Recovery from Pesticide Exposure – University of Georgia

September 6, 2016

Colonies that have been exposed to pesticides may recover if proper steps are taken. If a colony has lost a majority of its field force but has plenty of honey and pollen it will usually recover without any help from the beekeeper.

If brood and nurse bees continue dying, the pesticide is present in the hive, probably in the pollen supplies. The colony will continue to die as long as the poison remains in the hive. In these cases the combs must be cleaned or removed. Soak the combs in water for 24 hours. Then wash the pollen from the cells and allow the combs to dry. Another method is to remove the wax comb and replace it with new foundation.

To help colonies recover from bee poisoning, feed the colonies sugar syrup, pollen, and water, add a package of bees or combine weak colonies, protect bees from heat or cold, and move them to a pesticide-free area with natural nectar and pollen sources.

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