Protecting Bees When Growing Canola

Talk to hive owners
Communication is the most important tool for protecting pollinators. Growers are encouraged to share their pest management plans with honey producers in the area. Armed with this information, beekeepers can then reduce exposure by moving or covering their hives during spray applications. Use the BeeConnected app which connects registered beekeepers with registered farmers and pesticide applicators, enabling two-way communication on the location of hives and crop protection product activities. 

Do not spray when canola is in flower unless absolutely necessary
Wait until the field is no longer in bloom. If you must spray while canola is in flower, pay extra attention to the following precautions.

Bees per plantSpray after 8 p.m.
By this time, most bees have returned to the hive.

Avoid spraying during peak foraging times
Studies show that bees are most likely to feed on canola in the early morning hours, when secretion of nectar is highest (Nedic et al, 2013). Bee visits peak around 10 a.m., and drop off noticeably by late afternoon. Bees are still foraging at 7 p.m., but the number of bees is only about a third of what it would be at the 10 a.m. peak.

Check weather conditions
Pay careful attention to wind speed and direction, particularly as it relates to bee yards or other flowering plants.

Give good instructions to commercial applicators
Tell the applicator exactly where hives are located, and

Use economic thresholds and integrated pest management
By optimizing pesticide use and spraying only when it will increase profits, you can save input costs and reduce stress on bees.

Opt for the least toxic solution to control the pest problem


Read about:

Bees and canola: thriving together
What beekeepers can do
Bee health in Western Canada
Bee facts

Bees and Canola - Video Gallery