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My county sprays for mosquitoes with malathion late at night (they are very good about not spraying while bees are flying), and the owner of the land my hive is on wants his property sprayed, because it's got a lot of wet areas that are perfect for mosquitoes (he does seem to have more than usual). I'd like to make sure my bees (and their honey) are safe. Is there anything I can do to minimize their exposure?
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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When I used to live in Western Nebraska they would fog malthion in the middle of the afternoon. It was devastating on the bees. When I complained to the city they didn't care. When I complained to the EPA they told them that was a violation of the label for use against mosquitoes and for about a month they sprayed at night. No noticable affect on the bees during that month. Then they went back to spraying in the afternoon...
 

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Our county mosquito control will call ahead before spraying. All I did was call and ask for a heads up which they gladly do. Since I only have a few hives I am able to cover with a wet sheet. After its all settled I just take them off and put them in the laundry. Arial spraying is done at night because the chemicals are inactivated by UV light. As for fogging at night the mosqito disctict gives me a buffer.

Also, if you belong to a bee club invite a rep from the district to come talk. I did that, it was informitive for both sides. It will foster better relations and they will generally be more then happy to work with you.
 

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"...As for fogging at night the mosqito disctict gives me a buffer. "

Can you clarify what you mean by that? I am being sprayed tonight by truck fogger. My bees are not active at night, but do you suggest I cover them tonight and in the future with a wet sheet?

I also have a painter coming tomorrow that is uneasy about the bees (hive is 2 feet from house in urban area). I've never covered my hive, but a wet sheet seems like a good option for the 3-4 hours that the work is being done near them. Otherwise, I bought some window screen that I was thinking I could duct tape loosely around the boxes.
 

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Lulubee,

I had to keep my bees in for tick spraying last year. One of the venerable gurus on this site recommended not only screening off the entrances (i used #8 hardware cloth like the screened bottom board), but also putting a sprinkler on low just hitting the front of the box and especially the entrance. This could convince the bees that it is a rainy day and give them a little water as it will get hot in the hive if the sun is out. Your painter may not like that either tho.

good luck
 

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They use that stuff for weevils down here. I screen them off (I have a few friends on the weevil patrol that give me a heads up) until the next day and they are usually fine. It is a contact kill spray, so not as bad as some others.
 
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