Bjorn Apiaries

Things in the Environment That Effect Your Bees





No-Till Farming


We have found that bees are impacted from "no-till" farming twice a year. Once in the spring with the planting of field corn and soybeans, and again in the fall with the planting of winter wheat and other ground cover crops.


No till farming involves replacing traditional deep tilling  and even shallow soil disking in preparation of planting, with spraying of soil amending cover crops with herbicides.



In 2009, we lost an apiary of 12 hives after the farmer had sprayed the ground cover in September for fall planting. Don't believe any person who tells you that "round-up" and other herbicides are safe for bees. They are not!


The Chesapeake program, university extension programs, and environmental groups have been pushing no till for many years now. The efforts revolves around attempts to reduce soil sediments and nitrogen levels in the streams, which ultimately end up in the bay. No-till farming is a huge part of this program, and also raises the most funds.


Discussions with EPA officials, acknowledged possible damage with increased chemical use through no-till farming. But the money for the Chesapeake bay foundation is what funds university studies, councils, and programs involving this hot button issue. Only when that money pit is dry, will we see someone seriously take a look at chemical damage from no-till farming.


And it is not just the honey bees in harms way. Butterflies, bats, frogs, and other native pollinators are in danger.


If you have bees, our advice is to keep your bees away from no-till farming operations. Compounding this issue is the neonicotinoid laced field corn and soybeans.

Homeowner Pestecides:

Manicured Lawns and the Lawncare Industry.


Hypocritical Practices

by Local and State Governments
















A typical field showing selected herbicide spray in preparation of no-till plantings.

What was once a lush green field of soil amending plants, visited by bees, butterflies and other insects, is now a barren brown wasteland. (Note the first corn leaves poking through after planting over the dead vegetation.)

No buffer zone from waterways. This field was sprayed right down to the small stream that borders this field. Soil and nitrogen may be lower, but it seems nobody is willing to test the chemicals being flushed into the streams.

The tell-tale sign of soybean planting over no-ill sprayed fields. Note the disk pattern.

A week earlier, many wild flowers and weeds fed the insects in the area. Now, the fields are dead, and the insects are gone. The spray kills everything it hits.