• Home Home

Beekeeper seeks advice after neighbor plans to spray toxic chemical near hives: 'But I can't stop him'

"We need to stand up against this stuff as Beekeepers."

"We need to stand up against this stuff as Beekeepers."

Photo Credit: iStock

After learning that their neighbor planned on spraying a toxic pesticide in their area, a beekeeper turned to the subreddit r/Beekeeping to ask for advice.

"Neighbor spraying [Roundup] along road ditch tomorrow. Should I lock my bees in?" they wrote. "Not something I'd do but I can't stop him. Wondering if I should pen them up for the day or longer."

Commenters were frustrated on the beekeeper's behalf.

"Lock the neighbor in," one half-joked.

The consensus was to keep the bees locked up for their own safety — or better yet, to try to convince the neighbor to change their mind about spraying a known poison in a shared ecosystem.

"Roundup kills not just bees but pretty much everything," one person wrote. "I would try to get them to stop by first talking about their personal cancer concerns and then mention it also kills your bees."

Roundup is a widely used herbicide whose primary active ingredient is a chemical called glyphosate. Glyphosate is associated with several adverse health effects that can even be fatal, including brain damage, nervous system damage, chemical burns and injuries, and an increased risk of certain types of cancer. Because of these threats, Roundup has been banned in several countries, but it's still popular in the United States, where it's commonly used in agriculture

"Is it really worth risking your life for a few weeds?" another said, frustrated. 

"We need to stand up against this stuff as Beekeepers," someone else echoed. "Not only does it demonstrate topical effects but if it makes it in the hive it destroys the microbiome of the larva and kills [the] brood."

"There is solid evidence that roundup also destroys soil microbiology and microbiome, thus making soils less healthy. … I personally will never use it," one user added.

Managing yards without chemicals is critical, not only for human safety, but also for the safety of pollinators. Considering that pollinators are responsible for more than one-third of our food supply, this is no small concern.

One great way to garden without herbicides — or much maintenance at all — is by rewilding your yard with native plants, which have evolved to thrive in their ecosystem. Not only are they easier to maintain, but native plants are naturally more water efficient as well, helping to cut water bills.

Join our free newsletter for easy tips to save more, waste less, and help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider