Thousands of dead bees reported in York County after crews spray for mosquitoes

Posted at 7:03 PM, Aug 30, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-31 07:00:29-04

York County, Va. -Thousands of dead bees were reported around York County after crews sprayed for mosquitoes in the area.

Melanie Harbin has been a beekeeper in York County for nearly four years.

You can find thousands of honeybees in hives almost always on the move at her Seaford home.

Earlier this week, Harbin noticed something different after an aerial mosquito spray.

“Usually, I can see a lot of traffic in the evening coming and going. And after the planes flew over, there was no activity whatsoever,” says Melanie Harbin.

Although Harbin covered her hives, it wasn't until the next morning when she noticed dead bees.

“When I came out, my driveway was littered with dead bees, any covered surface, my neighbors’ driveway, our dock. And that's just what we could see,” says Harbin.

Beekeepers around the county reported hundreds, if not thousands of dead bees after the aerial spray last Tuesday. York County Mosquito Control informed people about the spray on their webpage, their mosquito hotline and the Colonial Beekeepers Association.

Beekeepers say it's one thing to spray for mosquitoes after dark when the bees are not as active, but spraying for mosquitoes during the day, well, that's a different story.

“We prefer to do it later at nighttime, but because of the liability issue of flying over populated areas, the Air Force does not do that,” says Tom Gallagher.

Mosquito control understands not everyone is happy about the spraying. It's something people have debated for years.

“As a last resort, when there's a bona fide reason to do so, we do spraying,” says Gallagher.