Clemson University Taps Kelly Registration Systems to Prevent Honey Bees from Accidental Pesticide Exposure

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Clemson University Department of Plant Industry is using a new agriculture software program to map beehives and pesticide applications in order to prevent accidental exposure. The program is seeing positive results.

Honey bee hives

"This program creates an interface between the beekeepers and pesticide applicators and the communication between these groups is key for protecting our honey bees," says Dr. Jennifer Tsuruda, Apiculture Specialist at Clemson University.

Kelly Registration Systems, a leading provider of software for state departments of agriculture, has developed an application to map honey bee hives and allow pesticide applicators to notify beekeepers of applications in the area to help prevent the accidental poisoning of honey bees.

Once beekeepers, farmers and pesticide applicators share their information, the software matches hive locations with areas that will receive pesticide applications. And using alerts, lets applicators know which areas to avoid and helps beekeepers prevent or mitigate potential exposure.

The program is currently being used by The Clemson University Department of Plant Industry and The Clemson University Extension Service to map as many of the estimated 25,000-30,000 hives in South Carolina as possible. The software been designed and developed with the ability to map honey bee hives, hive registrations, organic farms and vineyards, as well as other sensitive and protected areas.

Beekeepers are able to update GPS locations and submit online applications, while pesticide applicators are able to map multiple layers of data and save field coordinates for re-mapping.

“The challenge of developing pesticides that are not toxic to honey bees is difficult, however, we have the ability to limit the exposure of honey bees to pesticides through education and communication. This program creates an interface between the beekeepers and pesticide applicators and the communication between these groups is key for protecting our honey bees,” says Dr. Jennifer Tsuruda, Apiculture Specialist at Clemson University.

Stuart Edmondson, Chief Technology Officer at Kelly Registration Systems, says “Clemson started working with Kelly Registration Systems to file mobile reports on plant nursery inspections, and that program was the basis of this application. There is a lot of new functionality and hopefully other states will benefit from the application.”

The software features email and text notifications to beekeepers and applicators, and it can even keep track of beekeepers’ license fees and payments to the state. The system is secure and keeps hive ownership and location information confidential because of their sensitive nature. This information is only made available to the state and to authorized pesticide applicators.

Says Edmondson, “From industry meetings and the feedback received, the program seems to offer a solution for states with voluntary as well as required programs.”

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Laura Rotroff
Kelly Products, Inc.

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