Bees are essential to agriculture and to your garden. As they labor to feed themselves and their brood, they pollinate your flowering plants. If you grow cucumbers, melons or squash you will likely see plenty of the fuzzy little insects hopping from one flower to another. These plants need bees in order to fruit properly.
It is sometimes tempting to spray or sprinkle synthetic pesticides for a magical cure for insect problems in your garden. But the bigger problem with this solution is that these pesticides likely kill the good bugs too, including those friendly pollinators that help your plants fruit.
In 2009 The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship updated the “Bee Rule”, a 1979 rule restricting chemical applications around apiaries. The rule is a large-scale effort to protect bees in Iowa by reducing their chances of contact with dangerous chemicals.
You can protect the bees in your own garden by obeying the “Bee Rule” on a much smaller scale.
Unless you happen to be a fan of pollinating your plants with a cotton swab, steer clear of all pesticides and let bees do the job for you.
By the way, if you’re worried about beestings when you’re working in your garden, you may be surprised to learn that most bees won’t sting unless you venture too close to a nest.