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Millions of Bees Die in Florida

Millions of Bees Die in Florida

Four hundred beehives were lost by one beekeeper in Florida. Several others have lost not just beehives, but whole colonies. The total number of bees lost is in the millions – up to twelve million by one estimate. No one knows exactly what caused the sudden loss, but an investigation is currently underway and is focused on pesticides. Nearly all the bees died in one day, a fact which leads investigators to believe pesticides were applied to the hives, because bee diseases usually don’t strike so quickly.

Brevard County, where the colonies were lost, was also sprayed one night by helicopter for mosquito control, but only at a time when the bees would all have been inside their hives. The poison in the mosquito spray is said to only be active for thirty minutes. Colony Collapse Disorder was ruled out because it causes worker bees to leave the colony and they never return. In the Florida case millions of worker bees were found dead outside the hives.

One of the beekeepers said he lost about $150,000 in bees to whatever killed them. He was working in construction, but the economic downturn forced him back into beekeeping. He invested heavily in bee colonies, so this incident was a major blow to his economic hopes. However, he has said he won’t give up, even though there won’t be compensation. In 2010 Forbes magazine ranked Brevard County as the worst place in the country to find a job. Discontinuation of the space shuttle and other program at NASA/Kennedy Space Center was expected to cause the loss of 9,000 jobs.

Local agriculture is focused on citrus, cattle and horses. When more bees are present,  plants grow better. For example, bees can help avocado trees produce about 25% more avocados. In other words, the loss of bees is tragic, but their positive impact on local plants will also be missed, until the hives can be re-grown.

If you know anything about this case, contact the Brevard County Sheriff’s office.

Image Credit: Jon Sullivan

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104 comments

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1:20AM PDT on Jul 15, 2012

thanks for sharing

11:05PM PDT on Jul 8, 2012

We need to ban pesticides..in all 50 states ...and i hope, world wide. They do so very much harm to the earth, the crops grown, the water ways, and to us who consume very small but cumulative doses of poison everyday for decades now...............

4:59PM PDT on Jun 20, 2012

Why on earth would you spray for mosquitos where there are bees??? they are both insects for heaven's sake - some people are just so stupid...

1:21PM PDT on Jun 7, 2012

Support the bees - click butterfly rewards to women in Guatemala

7:18AM PDT on Jun 7, 2012

horrible

10:13PM PDT on Jun 6, 2012

Insecticides and GMOs.

10:52AM PDT on Jun 6, 2012

thanks.

9:40PM PDT on May 22, 2012

Thanks for article, I'll be making one as I know how important our bees are. I have half a teaspoon in my green tea. I heard from a TED talk in California that if we lost all our insects the planet would die. If we lost all the humans the planet would florish. That's pretty intense. I also found out that Austalia imports bees to America because they lost there's to a disease or something.
Isaac Bashevis Singer Nobel Peace Prize Winner wrote in his book, 'Enemies a love story', "As often has Herman had witnessed the slaughter of animals and fish, he always had the same thought. In their behaviour toward creatures, all men were Nazi’s. The smugness with which man could do with other species as he pleased exemplify the most extreme racist theories the principle that might is right. Lest we forget!

2:31PM PDT on May 22, 2012

can someone be my friend so i can give out stars???

6:25AM PDT on Apr 30, 2012

Molto triste. Magari riuscissero a trovare i colpevoli.

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