Millions of honeybees in South Carolina were killed earlier this week after being sprayed with an aerial insecticide used to kill mosquitoes that are known to carry Zika.
Juanita Stanley, co-owner of Flowerton Bee Farm & Supplies in Summerville, S.C., said she knew something was wrong on Monday morning when she went to check on her bees and heard nothing.
“I have millions of bees, and usually you can hear the buzzing and feel the energy, but it was silent,” she said. “It was just devastation; there were piles of dead bees.”
Stanley said bees in all 46 of her hives were killed, resulting in the loss of millions of bees and her livelihood.
Stanley and other beekeepers in the Dorchester County, S.C., are reeling after the county aerially sprayed from a plane on Sunday morning. (1)
And while the massive loss of honeybees gained headlines around the country, other non-target insects were likely also wiped out by the naled spray, according to Leif Richardson, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics, who studies declines of native bee species, at the University of Vermont.
Studies have shown that naled can harm other bee species, flies and even butterflies — all insects that also perform important ecological roles, like the honey bee, as pollinators (1).
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