Bee careful with mosquito spraying in your yard this spring and summer! Pesticides kill bees (and fireflies and all pollinators)—they can bring the chemicals into the hive from some flowers and then die off in the thousands :( (Plus, they're not great for you, your kids or your animals, either.)
Why does bee die-off matter? According to Native Bees of Georgia, bees are responsible for the pollination of almost every fruit, nut, and vegetable crop. Most bee species are important pollinators of our food crops. Recent estimates suggest that bees contribute $15 billion in pollination services to the U.S. economy each year.
Here are some good practices for mosquito spraying from Atlanta Beekeeper Susi Caps:
If you decide to spray for mosquitos, do not plant anything that flowers in your yard. Keep pollinators out. Don’t give them a reason to visit your yard!
If you spray, stay away from blooms. Again, it’s the blooms that attract bees.
Spray if you must ONLY before 8 a.m. when few pollinators are out. Don't let the mosquito company dictate the schedule.
Try to hold off spraying until very late in June. That’s when most plants have finished blooming. Spray yourself instead of your yard until then!
Know that the services that claim to be less toxic to bees (like calendula spray) can still affect some bees and other pollinators. Plus, it’s vital that the calendula is sprayed either before the bees are active in the AM or after they are active in the PM.
Get rid of any standing water in your outdoor spaces. Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitos so removing it will often eliminate or greatly reduce a mosquito issue, perhaps eliminating the need for mosquito spray to begin with.
Bees pollinate one of every three bites of food we eat.
And if you don't spray your yard, consider turning it into a pollinator-friendly yard! Plant things that flower and add color to your world.
Guess what else is a super-easy switcheroney to make your home less toxic and more eco-friendly? Read this on How to Choose Healthier Candles.