As Massachusetts sprays for EEE, beekeepers worry about fragile bees

Image of hand with honey bees on it.

(WBUR) This summer is turning out to be a particularly bad one for the mosquito-borne virus Eastern Equine Encephalitis, and Massachusetts has been conducting aerial spray operations in areas where mosquitoes have tested positive for the virus using a pesticide called Anvil 10+10. Officials don’t rule out the possibility that this pesticide could harm bees or other insects, but they say there’s no evidence that it has.

Research reveals how bee-friendly limonoids are made

Image of leaf cluster.

(John Innes Centre) The best known limonoid, azadirachtin, is famous for being bee-friendly yet having a strong anti-insect effect. Due to the complex chemical structure of limonoids, it is difficult to chemically synthesize these natural products. As a result, their use is currently limited to what can be extracted from plant materials. “If this engineering could be achieved, then crops could be developed with an inherent resistance to insects, which could reduce reliance on chemical application for crop protection.”