Zika is a threat to every state in the nation, but it has reared its head in only certain states to date. North Carolina and South Carolina are just two states experiencing outbreaks of the virus among its population. While the cases in the Carolinas have been contracted through travel, the virus is carried by mosquitoes, making its contraction a possibility for anyone.
To try to stop the spread of the virus before it becomes an epidemic, officials in South Carolina have had parts of the state sprayed with an insecticide called Naled. It’s a common insecticide that has been in use in the United States since 1959. It is relatively innocuous to people because it dissipates so quickly. Even though this is the case, it is recommended that humans not come into contact with Naled as it is being applied.
Trucks being followed by clouds of insecticide are becoming a common sight in the state and, sadly, so are parts of the ground littered with dead honeybees. The bees are not dying by the dozens or even the thousands. Instead, some beekeepers are reporting the deaths of millions of their bees.
In Dorchester County, one farm experienced a total loss of approximately 2.5 million bees. Other apiaries have reported similar numbers. Colony collapse disorder is not the culprit. Farmers are blaming acute pesticide poisoning for the loss of their hives and bees. A woman from Summerville wrote on Facebook that seeing the dead bees at an apiary was “like visiting a cemetery, pure sadness.”
County officials released an email that said all registered beekeepers in the county, with the exception of one, had been told of the impending spraying. Officials also pointed out that those not contacted were not ignored, but that as hobbyists, their hives were not registered or known. What the county intends to do, if anything, about the bee deaths remains unclear.
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