Farmers are complaining that the current ban on three neonicotinoids by the EU is making the crop more susceptible to pests and diseases (of which there are no shortage), so necessitating additional pesticide spraying with pyrethroid-based chemicals. Yesterday was a lovely day, with the bees flying strongly for the first time this year. Just over the hedge from one of my apiaries the farmer was out spraying. The crop looked healthy enough to me and there was no real risk to the bees as there’s nothing in the field to interest them at the moment. However, in a few weeks this field will be dazzling yellow colour and will be full of bees* … I hope that if additional spraying is necessary, for example to suppress pollen or flea beetles, the spraying can be done late in the evening to minimise spray damage to my bees.
* and should yield many supers-full of honey.