Dominion 2L, Termidor and Bees?

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Former beekeeper from the 80s, the 1980s?. Became allergic and had to give it up but my gardening still requires that I take care of the Bees. 

I will pose my question here.  My pine trees (I have about 20) have been attacked by pine borer beetles.  I've already lost one tree and there's holes in the rest of them.  The way to stop them is to drench around the tree with Domion 2L.  I also use Termidor very sparingly applied to fire ant mounds.  Both are systemic to plants and very bad for bees. 

Will the drench on the pine trees kill my bees?  I know they use the sap, I don't know how much pollen they collect from them. 

I need to save the pines and save the bees at the same time.  Any suggestions?


Ben Framed:
Armjr welcome to Beemaster! I for one do not know the answer to your questions. Maybe you can contact the manufacturer of the product and get more information there? Please let us know what you find.. And thanks for watching out for the Honey Bees!   :grin:


We really like our bees, all of them, and wasps too.  We love to sit out in the mornings and watch the honeybees on the mexican heather and the big old bumble bees doing their thing with the salvia.  Every now and then a hummingbird will swoop in for a drink.  Our purplehull peas and green beans depend on all the pollinators to make a crop, but I haven?t found anything I like about pine borer beetles?. or fire ants? or cut ants?


Ben Framed:

--- Quote ---but I haven?t found anything I like about pine borer beetles?. or fire ants? or cut ants?
--- End quote ---

lol neither have I Alan!!


Welcome to Beemaster, Alan!  :happy:  Thanks for being sure that your pesticide application is done responsibly.  I almost lost a hive to pesticide kill this year and it was very sad, so it's great that you are being careful. 

I'm not an expert in this by any means, but I did a little looking at both products.  Dominion 2L is an imidacloprid product, which as you say, is a persistent and highly toxic systemic insecticide.  The biggest concern I have about it is that according to the label, it can persist in woody plants for 12 months, meaning that even if you applied it in winter, it would still be present in the tree during the spring and summer when the bees are flying.  The other common neonic used for beetles, dinotefuran, persists just as long.  Both pesticides have been linked to numerous bee kills.

I'm less concerned about the Termidor, since I see that fipronil, the active ingredient, isn't absorbed well by plants, even though it is very toxic to bees and persists for years in the soil.  My concern about it however, is that it won't work well for you on the beetles, because the tree won't absorb it well.   

This is a tough one, because a systemic insecticide would obviously work best to control a boring insect, and you will need to apply it less, which can be safer for pollinators.  But the insecticides we are talking about are very dangerous to pollinators inherently, with both lethal and sub-lethal effects, so a different type of insecticide would be desirable.  It's kind of a toss-up in my mind.

You can certainly do what you feel is best in your situation, but if it were me, if your property has a pretty healthy ecosystem, which is sounds like it does, I'd let the infestation go if possible, and see what predators come to deal with the borer beetles.  That way you wouldn't have to use any pesticides.  But I also understand if you are past that point already, and feel like risking a drastic step is necessary.

All insects have a purpose in their ecosystem webs, even it's just to be the bottom of a food chain.  Beetles and ants that break down trees and wood perform parasite/host interactions with the plants they infest to strengthen the population of trees by attacking weaker plants and returning the nutrients bound up in the tree to the soil.   


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