Fipronil is nothing new. It’s been in fields and applied for along time, but it’s use has diminished in the last decade or so, partly because it is extremely toxic to bees. But today we want to alert you to an exposure you may not consider for your bees.
Fipronil is the active in pet flea meds, like Advantage. It works using a very small amount (a testament to how effective it really is). But that efficacy can harm your bees, and you may have hemolymph on your hands for it.
We don’t think about flea meds, except once a month. We apply it, and it “goes away.” But it does not go away. It’s there working, and you can transfer small amounts to your hands when you pet your dog or cat. That small amount is not enough to hurt your whole bee colony, not at all. But if you pet your dog, then go handle your queen, you can cause real damage.
If you use these products on your dog or cat, keep them away from your hives. Wash your hands before you work in your hives. Make sure your bee gloves remain free from these products.