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Mosquito spraying

Question for all my professional bee keepers… I got a message from my town saying that tomorrow at dusk the were aerial spraying for mosquitos. What do I need to do with my hive? Should I close up the hive over night? Or will they be ok? Thanks for any help

Ugh, aerial spraying. :cry:

If it was my hive, I would probably shut them up the night before with mesh or insect screen to allow ventilation, or before sun-up the next morning (the morning of the spraying day). The pilots need daylight to do low-level ag-plane spraying, and that means bees will be flying, even at dusk. They can’t spray in the dark. If they are ruthless, “dusk” may even mean 3:30pm to them, so I wouldn’t take a risk on the timing.

The other thing I would do is drape a wet sheet over the hive, making sure that the entrance is “tented” by it. The sheet should stay in place and absorb any drifting spray, preventing it from getting into your hive. The bees need some air flow to breathe and cool the hive, but make sure that your hive is protected from the wind blowing aerosol into the hive. Once it is dark, you can take the sheet off, or wait until morning if you want to be extra safe.

I am probably much more cautious than most, but that is what I would do. :blush:


Thank you for the advice!! I am not very happy about this and honestly with winter coming up I am not even sure why they would waste the time or money doing it!! I was wondering if I should close them up for the night!! Thanks for the tips


I agree totally with Dawn, lock them into the hive with fly-screen the night before the spraying, love the idea of a damp towel over the entrance, open the hive after dark after the spraying is done. Even do a light spray down over the front of the hive with a water hose.
We get aerial spraying here too, A nasty smell and I guess a lot of innocent insects are killed along with the mozzies. It is environmental vandalism.
Regards Joe

Peter, it’s interesting you said that about local aerial spraying. Remember the bloke who gave me the fish, he has some hives near the Twin Waters Golf Club. He discovered a massive amount of dead bees recently. He wondered if they sprayed at the golf course.

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I have never believed there is an aerial delivered spray made that is mosquito selective, if there is it doesn’t get a mention on a Google Search and the costs to develop such a spray would make it cost out of the reach of councils etc…
Point2 The Twin Water Golf Course has water hazards as does nearly every golf course, it is also surrounded by and large by bushland vegetation, with housing. That worries me (the houses, pets, natural wildlife like magpies, swallows and the residents). Any animal or insect, thinking lizards, gecko’s and so on, becomes a bait then for passing the toxin up the food chain.
Point3 Try as you like nobody will tell you, Joe Public, the name of the spray they use.
Point4 By Law they have to notify you when you are going to have programed spraying you are to be notified. All be it not personally, but a notice in a newspaper, is deemed that you have been notified. In time past you were notified by a mail box delivery a few days prior till ‘big brother’ found a cheaper way of doing it.

If they did spray recently the hive losses in my opinion he can regard the losses as a direct result of the spraying. The spraying is done in daylight so any bees can become a victim.
Cheers Jeff

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Thanks for that Peter. I should phone him to let him know. He might be able to organize some forewarning next year.

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A friendly approach about his concern for his bees might be a good way to go. After the spraying done and as soon as possible after he should hose down the front side and roof of the hive with some water, he will still loose bees as they forage on contaminated flowers.
I think of aerial spraying as environmental vandalism but don’t know the answer to the ‘mozzie’ problem en-mass.

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If he gets a warning next time he is welcome to some space of the 1700 sq metres at the Men’s Shed for a week or two Jeff.

Thanks Pete, I haven’t phoned him yet. I’ll let him know. I think he was thinking it was an annual event. After all this rain, it wouldn’t surprise me if it happened in the very near future. I checked my rain gauge this morning, it was full. The numbers stop at 150, there would have been about 40 mils above where the numbers stop. Then I don’t know how much we got after it filled.

Apart from all the mozzies in the coming weeks, I wont be surprised if we get a real good honey flow in the coming months.

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It wouldn’t surprise me to see a lot of spraying in the near future with all the rain. The rain figures are mind blowing, we have already more than doubled the October average and set a new record halfway through October.
Will this boost hive beetle’s do you think?, during a couple of hours of fine weather last week I found them in a hive that had been free of them for 6 months so they must be at least flying.

I’m pretty sure it will boost beetle numbers. They seem to turn up. This weather also increases chalk brood issues. We need to make sure the bees are discarding the mummies because beetles will lay eggs in the mummies if they are sitting around in damp conditions on the floor.

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