The use of plant protection products may create a risk for bees and other pollinating insects which come into contact with treated crops or the surrounding plants (weeds or neighbouring crops). For example, plant protection products can affect the survival and behaviour of bees. Exposure to these organisms can occur during or after application of the product (if it is persistent or systemic).

The impact on bees as a result of an approved application is assessed in the context of the authorisation of plant protection products. To reduce this impact, risk mitigation measures must be applied by the users of certain products.

Measures to protect bees

The risk mitigation measures of each product, if necessary, are indicated on the label of the packaging of the plant protection product. Below are some examples of the risk phrases:

  • "Dangerous to bees. To protect bees and pollinating insects do not apply to crop plants when in flower or when flowering weeds are present."
  • "Dangerous to bees. Do not use when bees are actively foraging. The product must therefore be applied early in the morning or late in the evening."
  • "Dangerous to bees and bumblebees. To protect bees and pollinating insects, do not apply to crop plants when in flower or on non-flowering crops when bees or bumblebees are actively foraging. Do also not apply when flowering weeds are present. Remove weeds before flowering. Respect a minimum drift reduction percentage (see risk mitigation measures)."

News about bees

Supplementary measures are imposed to protect bees and other pollinating insects; they are described in a number of news reports produced by our service (in Dutch or French).