Medically speaking, the summer of 2016 has been marked by the Zika virus. The tropical disease carried by mosquitoes made victims where least expected. As one of the measures of authorities against the insects was spraying them, they didn’t realize it will have other consequences too.
Zika spraying had unpleasant consequences in South Carolina. After the safety measure had occurred last weekend, it seems like the action backfired. The pesticides used against the mosquitoes didn’t only affect them, but also the honeybees. As a result, millions of other insects are now dead.
Officials apologized for not having announced beekeepers not to let their insects out. Adults and unhatched honeybee babies were killed by the Zika spraying, and now owners are left with the damages and the sorrow for the insects.
Beekeepers explained that the bees which didn’t die immediately were poisoned and died soon after. The hives and the honey are also contaminated, so owners have no other option but to throw them away.
The Zika spraying occurred on Sunday morning, between 6:30 and 8:30, and authorities decided it was the best time, as there wouldn’t be many people out on the streets. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggested what the pesticide should be used, namely Trumpet.
Dorchester County authorities notified the people about the Zika spraying through a post on their website. The announcement was made two days before the action took place, which is on Friday. As far as beekeepers are concerned, they received call phones or e-mails from the officials. This is the usual procedure when it comes to truck spraying, but honeybee owners are now complaining because nobody told them that this time was an aerial spraying. If they had known, they would have taken different actions in order to protect their bees, or would have advised the authorities to perform the action at night when the bees are safe in their hives.
Apart from the registered honeybee owners, there are other people who like to take care of the insects. They didn’t know about the operation either, so they lost their bees too.
This is not only a hobby or a job for many of the beekeepers. They love the insects and are aware that they are beneficial. For them, the Zika spraying caused a great loss.
The sad events in South Carolina make officials even more conscious of the consequences any act can have.
Image courtesy of: Wikipedia