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Local Beekeepers Say Mosquito Spraying Also Wiping Out Bees

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BOSTON (CBS) —- Spraying designed to decrease the mosquito population is also wiping out bees.

As beekeeper Marty Jessel showed off his hives in Boxford Monday, he also lamented a growing enemy.

“I’m not in favor of the mosquito spraying at all,” he said.

Truck mounted mosquito sprayers, dispatched to kill the insects in towns where they’ve been detected with EEE or West Nile, also may be responsible for killing off bees.

North Shore beekeepers believe the spray has killed 100,000 bees at a time.

“Honeybees pollinate one-third of the food we eat,” beekeeper Anita Deeley said.

Beekeepers are now sounding off to local health boards, requesting more warning and specific routes so they can either move, or at least cover their hives.

Most have already posted signs and had their addresses flagged in the mosquito truck’s GPS.

Those charged with spraying say they are trying to battle EEE and West Nile in the best, safest way they know how.

This means spraying at night when mosquitoes are active and bees are not and spraying less near beekeeper hives.

Both sides say they’d like to strike a balance.

“If I spray a Deet born chemical on my person, I can take care of that on my own,” Jessel says.

Beekeeper Marty Jessel would rather see the responsibility for spraying put on the individual.

And with other pesticides and parasites already threatening the honeybee, supporters argue it cannot withstand another enemy.

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