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Nature & Environment

Mystery of 3 million bees that died in one night has finally been solved

By T.K. Randall
January 15, 2024 · Comment icon 8 comments
Bees crawling on a honeycomb.
What was responsible for killing the bees ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Waugsberg
Back in September 2023, millions of bees mysteriously wound up dead in a single night at a sanctuary in California.
When beekeepers discovered huge numbers of dead bees littering the ground in Northern San Diego last year, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) wasted no time in launching an investigation.

Whatever had befallen the insects seemed to have happened quickly, which for a time left experts scratching their heads as they attempted to get to the bottom of the mystery.

Now, at last, the results of the investigation have been published and it turns out that the bees had been deliberately poisoned with Fipronil - a type of broad-spectrum insecticide.

Most had been exposed to double the lethal amount of the substance.

"We suspect malice because all nearby orchards had no reported use of Fipronil and nearby aperies did not have positioning either," bee sanctuary worker Dominic Peck told ABC10.
"It seems to be directed towards us. We cannot say that for sure, but we are moving out of the area to be safe."

The poison in question is actually prohibited for landcape and agriculture use for the very reason that it disrupts the central nervous system of the insects.

"Considerable love, sweat and bee stings go into our bee rescues and their healthy rehabilitation," the sanctuary wrote on its fundraising page.

"This poisoning event has been so devastating to experience. You can't imagine how sad it is to not only see so many of the bees you cared for die all at once but also watch them suffering in a death spiral over multiple days."

"It's heartbreaking."

Source: | Comments (8)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Lissette_1958 4 months ago
wtf is wrong with people?  I would hope they find the a**holes and prosecute they to the highest extent of the law. 
Comment icon #2 Posted by pbarosso 4 months ago
i suspect that the recent fires in the west and poisoning of bees might be a chinese action to disrupt our country. its possible....
Comment icon #3 Posted by pallidin 4 months ago
IMHO, while I do understand one having a general distrust towards certain nations around the world, particularly hard-line communist and radical-theocratic nations or governments, this may not be cause for concern in those instances you mention. The wild fires along the West/Northwest U.S. have primarily been attributed to 3 factors coming together... hot, dry weather/very strong winds/and multiple lightning strikes. Not to mention the mis-attended campfire and such. I read a good article about this recently. As for the bee poisoning, the article presented here offers an opinion that it may ha... [More]
Comment icon #4 Posted by Nicolette 4 months ago
It is possible... any particular reason you tied these together?
Comment icon #5 Posted by Nicolette 4 months ago
It's possible... any particular reason you tied these all together?
Comment icon #6 Posted by LucidElement 4 months ago
Probably need to Mimic the end of Wicker Man for the culprits who did this... "NOT THE BEES!"
Comment icon #7 Posted by Jon the frog 4 months ago
Put the culprit with an Africanized honey bees hive in a closed room...
Comment icon #8 Posted by Alchopwn 4 months ago
I wouldn't be at all surprised if this was done by a company like Monsanto.

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