Tybee beehive suffers after Mosquito Control spraying

TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WSAV) – One Tybee Island family undergoes a big setback after Chatham County Mosquito Control accidentally killed many of their bees Tuesday.

For six years this family has been making honey on their rooftop. They are on a notification list to be alerted before any flyover sprays by Mosquito Control, but Tybee Island did not receive that notice this time.

“We are still making honey,” David Strickland, a Tybee Bee Keeper, said. “These two top boxes are what have the honey in them and generally we try to get one to three boxes of honey per hive.”

However, they will get a little less honey this go-around.

“The individuals on Wilmington Island, Talahi and all the other areas were contacted,” Jeff Heusel, with Chatham County Mosquito Control, said. “Tybee was not because of a clerical error.”

Chatham County developed a notification list more than a decade ago to send email or text alert describing when and what they are going to do.

“We have a number of sheets we have that designated what targets we have and that last sheet looked like it was part of the previous one,” Heusel said. “Basically, it was a simple error.”

This error came at a great cost to the Strickland family beehives.

“They sprayed and we lost a bunch of bees,” Strickland said. “A lot of our workers got killed off, so that means less honey.”

Officials say they have since created a solution to prevent a mishap like this again.

“It’ll be very simple for the person that is putting in those notifications or for selecting the areas that are going to be notified,” Heusel said.

The county has also spoken to everyone affected by the incident

“We’ve assured them that we will make sure that they’re contacted in the future,” Heusel said.

The Strickland family has a word of advice for anyone who wants to know when the spraying will begin.

“We encourage people to call mosquito control and get their names put on a call list so they can be made aware of when this happens,” Strickland said.

You can get on the spray notification list by contacting Chatham County Mosquito Control at 912-790-2540 or signing up online.

They will notify you 24 hours in advance.

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