Soybeans are one of the most widely farmed and produced crops throughout North America and the world. Although honey bees are not essential to soybean production, they commonly visit soybean fields for forage and studies show that pollination results in a better soybean yield.
As a result, the practices soybean farmer utilize can affect honey bee health. Given this, the Honey Bee Health Coalition has worked with a broad array of its members and stakeholders to develop best management practices to help protect honey bees and other pollinators in and around soybean fields.
This document presents best management practices — from pre-planting planning to harvest to the use of cover crops, post-harvest — for conserving and promoting the health of pollinators, particularly managed honey bees, in conjunction with soybean production. The recommendations attempt to identify potentially negative impacts of soybean agricultural practices on bees at each stage of soybean production and suggest strategies to mitigate these impacts. These practices should be treated as recommendations that complement pesticide label instructions.
The label is the law, and it is a violation to apply pesticides contrary to label instructions and warnings. Voluntary adoption of best management practices can help further mitigate harmful effects on managed honey bees.
Check back soon for additional fact sheets and resources to be developed from our detailed best practices guide.