Millions of bees dead after US state releases Zika spray

Millions of bees dead after US state releases Zika spray

Millions of bees dead after US state releases Zika spray

More than 3 million honeybees were killed in SC after the aerial spraying of an insecticide targeting mosquitoes that could carry the Zika virus.

Officials in Dorchester County, where four travel-related cases of Zika have been reported, sometimes spray for mosquitoes from the roads, but Ward said he believed that Sunday's aerial effort was the first of its kind for the county.

Naled, a common insecticide, was sprayed from planes and killed millions of bees in Dorchester County on Sunday, Aug. 28.

More than 2 million of Ms. Stanley's bees were killed, and the remaining bees are living in "contaminated" hives, she said. "My bee yard looks like it's been nuked", Stanley told the Associated Press.

For its part, the county says it's saddened by the bee die-off and that it had tried to warn every beekeeper in the area that was being sprayed.

The plan was to kill droves of mosquitoes to combat West Nile and Zika in SC.

Zen Honeycutt, director of Moms Across America said the aerial spraying of insecticide Naled, which is meant to kill mosquitoes, is contributing to the mass death of bees. "There's some ignorance involved they don't know how important the bees are, with the chemicals what effect they would have on them". "They are in a sanctuary where I can protect them, and now they are destroyed".

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, naled has been used since 1959 to control mosquitoes and is often used after a hurricane or floods to prevent mosquito-bourne illnesses.

Andrew Macke, a hobby beekeeper in the area, said he lost thousands of bees. According to the Washington Post, the honeybees are most likely casualties in the war on mosquitoes.

Nita Stanley: "Even though there were mistakes made and balls dropped, I don't feel like anybody did this in a malicious way to harm my bees".

A Summerville resident started a Change.org petition calling for Dorchester County to halt aerial Naled spraying.

But Dorchester County usually administers mosquito control via ground.

Other pesticides that kill adult mosquitoes - known as adulticides - are no safer for bees, says Latham. As of August 26, SC had a total of 43 confirmed Zika cases. "Of course this is a tragedy", says Michael Weyman at Clemson University, South Carolina, which is investigating claims by the beekeepers that the pesticide was misused. And it generally notifies beekeepers by phone or email - something the county says it also did in this case, CNN reports, although beekeeper Juanita Stanley says she didn't get such a message.

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