Bumble bees to the rescue!
- I came across this report on another site.
It is interesting because the writer points out that bumble bees are the number 1 natural pollenator.
If Mosquito Squad and the other start significantly killing off these little ladies, the Government may take as much interest in the topic as they do the contents of energy drinks.
See what you think.
"In the news this week are two very public incidents of bumble (and Honey Bee) deaths. The first happened three days after blooming trees were sprayed. In the second, the trees were sprayed in March. Ugh.
An estimated 25,000 bumblebees have been found dead in a Target parking lot in Wilsonville since Saturday, the largest known incident of bumblebee deaths in the United States, according to the Xerces Society . Preliminary information suggests pesticides may be at fault.
[ Update: Officials from the Oregon Department of Agriculture confirmed the active ingredient in the insecticide Safari is responsible for the bee and insect deaths, and that the insecticide was originally sprayed to control for aphids. ]
The Oregon Department of Agriculture received reports of bees and other insects falling out of 55 blooming European linden trees Monday from the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
The bees were still dying on Wednesday. Yellow-faced bees fell from the trees, twitching on their backs or wandering in tight circles on the asphalt. Some honeybees and ladybugs were also found dead. A few dead bumblebees even clung to linden flowers, while hundreds littered the lot.
Dan Hilburn, director of plant programs at the state Agriculture Department, surveyed the damage after an earlier assessment from pesticide experts.
"I've never encountered anything quite like it in 30 years in the business," he said Wednesday outside the Argyle Square Target.
Hilburn said initial findings indicate the trees were sprayed Saturday with an insecticide called Safari. Tests to confirm what killed the bees will take at least two or three days, department officials said. The department of agriculture is also investigating other possible culprits, which may include other pesticides used in the surrounding area.
Safari is part of the neonicotinoid pesticide family. When it is sprayed on a plant, the leaves, flowers and nectar become toxic to almost all insects. The product's label on the distributor's website warns it is "highly toxic" to bees and tells applicators not to apply it "if bees are visiting the area."
"Bumblebees are the single most important natural pollinator in Oregon," said Mace Vaughan, pollinator program director for Xerces.
They play a crucial role in pollinating berries, flowers and other plants. The decline of the honeybee, whose populations have been decimated by Colony Collapse Disorder , has received much attention, but bumblebee populations are decreasing as well.
Elliot Associates Inc., the company that rents and manages the Argyle Square land, did not respond to multiple calls by The Oregonian. The landscapers that care for the grounds couldn't be reached for comment.
The Agriculture Department is working with the Xerces Society to help mitigate any further insect deaths at Argyle Square. As precautionary moves, they are considering either putting up netting around the trees, stripping off flowers and leaves or finding non-toxic repellents to keep bees and insects from eating the leaves or nectar.
Dale Mitchell, pesticide compliance program manager for the state agriculture department, said if test show pesticide is the culprit, the department will assess if the company responsible violated any state or federal laws, and if so, the severity of those violations. Fines for pesticide regulation infractions can range from $1000 to $10,000.
The bumblebee deaths marked an inauspicious start to National Pollinator Week, which runs through June 23.
The City of Hillsboro and the Oregon Department of Agriculture are investigating the deaths of what could be hundreds of bees in downown Hillsboro over the past few days.
The city notified state agricultural officials and the Xerces Society Friday. The kill-off is more alarming because its discovery comes after an estimated 50,000 bumblebees were found dead at a Target parking lot in Wilsonville during the past week or so.
`We take it seriously,' Hillsboro spokesman Patrick Preston said, Saturday. `We recognize the importance of bees.'
Hillsboro officials aren't sure whatâs killing the bees, but Preston confirmed that the trees in downtown Hillsboro were treated with the same pesticide, Safari spray, as 55 trees that were sprayed in Wilsonville. Agricultural officials determined that the insecticide â which is meant to kill aphids â caused the Wilsonville bees' deaths.
As soon as Preston learned of the Hillsboro die-off Friday, he visited the site along Southwest Washington Street. He saw about 100 dead or dying bees below one tree, and more living bees up in the tree."
Black Squirrel Cottage Enterprises
7558 Marshall Drive
Annandale, VA 22003
- --I hope they go after the offender and string them up . Down here on the gulf coast I can count the number of bumblebbes and honey bees on one hand every day and most days dont see either. Citrus trees fruirless,squash not bearing melons fruitless,just blooms. Between the farmers,city,county state goverments and the rairoads doing their thing famine is comeing to this country.