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Bees & Giant Pine Scale & Russian Wheat Aphid Treatment Victoria


#1

I was wondering if anyone in Melbourne has hives which have been affected by the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, use of Imidacloprid to treat Pine trees for presence of Giant Pine Scale?
I contacted the Department over 5 months ago, as we border the area being treated, for information & last week received a letter telling me of treatment of cereal crops for Russian Wheat Aphid, in the west of Victoria with Pirimicarb & chlorpyrifos & other chemicals.
I was seeking information from them on when they were treating the trees, notice of those treated, length of time agent active for. As a registered Beekeeper I am supposed to be notified by them of treatments being planned/activated. I have called them numerous times, only to be fobbed off with a promise of a callback, which has never eventuated.
The following letter is all I have had. It may be of use to some other Beekeepers in Vic/SA? It is dated 20/06, was actually received 08/07.
If anyone has noticed any issues with their bees & knows of Pirimicarb treatments in their area would like to hear from you!
I’ve attached the letter received re RWA for reference. I think we need to approach the Dept. & strongly ‘encourage’ them to do something about their choice of chemicals. Its not only EHB’s that are affected, there is a lot of native fauna which use the pines as a source of food in the increasing absence of native flora.

Info for areas GPS treatment,
http://agriculture.vic.gov.au/agriculture/pests-diseases-and-weeds/pest-insects-and-mites/giant-pine-scale


#2

This may seem a little late in the day. However they will be continuing this treatment of Pines & in light of the problems Bees are experiencing on a wider scale, I think it’s worth pursuing. I know in Victoria there are people/bee groups active in this area, but the more people/avenues who show concern & agitate for change, the more likely success. :muscle: (I was looking for fingers crossed, but maybe this is better?)


#3

Bees generally don’t work pines. If aphids are eating on the pines and the bees gather the honeydew they might get exposed, but my guess is that it would kill the aphids…


#4

Many, experienced beekeepers in Melbourne have expressed strong concerns regarding this treatment of Pine trees, as they say bees not only collect some pollen but of more concern collect & use resins/sap & the sugars excreted by the scale. I have 2 wild colonies resident in pine trees (untreated & no scale present) on my property, & have seen them doing this. This treatment was started last year, summer, and I was wondering if any beekeepers had experienced noticeable effects on their bees, as I was unsure as to how big an impact it was actually having, & if I should be concerned for colonies I am setting up this spring. I have heard from a reputable source that one beekeeper lost all of his colonies & others have lost varying numbers of bees as a result of this treatment at the end of last summer. I’m also curious as to the significance of impacts on bee colonies in relation to use of these chemicals.
As to the aphid & cereal crops, it was more frustration that the Dept. had taken so long to reply to me & with material so irrelevant.