March 31, 2015
Mark S. Cox, APR
Director of Public Communications
For immediate release Heath E. Covey
Public Information Coordinator
MOSQUITO CONTROL TO CONDUCT AERIAL SPRAYING
CHESAPEAKE -- The Chesapeake Mosquito Control Commission will conduct aerial spraying operations beginning Monday, April 6, weather permitting, to decrease the population of mosquito larvae. This larvicide is not toxic to bees, butterflies, dragonflies, etc. The chemical does not pose a risk to humans, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control. Operations will take place from approximately 6:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m., for a period of about twelve days. If the weather is not favorable, the spraying will be rescheduled to the next favorable day.
Kritter Aviation will be assisting in the spraying process. Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti), and the insect growth regulator, methoprene (Trade name Altosid), will be applied to larval habitats to prevent the emergence of adult mosquitoes. This larvicide mixture is a liquid material and is specific to mosquito larvae and is not toxic to humans, bees, butterflies, dragonflies, etc.
The aerial spraying efforts are aimed at freshwater woodland, flood-pool, swamp, and open field-breeding mosquitoes and will have little effect on backyard container-breeding species.
Residents may notice low-flying helicopter in areas near wooded and open field portions of the city, including:
The helicopter will most often be seen after it has released the insecticide and while realigning for another spray pass.
Last Updated (Friday, 26 August 2016 16:34)
Proposed VA Law to Protect Pollinators
There is exciting news for gardeners, naturalists and beekeepers in Virginia. A truth-in-advertising bill is working it's way through the Virginia General Assembly. SB1242, introduced by R. Creigh Deeds, would prohibit the sale of plants as "beneficial to pollinators" if the plants have been treated with systemic insecticides known to be harmful to pollinators. Systemic insecticides, including neonicitinoids, are pesticides that are absorbed by plants and become part of the plant's tissue.
Neonicitinoids have been implicated in insect decline which has has far-reaching effects on the ecosystem; two-thirds of the food crops humans eat every day require bees or other insect pollinators to successfully produce a crop. Research published in the journal Nature, concluded that invertebrate species and songbird populations are declining as a result of neonicitinoid use.
A Gardeners Beware 2014 study shows that 36 out of 71 (51 percent) of garden plant samples purchased at top garden retailers in 18 cities in the United States and Canada contain neonicotinoid pesticides. Currently there is no law in Virginia that requires the disclosure of pesticides used on nursery stock; consumers may actually be purchasing plants that are harmful to bees and other insect pollinators under the mistaken impression that they are planting a pollinator-friendly garden.
Minnesota became the first state to regulate pollinator-friendly labeling in July 2014. If the proposed law passes in Virginia, the commonwealth's citizens will have the information necessary to make thoughtful choices on plant material purchased for home landscaping.
Please tell the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources to support SB1242 and protect our pollinators.
SB 1242 Nurseries; labeling of plants treated with pollinator-lethal insecticides.
SUMMARY AS INTRODUCED:
Nurseries; labeling of plants treated with pollinator-lethal insecticides. Prohibits the labeling or advertisement of a plant as being beneficial to pollinators if the plant contains a detectable level of a systemic insecticide that is harmful to pollinators. The bill defines "pollinator" as an insect that pollinates flowers.
Update: SB1242 did not make it out of the Committee on Agriulture, Conservation and Natural Resources.
Last Updated (Tuesday, 17 February 2015 12:32)
Honey Bee License Plate
The Pittsylvania County Beekeepers Association is sponsoring a new Honey Bee license plate for Virginia drivers. A $10 special interest fee is proposed to support apiculture through the Virginia Department of Agriculture. 450 prepaid applications are required for the license plate to be considered by the state legislature. The Honey Bee license plate design (honey bee will be correctly spelled as two words) has been approved by DMV and is ready for submission by the plate’s patron, Del. Les Adams, in the General Assembly. All that’s needed are the 450 applications!
To order a plate:
Money will be deposited into a special account as specified by DMV. Applications and money will be turned into DMV when the total reaches 450.
UPDATE: A motorcycle plate will be offered and will count towards the 450 applications necessary to introduce the plate. Motorcycle plate applicants should denote that the application is for a motorcycle in a bold marker at the top of the application.
Last Updated (Saturday, 17 January 2015 12:01)
To Bee or Not To Bee
Short honey bee video filmed by Keith Lanpher for Distinction Magazine at the Hampton Roads Agricultural Research and Extension Center. Great bee close-ups!
Last Updated (Saturday, 06 September 2014 17:26)
Queen Rearing Class
Would you like to produce Honey Bee Colonies?
Colonial Beekeepers Association is sponsoring a Queen Rearing Class.
Location: Tabb Library Meeting Room, 100 Long Green Boulevard, Yorktown, VA 23693
Date: Saturday, January 31, 2015
Time: 10:15 AM to 4 PM
This one-day intermediate level class will give those interested in queen rearing and breeding the information necessary to get started. This class is open to all beekeepers regardless of experience. No equipment or special requirements needed to attend. The class includes the book, sale Queen Rearing Essentials, lunch and refreshments. For more information or to register via phone or email, please contact Andy Westrich.
Last Updated (Friday, 26 August 2016 13:53)
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