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Neem Oil and Honeybee

Posted by Chad Armentrout 
Neem Oil and Honeybee
April 02, 2018 04:06PM
In my orchard, I also have 23 permanent beehives. I want to use the Holistic Spray Schedule, but have reservations concerning the use of Neem. As we all know, the honeybee has enough chemicals out in the world to navigate. I know the Neem oil industry says it won't harm the bees, but it is an insecticide. I know the bees do not eat the leaves of the trees, where Neem does its job. Knowing this, I still have doubts spraying an environment with Neem, in a honeybee apiary. Even though the Neem dries, does the bee still bring it back to the hive by landing on the parts of the tree? Any thoughts on subject? Does anybody have a similar situation?

Chad Armentrout
Stillwater Valley Orchard and Apiary
Zone 6
Southwest Ohio
Re: Neem Oil and Honeybee
April 05, 2018 06:40PM
Hi Chad,

I have a Top Bar Beehive and it is adjacent to my orchard and not actually in it. I have no awareness that the Neem is causing any direct harm to my colony (which splits & swarms most years). I have been spraying neem, as part of my holistic sprays, for almost 7 years now. I am very cautious about spraying directly, or even overspraying, into any open blossoms . . . No neem in your sprays during open bloom

Your awareness and concern is healthy. Thinking deeply about our inputs and their affects/effects on the biology of our orchards -- both above ground and below . . . is a foundation of what Holistic Orcharding is all about.

Last thought, every orchard and setting is different, just as each orchardist and their technique will vary. Even though many of our members here in the HON use similar inputs, timings and ultimate goals . . . there are a substantial number of variables that may alter the outcomes of our trials in any given year.

Trust your instinct and perhaps consider spraying only a small portion of your orchard with the full holsitic recipe, or even just a few trees . . . then closely observe what happens.

Neem has to be ingested to be toxic, I dont think it will be an item that the honey bees will be bringing back to their hives.

Hope this helps and please let us know how your trials go

Gopher Hill Apples
Zone 8 in California
Re: Neem Oil and Honeybee
April 11, 2018 03:15PM
Hello Paul,

Thank you for offering your experience and thoughts on the topic. Trusting one's instincts is a good philosophy.

Chad Armentrout
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