50,000 bees dead after pesticide use in Oregon

Bee deathWith the ever growing concern about the devastation of the bee population, this story from today’s news takes it from bad to worse.

An estimated 50,000 bumblebees, possibly representing more than 300 colonies, were found dead or dying in the parking lot of a shopping mall in Wilsonville, Oregon. Authorities confirmed Friday that the massive bee die-off was caused by the use of a neonicotinoid pesticide, dinotefuran, on nearby trees. Then on Saturday, it was reported by The Oregonian that what could be hundreds of bees were found dead after a similar pesticide use in the neighboring town of Hillsboro.

Dan Hilburn, director of plant programs at the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA), told Oregon Live that he’s “never encountered anything quite like it in 30 years in the business.” The incident highlights the difficulty of permitting in commerce such a highly toxic material that indiscriminately kills beneficial insects.

With bees a critical factor for pollination for crops such as berries and seed crops in Oregon’s Willemette Valley, as well as other food crops across the country, these bee deaths strike a terrible blow to the farming industry.

For more on this story go to http://bit.ly/11Cz4II.

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