There are reports that 2.5 Million bees from 46 hives in South Carolina have suddenly dropped dead. According to the Washington Post, the honeybees are most likely casualties in the war on mosquitoes.
The honeybees at Flowertown Bee Farm and Supplies in Dorchester County were all found dead in clumps at the entrances to their hives, a pattern that matches “acute pesticide poisoning.”
Dorchester County was sprayed with Naled, a common insecticide that kills mosquitoes on contact. To aggressively fight the mosquitoes, instead of spraying from trucks like usual, Dorchester County used an airplane to distribute the insecticide. The bee farmers believe that this is the cause of the mass deaths.
Dorchester County issued a news release reaching out to beekeepers whose bees were lost. The fears over mosquitoes and Zika are justified, but without bees, our ecosystem falls apart. They are not currently planning any more aerial sprays, and some residents in South Carolina have started a change.org petition against aerial Naled, but the damage is already done.