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Are you BeeConnected?

Last updated: 22 Feb 2018

Written by Nigel Chadwick, Operations Director at the Voluntary Initiative

UK farmers are committed protecting pollinators and to following best practice when it comes to alerting beekeepers when they are out spraying an insecticide.

This means that communication between farmers and beekeepers, whose hives are often in the proximity of fields, is vital when it comes to ensuring that both groups are up-to-date and informed about the activities and locations of the other.

The existing system involves Spray Liaison Officers (SLOs), who act as go-betweens, informing beekeepers when the farmer is going to spray. However, this process has not always been the most efficient or effective. As a result, BeeConnected was developed to replace the need for SLOs and instead electronically inform beekeepers directly and immediately when farmers intend to spray an insecticide.

The chairman of the VI, Paul Temple, says:“BeeConnected operates on a very simple, yet efficient, two-way process whereby farmers identify their fields and, in just a few clicks, are able to inform local beekeepers when they intend to spray an insecticide in particular fields. Beekeepers who plot the location of their hives, will then receive a notification ahead of when a farmer within their locality is planning to undertake a spray event.”

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“Honey bees are hugely beneficial to both their keepers, farmers and the larger population as a whole. The countryside is a shared place, beekeepers need farmers just as much as farmers need beekeepers. It’s a two-way process, and anything that improves the communication – as BeeConnected does – is a good thing.”

Chris Hartfield, Senior Regulatory Affairs Advisor at the NFU, comments: “There’s been a great deal of debate over the last couple of years about the impact of farming on bees and pollinators, but what’s not in doubt is the commitment of UK farmers to responsible and judicious use of pesticides.

“BeeConnected is a fantastically easy to use tool that supports farmers to deliver best practice in pesticide use and I want to encourage all farmers across the UK to use this free system. The more farmers and beekeepers that use it, the more useful it will be.”

Mr Temple agrees: “This is a great opportunity for all farmers and beekeepers nationwide to improve their communications for their mutual benefit. I would encourage all farmers and beekeepers to register and make full use of the site by visiting”

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