How to deal with a poisoned beehive with Janet and her mentor Hilary Kearney

(light piano music) – Hi, my name’s Janet Wilson, and I have two full hives on
my roof in Del Mar, California. I’ve been actively keeping
the bees since April. Last fall, I started taking
classes and learning about it, and the reason I started
learning about beekeeping was because I’d heard about the flow hive. And I was like, wow this is pretty cool. And I was researching
it, and learned about it, and showing my husband, and
he got me one for Christmas, so I was pretty excited. Well, I have two, the
first one was I requeened, and they didn’t like her,
so I had to requeen again. So I’ve had three queens
in one of the hives. And then the other hive, we had just moved up to the second box, and I decided it to be two brood boxes, and they’d been up for about 10 days, and my husband came home and
all of the foragers were dead. They had acute poisoning from… somebody spraying pesticides
on a flowering bush. It was pretty devastating. It’s been almost a month now,
and they’re still struggling. The hive bees were okay, the
poisoning was so acute that the nectar didn’t get
transferred into the hive, or not very much got transferred in. So we’re hopeful that they’ll make it, but we’re still keeping
a close eye on them. Everybody should have a bee
mentor just like Hillary, she’s fantastic. So today it’s been about a month since the poisoning incident,
and Hillary came over, and we did an inspection to
see how their food supplies were going, because about
four days ago I started feeding them, so we’re
feeding them simple syrup of sugar and water. And we wanted to check to make
sure the queens were still laying, and that the
overall health was okay. – [Hillary] We lost all the foragers, we lost all the older field bees, and now we’ve got a lot
of young bees in here, and some of them are still
showing signs of being poisoned. Because, I assume some of the
field bees made it back and fed it to them, so it’s kind
of in their hive a little bit. I think they are gonna bounce back, but it’s a little bit troubling
to see some still skipping. – I feel great about having
them, and it’s given me the opportunity to educate
friends and family, which I really enjoy doing. In fact, because of
the poisoning incident, I went down to the city
council in our village, here in Del Mar, and they put
out a citywide alert to let everybody know not to spray
flowering bushes and plants. And we have flyers that
are going to be mailed out, and I’m going to be hosting
a meet the beekeeper at my house, for any
neighbours who are interested in learning about bees or have concerns. They may not understand, and feel nervous. And this will be a chance
to educate those people too.


  1. If Janet reads this comment I just want to say 'thank you' I think every bee keeper should be thanked.
    Lovely to see the queen doing her job.

  2. Such a terrible event to endure in the first year of a keepers experience. I am so inspired that not only is she not giving up, but has decided to invite immediate neighbors over for a honey bee learning opportunity. Even in rural America, we face pesticides and in some cases, a profound disregard for insects of any species. It's a very common story these days that someone is getting interested because they "heard about the flowhive". Grain crops are highly protected by systemic pesticides and profit over husbandry is a difficult practice to defeat. Thank you for sharing about a beekeeper who is having to overcome obstacles. Thumbs up as always 🙂

  3. this is one reason why you dont have them in towns, i would rather talk to a farmer to have it close to some heather. most honey here in norway is from heather.

  4. I wouldn't feed my Bees sugar water you have seen what sugar does to people why would you feed sugar to bees…

  5. I've read that we can inadvertently poison pollinators by buying and planting plants and flowers that have been sprayed (like from a store like Walmart or Home Depot). Unless you know the history of the plant, you may not want to even plant it in your yard. Song birds and humming birds (who eat very small insects/spiders) are also exposed to these same poisons. 🙁

  6. I just had the same thing happen to one of my hives. I used to keep 5 or 10 or more hives in one location. I now keep 2 hives per property and have them spread out over a 50 mile route. When something strange like this happens it now usually only affects no more than 2 hives at a time. Very frustrating, people have no idea what they are killing. It's sad to see. The biggest problem I've had as a beekeeper is people who are highly ignorant with the use of chemicals. Just find safe places, and let em bee.

  7. This happened to me and now a week later 30 to 50 dead bee's on the bottom board every day. I am afraid the hive is dead and i will have to destroy everything to avoid poisoning my other hives. The worst poison on the market is any kind of dust , the bee's drag it back to the hive with the pollen and it kills any bee that eats the pollen.

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