A honey bee queen, center, mills about a honeycomb as it's hive receives routine maintenance as part of a collaboration between the Cincinnati Zoo and TwoHoneys Bee Co., Wednesday, May 27, 2015, at EcOhio Farm in Mason, Ohio. A federal rule to be proposed Thursday, May 28, would create temporary pesticide-free zones when certain plants are in bloom around bees that are trucked from farm to farm by professional beekeepers, which are the majority of honeybees in the U.S. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Millions of bees die after South Carolina sprays pesticide to curb Zika

 

This is the ultimate buzzkill.

In an effort to stop the spread of Zika before it starts, parts of South Carolina were doused from the air on Sunday morning with a common insecticide called Naled, the Washington Post reported. After the early morning spray, local beekeepers arrived at work to a startling sound: overwhelming silence.

By one estimate, Flowertown Bee Farm and Supplies lost 46 hives in the death spray, or about 2.5 million bees, local NBC affiliate WCBD-TV reported. Beekeepers were devastated by the loss.

“I was angry that day, I just couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that we spray poison from the sky,” bee owner Andrew Macke told WCBD-TV.

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A honey bee queen, center, mills about a honeycomb as it's hive receives routine maintenance as part of a collaboration between the Cincinnati Zoo and TwoHoneys Bee Co., Wednesday, May 27, 2015, at EcOhio Farm in Mason, Ohio. A federal rule to be proposed Thursday, May 28, would create temporary pesticide-free zones when certain plants are in bloom around bees that are trucked from farm to farm by professional beekeepers, which are the majority of honeybees in the U.S. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

A honey bee queen, center, mills about a honeycomb as it’s hive receives routine maintenance as part of a collaboration between the Cincinnati Zoo and TwoHoneys Bee Co., Wednesday, May 27, 2015, at EcOhio Farm in Mason, Ohio. A federal rule to be proposed Thursday, May 28, would create temporary pesticide-free zones when certain plants are in bloom around bees that are trucked from farm to farm by professional beekeepers, which are the majority of honeybees in the U.S. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

(JOHN MINCHILLO/AP)

And not all of the bees died after the spray.

“As you can see, a few that are alive are trying to help and save and clean up the ones that are dead,” one beekeeper from Flowertown Bee Farm said in a morose Facebook video, her voice full of emotion.

South Carolina currently has 46 travel-related cases of Zika in the state,according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, one of which was sexually transmitted.

As of now, there are no reports of Zika from local mosquito bites, but Dorchester County took the extra step to spray from the air on Sunday ā€” and the deviation from the county’s usual ground-based efforts in curbing the pesky insects is where the problem began, bee owners say.

“Had I known, I would have been camping on the steps doing whatever I had to do screaming, ‘No you can’t do this,'” Juanita Stanley told Charleston’s WCSC-TV.

The county acknowledged to the New York Times that a county worker had not followed proper protocol for the pesticide spraying ā€” he didn’t call every registered beekeeper.

“He made a mistake in terms of going down his list and failed to call,” Jason L. Ward told the New York Times.

Even still, some bee owners are hoping that this can be a learning experience for people.

“If we turn this into a teachable moment, how important bees are to the environment and how unhealthy it is to aerial spray a pesticide,” Macke told WCBD-TV.

Credits: Daily News

 

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