The honey business of a family in Summerville suffered after the areal spray to kill Zika mosquitoes killed their bees instead. This is despite the US Environmental Protection Agency or EPA’s assurance that the spray used was safe. Read the full story here:
MIAMI — Beekeeper Juanita Stanley woke up stunned Monday morning when she realized the familiar buzz at her South Carolina apiary had gone silent.
In an effort to control the spread of the mosquito-borne Zika virus, authorities over the weekend doused parts of the southeastern state with the controversial pesticide Naled — a dose that proved fatal to millions of bees.
“Our family business has been destroyed by the aerial spray,” Stanley said on the Facebook page of her Summerville, SC apiary, Flowertown Bee Farm and Supplies. “Help us share the story, don’t let our honey girls die in vain.”
Along with her plea Stanley posted photos showing the clumps of dead bees and her team burning the boxes that had housed the hives.
According to the local channel WCSC, the apiary lost 46 hives and 2.5 million bees.
Dorchester County, which manages much of the town of Summerville, ordered the August 28 aerial spraying after detecting four confirmed Zika cases in the area.
“Dorchester County is aware that some beekeepers in the area that was sprayed on Sunday lost their beehives,” said County Administrator Jason Ward in a statement, urging affected beekeepers to report their losses.
The controversial pesticide Naled has been used in the United States since 1959 as a common tool for mosquito control, despite concerns about its risks for human and environmental health.
The European Union prohibited its use in 2012, but the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) assures it is safe if sprayed sparingly.