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Assessing the Impact of Mosquito Control Adulticiding Practices on Honey Bee Health to Improve Current Best Management Practices for Mosquito Control and Honey Bee Domestication

2013 Grantee: Louisiana State University Agricultural Center

Funding Awarded: $167,874

Fact Sheet PDF (1pg, 392k, About PDF)

Overview

The use of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in mosquito control is crucial in the reduction of mosquitoes as well as mosquito-borne pathogens causing human diseases. Mosquito adulticiding is often necessary to minimize the risk of vector-borne diseases to humans. As awareness of the effects of pesticides on bees increases, along with recognition of the essential role bees play in agriculture, there is also interest by mosquito control personnel on the effects on honey bees of their adulticiding. There is great need to identify the actual risk of pesticides to honey bees as a key issue in pollinator protection. This project will assess risk of mosquito adulticides on honey bees by examining toxicity and exposure and assessing long term impact on honey bee colonies located inside and outside of mosquito control districts. By assessing these impacts, best management practices (BMPs) in mosquito control will be improved to minimize impacts on honey bees. BMPs for beekeepers will also be improved to ensure their bees are best protected during adulticide applications. The goal is to improve communication between mosquito control districts and beekeepers, and BMPs resulting from this study will provide a mechanism for doing so.

Objectives

  • Characterize toxicities for honey bees to insecticides used in mosquito abatement programs.
  • Determine the acute mortality of bees at increasing distances away from ground ULV adulticiding.
  • Determine if type of adulticiding equipment minimizes impact on bees.
  • Optimize hive management to minimize impact of pesticides on bees.
  • Examine the effects of mosquito abatement programs on the health of existing bee colonies.
  • Develop best management practices for distribution to mosquito control districts in the US.

Programs and Activities

Research: Characterize toxicities of honey bees to insecticides used in mosquito abatement program; determine the acute mortality of bees at increasing distances away from adulticiding fog trucks; determine if type of adulticiding equipment can minimize impact on bees; optimize hive management to minimize impact of pesticides on bees; and examine the effects of mosquito abatement programs on long-term health of existing bee colonies.

Outreach and Knowledge Transfer: Design and distribute BMPs to mosquito control districts and beekeepers. BMPs, in the formats of documents, webpages, and cellphone applications will be raised promoted through webinars and journal publications.

Desired Outcomes

  • Develop and distribute BMPs for mosquito control that minimizes impact on honey bees.
  • Develop and distribute BMPs for beekeepers to minimize exposure to mosquito adulticides.
  • Increased communications between mosquito control programs and beekeepers.
  • Increased number of mosquito control programs that factor honey bees into their integrated mosquito control programs.
  • Increased number of beekeepers registered with their state ag departments and local mosquito control programs.

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