Mosquitoes can transmit a wide variety of pathogens and significantly reduce our quality of life with their aggressive biting behavior. Pollinators, and honey bees in particular, are a critical part of our natural environment, contributing significantly to food production and ecological diversity. Unfortunately, these two groups of insects often have overlapping habitats. As a result, proponents of both mosquito management and pollinator protection must find a way to communicate effectively and work together for the betterment of both society and these important entities.
Mosquitoes pose a significant public health risk due to their disease transmission potential. While West Nile virus is the most common mosquito-borne disease in Georgia, other diseases like Eastern equine encephalitis and LaCrosse encephalitis are also regularly detected. In addition to their disease transmission potential, biting mosquitoes are a perennial deterrent to outdoor activity in many communities. As a result of their pervasive pest status, many different techniques are used to suppress mosquito populations. Comprehensive mosquito control today should be conducted using integrated pest management practices. This approach typically includes education, source reduction, surveillance, larviciding, and adulticiding. When conducted properly, scientific studies and repeated operational observations have demonstrated that an integrated pest management approach does not pose a significant risk to honey bee colonies.
That being said, pollinators are extremely important and seemingly at risk. Pollination, the process of transferring pollen, is necessary for the production of seeds and fruits in many crops. While many insects such as flies, beetles, moths, butterflies, and wasps can be important pollinators, bees outperform them all because of their dietary need for pollen and nectar, their hairy bodies that carry pollen grains easily, and their rapid flight from flower to flower. In addition, of all insects considered beneficial, none is more favorably viewed by the public than the western honey bee, Apis mellifera.
Status and Revision History
Published on Apr 20, 2020