Tui Rose on honey bees?!

by Ruth Mettler
(Statesboro, GA. USA. )

I am a beekeeper and have been trying to find good research regarding DE's impact on the honey bee.

I have found Tui Rose's book to be one of the most popular resources for those caring about their environment enough to be seeking chemical alternatives, so am concerned at its oft-quoted content regarding its impact or otherwise on the honey bee.

Since this book is rapidly becoming an authority on the use of DE, I must question Tui Rose's "facts".

Firstly, Tui references the honey bees as male; yet the workers are female (making ~80-95% of the hive population, subject to seasonal variations). It is these workers that go out and forage (collect nectar and pollen), not the male drones.

Secondly, she recommends using DE early morning or in the evening, when the bees would be "less active".

The bees will be active if the temperature is above 55°F. It doesn't have to be fully light, they will be active in pre-dawn twilight!
Do not use DE in the mornings where pollinators will forage!
Early morning will find honey bees collecting dew droplets.

Careful consideration is all that is needed. Apply in the evening when you no longer see the pollinators around.

Apply to areas before blooms to eliminate the pests, do not apply once blooming occurs.

You shouldn't apply DE on a windy day, but even on a calm day be mindful of wind-drift onto nearby flowers. DE travels on the slightest breath of air!

Finally, honey bees need water and will collect from bird baths, puddles and pond edges. Avoid letting the DE powder float across where the bees will walk in it.

Thank you.

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Sep 26, 2015
Tui Rose on honey bees?!
by: Pauly

Hello Ruth,

Thank you for your comments. I have stated some cautions for readers like yours in applying the DE.

Whether male or female bees are insects that should be considered as vulnerable to the mineral.

Many pests appear when the rains have washed the DE into the soil and reapplication is needed. This can be when a plant is in full/constant bloom and even at the end of the growing season.

This is when pests can be at their peak for some individuals. So yes please use caution and like I said stay clear from the flowers.

Thanks Ruth,

Sep 26, 2015
Great article - interested to know more about Tui Rose
by: Ruth Mettler

Hi Pauly.
Thank you for your comments.
The original article was well-written and seemed to provide a balanced review on the effects of DE on the honey bee.
However, as I read the article, it stated that a professional beekeeper confirmed that DE kills honey bees.
Then along came Tui Rose, promoting DE and being declared something of an authority on the subject, and declaring it safe for honey bees.
After reading the quote from her book, Tui Rose immediately lost any credibility with me because her most basic fact was incorrect; male bees are not worker bees and they do not forage.
Without having a copy of her book to see what actual research she references to declare DE safe to honey bees I was immediately driven to share my concerns and question the credibility of her statement.
Perhaps any owners of her book could share her quoted research references that support her statement - I would 'bee' most interested to contact the researchers directly to discuss their findings further.
Thank you.

Sep 27, 2015
Ruth Mettler's Comment on Pauly's misquote about Tui Rose book
by: Tui Rose the author of Silica Savvy Diatomaceous Earth

Pauly, you wrote a nice article on my book giving 5 stars...Thankyou!... about DE and Bees where I learned a couple of good things from your own comments which were not taken from my book.

BUT, I was a bit shocked when I reached your paragraph misquoting me as having researched a professional bee keeper who said only female bees go out and harvest, not the males.

This statement of yours caused Ruth Mettler to state she had lost credibility in me as an author and my work, even though she said she had not read the book herself.

Indeed if she had read my book,she would not have found such an error. In fact, I was surprised to see your comment about male vs female worker bees in my book, and thought "I dont remember writing anything like that." So I tried to find it and could not. If you do find it, please let me know what page you found it on. If you cannot find it, I'd really appreciate you setting my record straight and letting Ruth Mettler know, and this forum, as you know how the Internet quickly spreads dammaging and harmful material like a lightening fast virus around the world.

I was in New Zealand and got a Google Alert on your forum about my book on DE and bees. Im glad I caught it and hopefully a mess hadnt travelled any further and stops here.

Besides, it is a mute point to discuss whether male or female bees go out harvesting, as both sexes are equally vulnerable and need protecting.

However, I do state on pg 266 a cautionary warning: totally avoid applying either wet or dry DE on a bee hive as it will cause dammage, mechanical failure and disfunction of the hive and bees.

I do discuss a research source on pg 275:Honey Bees and Colony Collapse Disorder by USDA Agric. Research Service.

I hope this clarifies and rectifies the credibility of my book and and myself as author.

Sep 27, 2015
Reply to Tui & Ruth
by: Pauly

Hi Tui,

Thank you for your quick response to this thread. I have removed the pronoun quotes as I am not able to research this at the moment. I'm in an 8+ day camping trip, but regardless, it is my responsibility to hold myself responsible if it IS misquoted.

I will be the first to admit if I'm wrong here. I will look at the book when I can but for now it is removed and will remain removed regardless.

No need for you to lose credibility for your extensive research in DE over a pronoun of an insect.

The article doesn't state that you researched a professional bee keeper, such as David, but it said that I was the one who conversed with the beekeeper. So I encourage you to re-read that portion.

Please look over the quotes again and let me know if anything is not an excerpt from your book.

Thanks Tui,


Thank you for raising awareness to my pronoun blunder. It has been removed. I really do encourage that you get Tui's book and read it.

You stated, I would 'bee' most interested to contact the researchers directly to discuss their findings further.

Tui has quite a bit of research in the field and since we have her in the thread, please don't hesitate to ask her anything about the subject.

Thanks to both of you,

Dec 08, 2017
Ruth Mettlers comment Re predawn temps over 55 degrees
by: Tui Rose

Pauly, Just going back over this forum 2 yrs later. While Ruth was misled by a forum "misquote", NOT from my book, I will be happy to add to my next edition her input Re: avoid using DE early AM predawn IF temp is over 55deg when bees may drink dew drops. Thanks Ruth & Pauly!

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