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The goal of the Mississippi Honeybee Stewardship Program is for all beekeepers, farmers, and other pesticide applicators to provide added safeguards to protect bees in areas of pesticide use, says Randy Knight, president of the Mississippi Farm Bureau Program, which is leading the cooperative effort with other farm organizations in the state.
COOPERATION between beekeepers, farmers, and pesticide applicators is among the guidelines in the newly developed Mississippi Honeybee Stewardship Program. — USDA/ARS photo
Unified flagging system
“As conceptualized and developed by Mississippi Farm Bureau, a unified flagging system will be utilized in the state to clearly identify hive locations that are near adjacent fields,” Knight says.
“This ‘Bee Aware’ flag should be placed in a location that can be highly visible by farmers operating ground-driven equipment or by aerial applicators. The flag will serve as a constant reminder that bees are in the vicinity that and care should be taken with insecticide applications.”
Beekeepers should work with farmers to select the best area near the hive to place the flag so it will be visible by both ground and aerial applicators, Knight says.
“We’re particularly appreciative of Bayer CropScience and the Monsanto Company for additional support of the Bee Aware flag program.
“We hope this will be the first step in Mississippi being proactive in advancing educational efforts that will lead to sustainable practices that are beneficial to both beekeepers and producers. We urge everyone in agriculture to support this program.”
As the brochure points out, cooperation between farmers and beekeepers will require communication and education.