Beekeeping in Vermont

Beekeeping in Vermont

Agency of AgricultureDear Vermont Honey Beekeepers,

Please note that on February 24th, 2023, an updated ruling on the control of pesticides by the State of Vermont was put into effect. The rule includes ‘Section 5.04 Protection of Bees’. Enforcement of the rule is by the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM). The Protection of Bees rule is relevant to honey beekeepers who have active apiaries on properties where pesticides are applied. Compliance with the rule applies to any pesticide applicator, individual using a pesticide, or person hiring an applicator. An applicator may be certified as a commercial, non-commercial, or private applicator or may be a non-certified applicator.  Please familiarize yourself with the rule below, which can also be found on the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) Pesticide Program page by following the link to the document “Vermont Rule for the Control of Pesticides”.

5.04 Protection of Bees 

  • (a) No person shall apply a pesticide to a flowering crop, including alfalfa, apple, blueberry, clover, pumpkin, raspberry, squash, or trefoil without prior notification of at least 48 hours to an apiculturist who has an established apiary on the premises. 

  • (b) A person hiring a commercial applicator for an application under Section 5.04(a) shall notify, or cause to be notified, the apiculturist at least 48 hours prior to the application. 

  • (c) A person applying a pesticide that is highly toxic to bees shall:

    (1) apply the pesticide during periods and conditions of least exposure, such as early morning or late evening; and when winds are less than nine mph; and

    (2) include a 50-foot buffer from pollinator foraging sites, such as natural and semi-natural areas or intentional pollinator plantings or a 20-foot-wide non-pollinator-attractive vegetative barrier higher than the spray release height with an established 60% plant density.
     
  • (d) A person shall avoid the application of a fungicide or soil fumigant to pollinator-attractive plants when in bloom.

The Vermont Rule for Control of Pesticides lists the following contacts should you like additional information regarding the rule:

Steve Dwinell, Director, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
David M. Huber, Esq., Deputy Director, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Zach Szczukowski, AGR Mgmt. Specialist, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Public Health and Agricultural Resource Management Division 
Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets 
116 State Street, Montpelier, VT 05620-2901