Only use bee-safe products if risks to honey bees are likely.
But always remember, it is what is in the spray tank that will kill the bees and not what is in the packet. This caution is necessary, as today spray tank mixtures with adjuvants such as drift control agents, surfactants, dyes, foam control products, stickers, penetrants etc., can make the spray mixture hazardous to foraging honey bees.
Honey bees can be killed in the field due to chemical toxicological action or from substance physical activity. Chemical toxicological death is the chemical reaction induced in the bee that leads to its death.
Physical activity can include inhalation of product through the breathing spiracles on the exoskeleton of the bee, blocking of the bee’s trachea to prevent the ability to breathe through the coating of a foaming product, or coating the wings and preventing flight – all of which can bring about bee death. Sub-lethal doses of penetrants (organosilicon surfactants) have been documented to affect bee learning.
Read the labels of all the products added to the spray tank. If there is no bee safety information, speak to the supplier and request it. The only 100% bee friendly spray is clean water. A spray may be labelled or listed as bee safe (based on chemical toxicology) but be damaging to bees through its physical actions.