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Polish woman sentenced for killing bees

World

Warsaw - A Polish court on Tuesday handed down a suspended four-month jail term to a woman it found guilty of killing two million bees through excessive use of an anti-mosquito product.

The woman, who was only identified by the court as Joanna S. because of privacy laws, was in charge of a municipal anti-mosquito spraying operation and was found to have used a pesticide without the necessary health ministry authorisation.

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In this Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010, photo, honey bees are seen working during the Pennsylvania Farm Show and the Pennsylvania Farm Show and Expo Center in Harrisburg, Pa. A survey of beekeepers published in the January issue of the Journal of Apicultural Research finds the percentage of operations reporting having lost colonies with colony collapse disorder symptoms decreased to 26 percent last winter, compared to 38 percent the previous season and 36 percent the season before that. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

“The (anti-mosquito) operation could have also taken human lives,” said Lucjan Furmanek, head of a beekeepers' association in Gorlice, southeastern Poland.

“I hope the court decision will prevent other thoughtless environmental disasters,” he added, quoted by the Polish PAP news agency.

The Gorlice court's ruling opens the door for beekeepers to launch a civil lawsuit for damages in connection with mass bee death that occurred following the 2010 spraying operation.

Flooding that year in the nearby town of Biecz caused an unusually high number of mosquitoes to breed in stagnant waters.

Sapa-AFP

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