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Bees Catch Break From County Mosquito Spraying

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The New Hanover County Health Department reported Wednesday that mosquitoes collected in the Sunset Park area came back positive for West Nile virus.

The spraying has begun in New Hanover County, after it was discovered that testing of local mosquito pools confirmed a positive sample of West Nile Virus. Last night county trucks released pesticides across the Sunset Park neighborhood. The chemical has area beekeepers concerned.

New Hanover County uses a chemical called Permanone 30-30 to eradicate mosquitos.

It does a good job in cutting down on the bugs, without harming other wildlife. But it’s not good for bees. According to the Material Safety Data Sheet, Permanone 30-30 is “extremely toxic to fish and highly toxic to bees.”

The county knows that, and takes efforts to protect those in the bee business.

“We do work with all the beekeepers here.”

Marie Hemmen is the supervisor of Vector Control Services for the County.

“They do fill out that form, it’s a spray exclusion form. However our policy is if we do have a virus activity that all bets are off. We do call all the beekeepers to let them know that we will be spraying, which I did. We we do spray in the evening. and in the late evening hours when the bees are already back in the hives.”

The county says the chemical is not a danger to humans, however on the county website residents are instructed to go inside for 30 minutes when one see’s a truck spraying, and drivers are instructed to cut off the sprayer if people are standing near the road.

Residents are advised to reduce their time outside at dusk and dawn, remove any water collected around the home, and apply mosquito repellent.

To learn more about New Hanover County's mosquito spraying, and to sign up for alerts, visit here