**Huddled around their hives, beekeepers around the south-eastern US fear a new threat to their livelihood: a fine mist beaded with neurotoxin, sprayed from the sky by officials at war with mosquitos that carry the Zika virus.
Earlier this week, South Carolina beekeepers found millions of dead honey bees carpeting their apiaries, killed by an insecticide. Video posted by a beekeeper to Facebook showed thousands of dead insects heaped around hives, while a few survivors struggled to move the bodies of fellow bees.
“This is what’s left of Flowertown Bees,” a despondent keeper says in the video. Company co-owner Juanita Stanley told the Associated Press her farm looked “like it’s been nuked” and estimated 2.5 million bees were killed.**
There’s no scientific evidence that links Zika to microcephaly. Some scientists believe pesticides may be the source, specifically pyriproxyfen. It’s effective in controlling mosquitoes by acting as a larvicide.
Pyriproxyfen was sprayed in areas with a high rate of microcephaly.
I read about a woman who had a honeybee farm. All of her bees were killed. She wasn’t warned about the spraying. She said it could have been done at night time and her bees would have been in the hives.
Her entire business is lost, plus who knows what effect it will have on the ecology. Many crops need bees for pollination.
it could be true. It could also be true, if she takes them around to farms for pollination of crops, that they get killed or weakened by all of the things farmers put on crops nowadays, including insecticides.
Where I live, there is not much farming because the land is too rough and rocky. It’s almost entirely cattle country. Honeybees are very much in evidence, including “wild” bees that are too far from any beekeeper to have come from man-established hives. Their ability to thrive has fascinated me, because grasslands and woods (about all there is here) are not generally thought of as good bee country. But if one pays attention, there are a lot of flowering plants among the grasses and flowering trees. One of the most spectacular phenomena is in the early spring when the basswood trees come into flower. Those trees are simply covered with bees during that time, thousands upon thousands of them, and the honey from it is almost water-clear. Bees are interesting in that, when there is a strong “honey flow” like that, you can get right among them, even within their flyways, and they won’t sting, so intent are they in what they’re doing.
I can imagine the devastation if one of those trees got sprayed with insecticide.
The one bee killer around here is alfalfa crops (thankfully not too common). Alfalfa blooms, but it is really vulnerable to certain insects, seasonally, so farmers spray alfalfa fields, probably killing every bee in the field, which could be many thousands.