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 and other pollinating insects. To protect bees and other pollinating insects do not apply to crop plants when in flower. Do not apply when flowering weeds are present.
- Dangerous to bees and other pollinating insects. To protect bees and other pollinating insects do not apply to crop plants when in flower. Do not use where bees are actively foraging. The product must therefore be applied early in the morning or late in the evening.
- Dangerous to bees and other pollinating insects. Remove or cover beehives during application and for (state time) after treatment.
The risk assessment for bees in Belgium is done according to this document.