West Nile Fogging Kills Hundreds of Bees in Palo Alto - NBC Bay Area
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West Nile Fogging Kills Hundreds of Bees in Palo Alto

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    The negative side effects of pesticides sprayed during mosquito season to reduce the risk of West Nile Virus appears to have made its way onto the Peninsula. Michelle Roberts reports. (Published Monday, Aug. 17, 2015)

    The negative side effects of pesticides sprayed during mosquito season to reduce the risk of West Nile virus appears to have made its way onto the Peninsula.

    A Palo Alto bee keeper said many of his bees died after spraying last month.

    Denise Bonilla from he Santa Clara County Vector Control said an extremely low dose of pesticides are used during fogging and are only sprayed when necessary.

    "We want to make sure we only fog the are where there is West Nile virus activity," Bonilla said.

    A mosquito sample tested positive for West Nile virus within a mile of Rondolph Tsien's home, where he harvests organic honey in his Palo Alto backyard.

    Tsien's neighborhood was sprayed with pesticides known to kill mosquitoes and also bees. The bee keeper covered the hives with tarps during the fogging, but said hundreds of bees were killed.

    And now Tsien worries the survivors will produce tainted honey that can no longer be labeled organic.

    "It's a weapon of mass destruction, if you will, for planet Earth," he said.

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