Growing Matters: Following Label Directions Is the First Part of Protecting Pollinators

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Label directions serve as one of the most important points in keeping pollinators safe and healthy when making an application of crop protection materials. The 2022 BeSure campaign from the Growing Matters Coalition highlights the importance of protecting pollinators in agricultural systems, by using best management practices. Frank Wong, industry affairs lead at Bayer Crop Science, said that the first part of protecting pollinators is adhering to the specific instructions on labels.

“It always goes back to following the label,” said Wong. “The label is the law and within that piece of information you have everything that you need at your fingertips as far as effective use, use directions, and most importantly stewardship and the things that you can do to make sure that your applications don’t impact non-target organisms.”

Label directions are developed with a variety of health and safety concerns in mind, including pollinator health. Wong noted that some materials will have a specific “bee box” that can serve as an indicator for taking particular care when making applications. However, not all compounds will include a specific call-out for bees and other pollinators, highlighting the need to pay close attention to label directions. Understanding that there can be a lot of information to consider on label direction, Wong credits applicators with being diligent in following instructions.

“With any tool and any technology, knowing the do’s and don’ts is absolutely essential. So, on a label, you’re going to see information like buffers, or nozzle size, or minimizing spray drift, wind speed, all kinds of details that altogether allow for the proper use of the products to protect pollinators and other animals that you don’t want negatively affected by these crop protection applications,” said Wong. “So again, big kudos, big call out and credit to applicators because there’s a lot of information to follow in labels. But again, the label is the law, and this is just a friendly reminder that we appreciate everything that applicators do to steward the products.”

Listen to Wong’s full interview.

Growing Matters: Following Label Directions Is the First Part of Protecting Pollinators

This was a message from the BeSure campaign brought to you by the Growing Matters Coalition, an initiative reminding farmers and applicators to follow stewardship best practices to protect pollinators and other wildlife. Visit for more information.

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