The Bee Where program unveiled at the California Association of Pest Control Advisers (CAPCA) conference is designed to promote bee health and safety by encouraging communication between beekeepers and pesticide applicators. The knowledge of beehive locations will provide for better coordination between beekeepers and a grower or pest control advisor (PCA) when it comes time to make application decisions.
“The regulation is that if an applicator wants to apply a pesticide within a mile of where bees are located, they have to notify the beekeeper…but now it’s just come to light that system wasn’t working because we didn’t have the beekeepers there to register,” said Riverside County Agricultural Commissioner and Sealer of Weights and Measures Ruben Arroyo.
The requirement of registering bee locations was met with some initial hesitation among beekeepers over the concerns of privacy and keeping bees safe from potential theft. Arroyo noted that the design of the program ensures that hive data will be safe and only accessible by the parties it is intended to be accessed by. “Now we can get beekeepers from out-of-state to register, in state beekeepers to register, we can get PCAs to use the system now, to have them flag when they’re going to write a recommendation,” Arroyo said.
The Bee Where program provides real-time mapping in which users can indicate the location of hives using the mobile application and enhance the accuracy involved in the 48-hour notification requirement for pesticide applications. The mobile platform simplifies reporting requirements and will provide better tracking and safeguard protocols of hive locations throughout the state.
The launch of the program and the corresponding website was made possible by Assembly Bill 2468, which goes into effect January 1, 2019. The bill reinforces and updates the current registration and notification requirements related to bees in California. “It’s all come together with the cooperation between the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, the California Department of Food and Agriculture, CACASA, CAPCA, the Almond Board, the California Beekeepers Association, I mean the list goes on and on,” Arroyo noted. “All of them were on board with this bill, and all of them are on board with this application for registration.”
Listen to Arroyo’s interview below.