Mosquito Control and Beekeepers

Why does Sussex County Mosquito Control Care about bees?

Sussex County Mosquito Control understands the role that bees play in our ecosystem. They are responsible for maintaining natural plant communities and ensuring production of seeds in most flowering plants. Without bees transferring pollen from one flower to another for fertilization, crops and plants would not be able to grow seeds or bear fruit. Essentially, WE NEED BEES TO EAT!

If we care so much, why do we still spray pesticides that are toxic to bees?

Our sole purpose is to protect the public from mosquito borne diseases by using an integrated pest management approach to control mosquito populations. We apply pesticides when absolutely necessary based on monitoring and treatment thresholds.

Sussex County Mosquito Control is mandated by the State constitution to protect public health and facilitate the enjoyment of the natural resources of the County. While public health is a big priority, the environment and health of Sussex County is also very important to us. That's why we comply with all relevant state and federal regulations to ensure proper protection of public health and the environment we live in.

What regulations are in place to protect bees?

The New Jersey DEP requires pesticide applicators to notify beekeepers at least 24 hours prior to the application of pesticides that are toxic to bees that are within 3 miles of the application site. The New Jersey DEP ALSO requires beekeepers to voluntarily register their bee yards for the DEP Officially Registered Bee Yards by March 1 of every year. PLEASE NOTE if you are not on this list BY March 1, the applicators will not be held responsible for notification. However, if you miss the deadline please contact our office at 973-940-5225 with your locations. We would like to know where all beehives are regardless if you aren't registered.

How do I get my bee yard registered?

You can visit the NJ DEP Compliance and Enforcement Beekeeper Notification website at arrow icon and follow the instructions given. If you did not make the March 1 deadline please call our office at 973-940-5225 to inform us of your situation and the location of your hives. Please be sure to include your name, phone number, address, reason for calling, and a description of the location of your bee yard.

What happens when I receive the notification call?

We will inform you of the date and time as well as the municipality and general areas of the pesticide application, the means of application (truck mounted spraying), the product's trade name, active ingredient, and the product's EPA registration number. This information will inform you of the area the application will take place and give you time to prepare if needed.

What if I have an issue with you spraying near my beehive?

Because we take protecting bee yards very seriously, we always try to work with our beekeepers. 1) At Sussex County Mosquito Control all bee yards are designated as a "NO SPRAY" area, meaning, the truck mounted adulticide sprayer will be turned off at the arrival of the bee yard property and turned back on after the property has been passed. We also turn the sprayer off to eliminate drift towards the hives. 2) We will change our spray route to accommodate them. Typically, mosquito spraying takes place at dawn or dusk when bees have returned to their beehives. But of course there may be some situations when bees are still foraging in the target area when spraying begins. If this happens, we try to plan our spray routes by having the bee yards at the end of the route to ensure they are in their hives by the time the truck has arrived at their location.

What happens to the bees when they forage the next day?

The residual effects of our chemicals to persist in the environment are very low. The chemicals used are designed to kill mosquitoes on contact and are only effective while the droplets remain airborne. Our spray trucks also have limited access. Most of the time, the trucks will only spray on roadways which decreases the amount of area our spray actual reaches. We use ULV, Ultra Low Volume, methods of spraying which translates to very small quantities used per acre. Our chemicals are also very sensitive to light and will breakdown quickly with UV exposure. Hence, this spray is very short lived and is not expected to have any residual effects that would affect bee foraging the following day.

What can the Beekeeper Do?

  1. Make sure you notify us of the bee hives on your property.
  2. Express your concerns to us! Please call and ask questions. We are here to help you in protecting your bees.
  3. If you aren't comfortable, please contact your local Beekeepers Association for safe methods for protecting beehives.

Helpful Links:

For NJ DEP Bee Yard registration arrow icon

Beekeeper Information arrow icon

National Pesticide Information Center arrow icon

Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station arrow icon

Colony Collapse Disorder arrow icon