Farmers should ensure they do not use products harmful to bees, the agriculture ministry said on Monday as it urged all producers to read labels carefully before use.

As part of an information campaign to protect bees in view of the blossoming of fruit trees and the relocation of beehives close to orchards and other cultivations, the ministry stressed any spraying of products toxic to bees during the flowering stage must be avoided.

Producers are obliged to comply with the 2012 and 2018 laws on the use of plant protection products and should carefully read labels. Failure to comply with the rules is an offence.

Beekeepers have an obligation to label each apiary with their name and address and optionally also their phone number. The required label allowing easy identification of the owner should also be placed at the back of each apiary.

Should an apiary have to be moved for any reason, the district agricultural office must be immediately informed so that the owner can be found.