Use FieldWatch to Locate Managed Honey Bee Colonies

Bryan Jensen, UW Extension and IPM Program

Looking for help in identifying the location of managed bee hives (or other sensitive crops) in your application area? Try FieldWatch ®. Honey bee colonies are not always painted a color that are easy to see. Others may be hidden from view behind buildings, trees or other vegetation. Knowing that hives are present prior to application allows the applicator to take precautions prior to application.

FieldWatch is a nonprofit company which allows applicators, specialty crop growers and beekeepers to communicate with each other regarding sites which might be sensitive to pesticide application. FieldWatch is free to the end user (applicator). Furthermore, the registry to upload honey bee colony sites through BeeCheck and sensitive specialty crop locations through DriftWatch is also free. However, signing up as a voluntary dues paying member is appreciated but not required. After all, FieldWatch is a non-profit company. You can go to their website if you want more information about dues.

To access the basic information, simply go to the FieldWatch Map and select your state. Using FieldWatch as a dues paying member provides the opportunity to zoom into your applications area and receive automatic updates for new apiaries and/or sensitive specialty crops

Both hobbyists and commercial beekeepers may upload their sites and select if that information is available publically or for registered applicators. These uploads are check by a data steward from WDATCP who verify each registration. There are several different style of pins used to mark hive locations. A single hive is marked with a “B”. If more than one hive is present at that location the pin will have horizontal lines. Pins may also be yellow or red. If red, those hives are registered and have a state registration number. Yellow pins indicate hives which are not registered with DATCP’s Apiary Program.