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VERIFY: Yes, certain sprays to kill mosquitoes can also kill honeybees

The USDA stated there is a population decline for honeybees. One of the factors cited for a decline in honeybees is pesticides.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A viewer sent a question to our VERIFY email after she saw a post in the Nextdoor app saying the chemicals sprayed in yards to kill mosquitoes will also kill honeybees. Our VERIFY team looked into it.

THE QUESTION

Can certain sprays to kill mosquitoes also kill honeybees? 

THE SOURCES

THE ANSWER

Yes, certain sprays to kill mosquitoes also kill honeybees.

WHAT WE FOUND

According to the USDA, there are about 2.8 million honeybee hives in the United States.

However, the USDA also stated there is a population decline, and one of the factors cited for a decline in honeybees is pesticides. 

"If you got bees right next to the property line and they are spraying, that could have a detrimental effect," Beasley said. 

Beasley, who belongs to the Gaston County Beekeepers Association, tells us certain sprays can affect bees. 

"If they are just mass spraying the yard, there are lots of clover and other things in bloom it could impact someone's honeybees close by," Beasley said. 

According to Beasley, the overhead sprays that are used in some states after hurricanes can also affect beehives. 

Dutcher tells us Mecklenburg County does not have a spray program. Instead, they try to kill mosquitoes in the larva stage, before they are fully grown. 

"So we tip and toss any standing water, so it doesn't sit there for a week or so generally takes a week for mosquitoes to get in there and start hatching," Dutcher said. 

Beasley tells us this helps limit the number of pesticides people would use. He also said if you need to spray for mosquitoes or other insects, look at the ingredients and the directions to help cut down on the honeybee decline. There are also some organic remedies you can use that won't harm the bees. 

Contact Meghan Bragg at mbragg@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.


VERIFY is dedicated to helping the public distinguish between true and false information. The VERIFY team, with help from questions submitted by the audience, tracks the spread of stories or claims that need clarification or correction. Have something you want VERIFIED? Text us at 704-329-3600 or visit /verify. 

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