20 JANUARY 1950, Page 18

Sprayed Bees Wild mustard, the detested weed charlock, finds a

place in the annual report of the Rothamsted agricultural station, which is full of the in- genuities of science, physical, chemical, biological and the rest. It seems to be proved that the spraying of charlock, which is now general and most effective, has killed large numbers of hive bees, which are peculiarly fond of the flower, more perhaps for its pollen than its nectar. Happily research into the question has proved that the poisoning occurs only while the spraying is in operation, since the flowers wilt almost at once. Notice given to neighbouring bee-keepers to shut up their bees on spraying dart would prevent any loss. There is no doubt that last year bees suffered severely also from the nicotine sprays of fruit trees when in blossorn'; but, since fruit-growers are well aware of the value of bees as fertilisers, some modus vivendi will be found, now that the bee-keeper has proved his case New remedies, as well as new maladies, have their dangers.