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Pollinator Protection

Bee on Flower

Photo credit: Whitney Cranshaw, CSU

Pesticides are an important part of an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan. The areas treated are often shared by pollinators like bees, butterflies, wasps, and some birds and bats. Pollinators are essential in the survival and propagation of many flowering plants both in farms and on the urban landscape. As a pesticide applicator, you must take responsibility for reducing pesticide risks to honey bees. This can be done by doing the following things:

  • Use Integrated Pest Management (IPM). IPM includes a combination of cultural, mechanical, biological organisms and pesticides. If pests cannot be managed by a combination of IPM strategies, a pesticide application may be necessary.
  • Follow the pesticide label. Many labels contain bee hazard statements under the PRECAUTIONARY STATEMENTS (Complying with the label IS the law, after all!)
  • Communicate with beekeepers near sites that require pesticide application. FieldWatch/DriftWatch are a useful tools to help identify hive locations.
  • Register for FieldWatch to locate hives. (Informational Brochure).
  • Know if there is an established RT25 for the pesticide you want to use. This is the residual time for 25% mortality of a hive based on a foliar application. It is assumed that if no more than 25% of the hive is affected, the hive will recover. More information and the data available for active ingredients can be found HERE.

Watch the AmericanHort video on Protecting Bees and Pollinators to see how horticulturists are using IPM.

Check out Western SARE’s Handbook “Managing Alternative Pollinators: A Handbook for Beekeepers, Growers and Conservationists”. A free PDF version is available to download here.



Check out CSU booklet, “Colorado IHM Book, 2nd edition“. Free download. If you would like a hard copy, you can purchase one here for $10 plus S/H:

National Pesticide Safety Education Center (NPSEC) Educational Resources


To download a free copy of the 2nd version in Spanish, IHM for Colorado Beekeepers -Spanish


Front cover of The Complex Life of the Honey Bee

The Complex Life of the Honey Bee available from Purdue Pesticide Program.



Check out Purdue Pesticide Program’s publication which discusses the environmental, biological and chemical challenges to Honey Bee colony health. Free download  : The Complex Life of the Honey Bee

Or order here for a small fee.

Information on Colorado’s State-managed Pollinator Protection Plan (MP3) is available HERE.

The following PDF documents provide information on CDA’s Apiary Program and the Colorado Bee Health Survey

CDA Apiary Program

Colorado Bee Health Survey

Looking for Pollinator Attractive Plants? Protecting Bees – Find Pollinator Attractive Plants

Interested in Pollinator Citizen Science? Identifying Native Bees? Native Bee Watch: A Colorado Citizen Science Field Guide

The following PDF documents give more detail on how to protect honey bees and other pollinators:

How are honey bees doing?

USDA Agricultural Research Service Website on Honey Bees and Colony Collapse Disorder

USDA Honey Production Report released March 22, 2016.

Report on the National Stakeholders Conference on Honey Bee Health Contains a summary of scientific-based information on the impact of pesticides on honey bees with lots of references.

Pollinator Protection Partners (random order)

Bee Informed

Pollinator Partnership

North American Pollinator Protection Campaign

The Xerces Society

EPA’s Pollinator Protection Website

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