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Tulbagh Bees Destroyed - Over 170 Hives

Tulbagh and Montagu share many similarities. For starters both are beautiful mountain valley villages in the Western Cape, South Africa. Both also have a long heritage as well known historical towns and both still have active farming communities in the fruit business.

And with farming comes the practice of crop spraying. Either by people, tractors pulling a sprayer or by aircraft.

A bee farmer in Tulbagh is counting the cost after thousands of his bees were wiped out when an aerial crop sprayer sprayed nearby canola fields with pesticide.

Residents of the Cape Winelands town are angry about the potential health impacts on them and also the noise caused by the planes flying low over residential areas for up to 11 hours a day for the past three weeks.


Stean van den Berg, who farms bees with his father Pedro van den Berg, said they faced a loss of more than R1 million.

They had not only lost bees from 170 hives but 10kg of honey they would have received from each hive.

He is furious he was not informed a toxic pesticide would be be sprayed near his fields.


"The canola fields are usually alive with insects - now it's a dead zone," Van den Berg said.

He said there were bee-friendly products on the market which could have been used.

Dr Gerhard Verdoorn, from the Griffon Poison Information Centre, said the pesticide used contained methamidophos which was...  Read more here

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this is shocking.
the arrogance of farmers still spraying chemicals and then not taking responsibility for what they have done. Chemical farming in my opinion is the-now-primitive.
Organic and Biodynamic farming should be farming methods encouraged and substituted by our government, and those farmers still using pesticides, fungicides and other -cides should be charged with poisoning our environment. I am so glad this news on the bees of Tulbagh was published, but with that, the farm and farmer using the pesticide should also be named and shamed. Farming practises that use chemicals to 'farm' see short-term-thinking results but is actually longterm homicide because that is exactly what cide means - killing.