The Crop Protection Association has funded the development of a new "Bee Connected" tool that lets spray operators alert local beekeepers about planned insecticide applications.
The tool was created by the Voluntary Initiative (VI) in collaboration with the NFU and the British Beekeepers Association. It is a web-based alert system that helps with the VI's aim of minimising the risk to bees and other pollinators.
To ensure beekeepers are only notified of a relevant spray event, as well as the timing and name of the active ingredients, the alert includes the distance and direction of the planned spray event as well as detailed information about active ingredients.
Dr Colin Ruscoe, president of BCPC, said: "Bee Connected includes information from BCPC's The UK Pesticide Guide, including available data on hazard to non-target organisms. This will be invaluable in allowing the beekeeper to determine the likelihood of harm to bees arising from the product to be used, and so the relevant safety precautions to be taken."
Bee Connected also includes details of the crop being sprayed and whether it is bordered by flower-rich margins.
Following a successful pilot in Hertfordshire, Bee Connected will be launched across the UK in September 2016.
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