The Bee Effect is committed to Integrated Pest Management (IPM) as a gardening & farming technique to promote alternatives to chemical use in pest control. Using IPM techniques is safer for pollinators and better for your health.

Effective IPM farmers make the best use of biological and ecological processes and interactions in their fields, above and below ground, to grow a healthy crop and to minimise the factors which encourage pests, diseases and weeds. When additional control is needed, there is a wide range of methods which can be used, without resorting to spraying Highly Hazardous Pesticides.

Biological and Ecological Processes

Many IPM farmer groups and projects also aim to reduce or phase out synthetic pesticide use completely, whilst maintaining yields and profitability.

The ecological principles behind IPM are equally relevant to organic and non-organic farming systems and to non-agricultural contexts, e.g. gardens, parks, public spaces:

Use preventative methods to avoid or reduce pest, disease and weed problems from the start

Make maximum use of naturally occurring pest control

Regularly observe fields to assess pest presence and decide whether extra interventions may be needed IF pest, disease or weed numbers reach critical levels

When direct control measures are needed, select those that will not disrupt beneficial organisms.



Preventative methods are good husbandry practices that ensure a healthy and resilient crop. Growing a healthy crop starts with: selecting a good field or site; choosing a suitable crop variety for the location; preparing a good seed bed for the crop, whether sown direct or in a nursery bed. Strong, healthy plants are then better able to withstand pest and disease attack, as well as adverse growing conditions. This means paying attention to aspects of soil health, water supply and the broader farm environment and choice and sequencing of crops.

Good Husbandry Practices

Good field hygiene practices are essential to keep many pests and diseases in check. These start with using clean, healthy seed or planting material. Careful removal of crop remains after harvest prevents any pests or disease spores from surviving to infest the following crop.

To make these IPM tactics work well, farmer training in ecological principals, IPM methods and regular field monitoring is essential for informed decision making.

Farmers can take advantage of natural biological control by encouraging predatory and parasitic insects (known as natural enemies) which feed on pests.

Natural Biological Control

Planting suitable and varied vegetation habitat, including flowering plants and hedgerows, in and around fields provides feeding, shelter and nesting sites for many beneficial insects. Many of these are easily killed by pesticides so avoiding use of broad-spectrum products harmful to many types of insect is very important to conserve natural enemies.

If preventative methods and natural enemies alone are not sufficient to manage a particular problem, additional interventions can be made. These include:

biopesticides based on microbial agents which infect and kill specific insect pests

release of predator or parasitic natural enemies reared for this purpose

home-made or commercial botanical extracts or other natural substances to repel or kill pests

trapping methods or physical barriers to exclude pests

pheromone sex attractants to disrupt mating and pest reproduction






The only UK charity focused solely on tackling the problems caused by pesticides and promoting safe and sustainable alternatives in agriculture, urban areas, homes and gardens. They work tirelessly to apply pressure on governments, regulators, policy makers, industry and retailers to reduce the impacts of harmful pesticides to both human health and the environment. 

Their work includes campaigning for change in policy and practices at home and overseas, co-ordinating projects which help smallholder farming communities escape ill-health and poverty caused by pesticides, and contributing their wealth of scientific and technical expertise to the work of other organisations who share their aims.