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Nuts & Bolts

August 28, 2013

Residential beekeepers upset that mosquito spraying kills their hives

(Continued)

SALEM, Mass. —

Card's agency sprays insecticide from trucks after dark, when the chemicals can come in direct contact with mosquitoes, he said. This summer, they’ve used an insecticide called Duet, which targets adult mosquitoes. The trucks are equipped with a GPS device, which alerts the driver to any addresses that have opted out of spraying.

Before last year's spraying about a half-mile from her former home in Beverly, beekeeper Kim Klibansky wrapped her hives with tarps.

"I figured we'd be OK," said Klibansky. "The next day, we went out and the front of the tarp was covered with dead bees. Our hives were so weakened that within four to five days, one hive died. About a week later, the second hive died.

"Bees are like our barometer. If there are bees, we know it's a healthy environment," she said. "That spray wipes out a lot of flying insects, not just mosquitoes. I just don't think the risk is worth it."

Bethany Bray is a reporter for The Salem (Mass.) News.

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