Re: Aerial mosquito spraying effects?
- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Dave Almquist <daidunno@...> wrote:
>I've had plenty of experience with aerial spraying for mosquitoes (and they don't always spray after dark, believe me). I saw massive kills of honey bees after Hurricane Hugo, when ten counties were sprayed. The following year bumble bees were also scarce as hen's teeth, and I saw a lot of crop failure (watermelons, cukes, squash) by those small farmers who relied on wild pollinators. We used to have three common Bombus species - impatiens, pensylvanicus and fraternus. B. impations is the only one to recover the population it had before the 1989 spraying, and it took 4-5 years to do that.
> If anyone knows of any papers, studies or evidence of aerial mosquito spraying effects on non-target organisms, I'd love to hear about it. I found a little bit about effects on honey bees, but not native bees, especially those that could be sleeping on flowers at night when the applications are made.
The spraying was done at peak foraging time for goldenrod (supposedly after 4 p.m. but they jumped the gun every day). Goldenrod is a late-day nectar flow.
The same thing happened in Homestead, FL after Hurricane Andrew, where they sprayed all day long. I was there, and did an article on the loss of bees for the South Dade County newspaper.
I've also tried to service the growers who were growing squash, melons and cucumbers on the SC sea islands around Beaufort, when I was doing pollination contracting. I had to give up, because the constant mosquito spraying kept weakening the bees so much that I had trouble keeping them alive through the winter. As far as I know, no more produce is grown in the area. It was impossible to get them pollinated.
Retired pollination contractor