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Beekeepers sue over spraying

Beekeepers Michael L. Grande and Robert S. Grande of Brandon have sued Hillsborough County, alleging that its mosquito control workers killed their bees last May with insecticide.

The suit, filed last week in Hillsborough Circuit Court, asks for more than $200,000 in damages, plus court costs. It also asks for a jury trial and a court order that would forbid aerial spraying of pesticides in areas beekeepers use for pollination.

Assistant County Attorney William Capito said he could not comment on the case because it is in litigation.

The Grande brothers say a Mosquito Control plane sprayed a mangrove area in south Hillsborough with Dibrom-14 on May 29, killing millions of their bees and contaminating the combs and honey.

The suit also alleges that the pilots falsified flight records to make it appear as if they had sprayed before dawn.

_ MARLENE SOKOL

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