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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Took our state's beekeeping course a few years back, passed the certification test and had a wonderful time with my two hives...until the farmer where we kept our bees doused everything in sight with Sevin dust. :( Lost both hives and literally cried. I know for some of you experienced beekeepers my losing 2 hives doesn't seem like much but it was really disheartening and only now that I can have my girls at home where I can control - for the most part - what enters their immediate environment, am I ready to do this again. I've got bees arriving March 30th. :thumbsup:

My question has to do with the use of Neem oil as we are growing a variety of vegetables for our own consumption...trying to make this happen without the use of ANY chemicals but wanting to confirm what I've been reading that Neem oil applied in the evening will not harm the honeybees.

I would be so grateful if someone more experienced than I could weigh in on this. The Neem oil sellers say it won't hurt a thing but I'm sure we've all heard that rubbish about a great many things in the course of our lives.

Many thanks for your thoughts & help!! :)
 

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I don't know about neem oil, but powdered lime works great for pests and doesn't harm the bees. It also raises the PH in the soil, which is needed in all of the Piedmont.
 

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It depends on what you're trying to eliminate. Insecticidal soap won't harm the bees...it's only shaved Ivory Soap (not detergent) and vegetable oil in water. Does a number on aphids and other like critters.

Walt
 

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an Iddee snip..
but powdered lime

tecumseh:
liming soil in much of the southern US with acidic soil is actually where you want to begin any soil amendment strategy. you can add all the expensive fertilizer you want and get very little value from this without first attending to the soils basic ph. liming material comes in two forms calcium or magnesium carbonate.... the first being fairly cheap and the latter somewhat more expensive. on tight (clay type) soils calcium carbonate will make the soil even tighter and magnesium will tend to make these soils more 'friable' (<ie the quality of a soil to crumble in your hand).

amending soil ph can also have a dramatic effect on certain pest populations since most pest thrive in only some fairly tight ph ranges. if I recall properly??? aphids are one of those kinds of pest where amending soil ph also alters the problems you are likely to encounter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Got all that...we do soil testing and the set up is, well set up, to promote lots of beneficials and I've got a variety of beneficial herbs planted to do whatever they can do to help with mites. I'm all about some biological warfare w/nematodes, ladybugs, and so on. But I need to have something on hand in case of "emergencies." Again - the Neem sellers say the oil is "completely safe for use around honey bees" but I am trying to find out if this is truly the case.
 
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