My guess is that probably violated something here: http://www.agr.state.il.us/pesticides-uses-misuses
Also it is possible that he was not licensed to use the product he was testing with:
http://www.agr.state.il.us/Environment/Pesticide/aplicatorsearch.php – as I did not see him listed as a licensed pesticide operator.
Illinois is a part of Driftwatch:
Where they are very concerned (long before his bees were seized) about drift of pesticide destroying bees and crops.
He may have been doing scientific research but if there were reports and evidence of his research affecting other bee populations or nearby crops, it’s within the rights of the local Dept of Agriculture to put a stop to it.
But it appears that “he had ample notice from lab results that foulbrood was detected in his equipment.”
http://www.beesource.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-268482.html which affects other bee populations and is extremely destructive.
Considering all the news on it is one-sided, I have to look at the other side to get a fair assessment. I don’t know what’s true or false in this case but single-sided “lone wolf fights tyranny of Unlikeable Big Corporation” puts red-flags up for me to at least do a little legwork and speculation in a Devil’s Advocate way.