By I{elly Davis

Independent· Mall

A Clemson University entomologist is urging loc al governments nor to throw their bees out wirh the bath water as they step up spray­ ing oper a t ions in the era of West Nile encephalitis. . Malathion an d Permethrin. two chemicals used for adult mosquito control. are dea dly to wild and domestic honeybees. as well as bum b le bee s and other insects that pollinate many plants that feed peo­ ple and wildlife. bee special· ist Mike Hood said. Fortunately. most cities and counties spray in the evening, when many mos­ quito species are active but bees are settled in their hives for the evening. he sa id "The worst-case scena rio would be spraying a resid­ �al insecticide during day­ lIght hours when beneficial in sects are foraging," he said. However, even after dusk spraying could harm bees if it oc cur s near bee hives since the pesticides ma land on flowers or in water the bees later' con t a ct he said. Mr. Hood urges bee­ keepers to ask thei r local governm ents to skip over them during spraying. Anderson County recent­ ly switched f rom a s pray­ on-request program to a n ightly spraying schedUle because demand has sky­ rocketed. Environmental D ire c tor Services Vic C a rp enter said. His employ­ ees have divided the coun ty into zones and sp ray in a different zone each night. The county truck uses
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A queen bee (the long-est bee in the middle) wonders through her hive at Flat Shoals Bee Farm on Sunday. '
Malathion and d oes n t start chugging until after 9 p.m. or 9:30 p.m . he said. "We will give priority to someone who doesn't want an area sprayed whether because of health or bees, over someone who does." he said. One of the most trou­ �l ing mosquito species, the Imported Asian tiger mos­ quito. is a day flier and isn't contr?lled by even ing spraymg anyw ay, said Bob Bellinger, p est i c ide coordi­ C lem son nator in University's Department of Entomology.
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triple threat ha s virtually wiped out wild honey bee colonies and ca us ed great los.ses for b eekee p ers he
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have spread' througholl t most of the state, deva stat ing wild and kept hives. The
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b ird baths. beer cans, tires tree holes and any other st a n ding w at er availab le he sa id. The bes t defense is to continual] y el im ina t e that water. he said.
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r�pro duce in small puddles,

Asian tiger mosquitoes

Honeybees have enough to wClrry about, Mr. Hood said. Three pests - two types of p aras itiC mites and t h e small hive beetl e

Honeybees. including 25,000 colonies managed by 2.000 beekeepers, poliinate $25 million worth of com­ mercial fruit and vegeta· bles annually in South Carolina, not to mention untold num b ers of wildlife plants, food he said."Another serious blow to our industry could be devastating," he said. While sprayed pesti c ides may linger for a day or two on the ground 01' on vegeta­ tion. any res idu al amount is less of a threat because it tends to bind with whatever su rfa c e it lands on , M r B ellin ger sa id However, Anderson bee­ keeper Bill Cavedo sa i d
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said.

Please see Bees. Page 2B

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For Robert Clarkson. hive mites are more of a priority than avoiding mosquito sprays. The Anderson County beekeeper lost a dozen hives to mites several years ago.
His current hives are far away from any road the coun­ ty's spray truck might trundle down in the evening. he said .

bees need a lot of water aDd therefore may take insecticide up that has landed in standing water.

100 feet of any open water, Me Bellinger said.
Mr. Cavedo has one hive at h.is home in the city of Anderson and one on property in the county, but he said he won't make a "no-spray" request because he and his neighbors would prefer to have fewer mosquitoes, he said.

''All they do is feed a little to the queen, and that's it," he said.
In fact, Permethrin is not supposed to be sprayed within

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