Citrus grower fined for killing honeybees


Published: Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 5:24 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 5:24 p.m.

WEST PALM BEACH — A major Florida citrus grower has been fined after a state investigation found it illegally sprayed pesticide that caused the death of millions of honeybees.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services fined Ben Hill Griffin Inc. $1,500 last week.

The Palm Beach Post (http://goo.gl/VWjxv6 ) reports that beekeepers have argued since at least 2006 that citrus growers have at times illegally sprayed pesticides to kill the Asian citrus psyllid. The tiny insect spreads greening, a lethal and widespread citrus disease that is devastating groves. But beekeepers say their honey-making insects have been killed along with psyllids.

A Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Department spokeswoman says the action against Ben Hill Griffin is the first case in recent years where a pesticide application by a grower was determined to be the cause of a bee kill.

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