The Toxicity of Tartar Emetic to the Honeybee

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The beekeeping industry has been confronted for many years with ever increasing losses and with even the extermination of colonies in many areas as a result of the chemical warfare waged against insects. Scientific and trade literature contains many references showing that bees have been poisoned by the application of numerous materials in dust or liquid form, and when spread as poisoned baits. To review this literature would fill countless pages with examples of such losses to an industry that is primarily beneficial to agriculture through the work of the honeybee as an agent in the pollination of our food crops. Such a review could be justified only for the purpose of more forcefully bringing to the attention of all insect fighters that the welfare of beneficial insects should be given consideration in every insect control program along with the primary purpose of destroying the destructive forms. In most cases the time of application of poisons in relation to the blooming period is the deciding factor in determining the amount of injury that may be done to the pollinating insects. When poisons are applied to plants in bloom, great losses of bees may occur whereas the danger is generally reduced to the vanishing point when the applications of poisons affecting the honeybee are applied before or after the blooming period.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 1940

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