Recent reports of mosquito spraying for Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases in other states have led to many N.C. residents asking what can they do to protect commercial and hobby beehives across the state. The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services encourages bee owners to use the BeeCheck mapping software to alert farmers and pesticide applicators to the location of their hives.

“We have spent the past several months educating beekeepers and pesticide applicators about the program,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Since the program launched five months ago, 533 producers and more than 700 beekeepers have registered.”

“This program is voluntary, non-regulatory and free to use,” Troxler added. “We are excited to see sign-up for the program has outpaced other states that have had the program a lot longer than us.”

Growers, beekeepers and pesticide users can access DriftWatch and BeeCheck atwww.ncagr.gov/pollinators. The website offers detailed instructions on how to sign up and use the mapping tools. Using BeeCheck, beekeepers map their hives using pins and half-acre circles and can choose details of hive information to display on the map. Producers of high-value specialty crops, such as tomatoes, tobacco, fruit trees, grapes and vegetables, can map their sites and provide contact information about their operation on DriftWatch.

To read the full press release, click here.