, Salem, MA

September 2, 2013

Beekeeper: Mosquito spraying was irresponsible

The Salem News

---- — To the editor:

What is the real threat to the honeybee? Stupidity. Not only is the recent spraying on the North Shore of the pesticide Duet irresponsible, it will hardly affect the mosquito population and certainly does not rectify the proliferation of the West Nile virus itself, if it truly exists at the level to create such a scenario of doom and gloom.

I have not seen any credible information that there is any mosquito-borne viral threat at all. I would simply not trust any information coming from governmental sources. The typical news heading in the local news is that such and such locale has tested positive for the West Nile virus. This tells me nothing. What methodology was used? Which multiple locations were tested? How many independent sources did the testing? And so on.

The agenda of government, be it local, state or federal, only serves those who are connected by it through the hand that feeds its mouth. But let’s say for the benefit of the doubt that our local servants really want to “protect” us. Remember DDT? Upper atmospheric nuclear testing? Mercury in vaccines? Water fluoridation? All sounded so good to the politicos and their corporate sponsors until hard science over time said that, hey, maybe we shouldn’t be doing this to ourselves and our fragile environment.

Bats will eat up to 24,000 mosquitoes in one sitting. Maybe you have to deal with a little guano, which actually benefits the soil. Of course, this was not thought of because the manufacturer of Duet has more influence than bats or the long-term effect on you and your family’s health. The real killer here is the truth, not the West Nile virus, which ranks well below the mortality rate of, say, being killed by a snapping turtle.

The bottom line is not to protect you or your environment. The bottom line is just that, and as a beekeeper and agriculturalist I know for a fact that there are better and more cost-effective methods for controlling malevolent insects. I am still trying to figure out how to apply this to controlling the fools who are running roughshod in the offices of the city halls whose decisions, made without our collective input, invade our sanity and choices of healthy living. Our environment is polluted enough by past stupidities. Stupidity only makes your threat stronger.

We all know how important honeybees are — there can be no question. What must be questioned is the lack of empirical thought and the intellect of those who condone such irresponsible undertakings, such as pesticide spraying our living space with the misguided belief that this will somehow eradicate one problem, which may in reality create a larger problem in the future.

Jeff Tanzer