NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

August 28, 2013

Beekeepers abuzz over spraying

Hives reportedly wiped out despite efforts to protect them

(Continued)

“Mr. Card is probably correct in his assumption that we will continue to have problems with viruses from mosquitoes and that we need to start thinking about that,” Wild said. “But there has to be a better way and chemicals are not the answer.”

Beekeeper Kim Klibansky lived in Beverly for 45 years before moving to Rowley this year. She said the main reason she moved was to have more land — a buffer from the road spraying that decimated her bees in Beverly last year.

Klibansky keeps bees recreationally, her own effort to combat Colony Collapse Disorder, in which worker bees abruptly disappear.

Last year, she wrapped her hives with tarps before spraying occurred a half-mile from her Beverly home.

“I figured we’d be OK,” Klibansky said. “The next day, we went out and the front of the tarp was covered with dead bees. Our hives were so weakened that within four to five days, one hive died. About a week later, the second hive died.

“Bees are like our barometer. If there are bees, we know it’s a healthy environment,” she said. “That (mosquito) spray wipes out a lot of flying insects, not just mosquitoes. I just don’t think the risk is worth it.”

Wild would agree.

“Every third mouthful of food you eat is pollinated by a honeybee. We should all enjoy it while we can,” Wild said. “I believe it was Albert Einstein who said, ‘when all the bees die, humanity is approximately 4 years behind.’”

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