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I've been keeping this blog for all of my beekeeping years and I began my 12th year of beekeeping in April 2017. Now there are almost 1300 posts on this blog. Please use the search bar below to search the blog for other posts on a subject in which you are interested. You can also click on the "label" at the end of a post and all posts with that label will show up. At the very bottom of this page is a list of all the labels I've used.

Even if you find one post on the subject, I've posted a lot on basic beekeeping skills like installing bees, harvesting honey, inspecting the hive, etc. so be sure to search for more once you've found a topic of interest to you. And watch the useful videos and slide shows on the sidebar. All of them have captions. Please share posts of interest via Facebook, Pinterest, etc.

I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here. Along the way, I've passed a number of certification levels and am now a
Master Beekeeper Enjoy with me as I learn and grow as a beekeeper.

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Sunday, April 09, 2017

Discouraging to see mosquito treatment starting

I know everyone is scared of Zika and/or inconvenienced, especially in the south, by the prevalence of mosquitoes. However, there are alternatives to spraying. I posted this on my local NextDoor email site:

I'm starting to see mosquito treatment signs in people's yards. As a beekeeper, I'd like to urge any of you who are considering treating for mosquitoes to consider several things:

1. The bees (honey bees) and other pollinators are in danger. If you must treat, please choose a provider who follows the rules for pesticide use on the container and who will TREAT AFTER DARK. The bees and other pollinators are flying during daylight and WILL be killed by your mosquito treatment. Spraying after dark gives the bees half a chance that the poison will be all dried up by morning and not kill them. And dark is defined as DARK - not dusk.

2. Try alternate methods before you choose treatment - in your own yard pour out any standing water in plant saucers, in containers of any kind. Put sprigs of rosemary on your barbecue coals (repels mosquitoes). Put mosquito repellent on yourself and your family rather than poison the plants in your yard for the bees.

3. Please think of the bees and our environment before you choose to spray.
4. There are good articles all over the Internet for alternative ways to deal with mosquitoes, such as this one.

One man wrote in response to my post on Next Door that he leaves a little standing water in his yard and floats in the standing water a product sold at the big box stores like Home Depot and Lowes called Mosquito Dunks. I looked for research on them and found this which says they are not dangerous to bees.

In general, the pesticide industry needs a wake-up call about the harm to pollinators dealt by all the mosquito spraying. Not only are the pesticides used inappropriately (not according to the instructions on the package), but also trucks carrying the chemicals used in lawns and gardens can be quite careless. My friend Julia was in her car the other day behind a pesticide truck that was totally leaking pesticide all over the road.





She took a video from her car (you can hear NPR in the background). She sent the video to the Pollinator Stewardship Council whose spokesperson, Michele Colopy, was a speaker at our recent GBA meeting in February. Michele helped Julia learn how to report to EPA, the GA department of agriculture, etc.

It's important that we take action as spillage and improper use of pesticides is harmful to our bee population.

POST SCRIPT: Julia went to court. The driver plead guilty. He fixed his truck already and he was fined $1000. Yay for Julia for standing up for the bees (and all of our health).


2 comments:

  1. The "mosquito dunks" that guy was talking about are actually extremely effective, organic, and harmless to anything but mosquitoes and a few other species of flies.

    It's pretty common in my area for neighborhoods to make a coordinated effort to set up mosquito "traps" by leaving the dunks in any standing water as your previous comment or described. If enough people in an area use them, you can really reduce mosquito populations.

    The mosquito dunks work by preventing mosquito larvae from being able to pupate, rather than affecting adult mosquitoes. The best time to use them is in the early Spring, when female mosquitoes are coming out of their winter hideouts and laying their first generation of eggs for the year. If a large proportion of that first generation doesn't make it to adulthood, there will be far fewer adult mosquitoes to breed throughout the season.

    When used correctly, the dunks can be so much more safe and effective than spraying!

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  2. Anonymous7:04 PM

    The dunks only work on larvae. Once the larvae pupate and fly as adults the females will bite. That spray from the truck is for control of flying adult mosquitoes which the dunks don't control. However if you have an area with standing water on you property the dunks will help keep larvae and subsequent adults in check.

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