition provides key tips to help producers and applicators keep beneficial insect pollinators and other wildlife safe throughout the growing season.

While we’re in the fields working hard to provide an abundant food supply, our tinier, buzzing colleagues are doing just the same. Throughout the growing season, millions of acres across the country are maintained and pollinated by honey bees and other insect pollinators. To assist them in their essential services, we can employ proper pesticide use and good stewardship practices.

You can put stewardship into action in many ways, including:

  • Cooperating with other stakeholders in your area, like other landowners, applicators, farmers, beekeepers and crop advisors, before applying pesticides.
  • Working with beekeepers to locate nearby hives and creating a plan prior to product application.
  • Carefully reading all product labels to ensure that you’re establishing buffer zones between treatment areas and insect pollinator habitats.

Every product has different requirements, and the label is your go-to resource to find out exactly what you need to know. BeSure! to check if your product should not be used on blooming crops or weeds in or near the treatment area where pollinators may be foraging. Prior to spraying products, scout the area, looking for flowers and removing them when possible. Otherwise, adjust your application schedule around forage times. Different crops also have different bloom stages and periods where pollinators are more attracted. Observing the application timing on product labels will help avoid accidental pesticide exposure to non-target insects.

It’s easy to communicate with other stakeholders and enhance your stewardship activities with tools like FieldWatch® and BeeCheckTM, which help track bee populations in your area and monitor product applications. All of this helps you be a steward of pollinator safety and biodiversity. You can also contact your local department of agriculture to find other possible pollinator programs or resources.

For additional information about product stewardship, please visit www.growingmatters.org/besure.

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