Tybee beekeeper David Strickland accomplished an blackballed deja vu on Thursday aback he begin bags of his bees asleep or dying in their hives. Aloof aftermost June his bees were about wiped out afterwards Chatham County Mosquito Ascendancy bootless to acquaint him of a planned spray.
But this time there had been no mosquito spraying. Instead, Strickland and his Tybee neighbors anon doubtable a affiliation with a contempo blaze ant analysis at adjacent Jaycee Esplanade on the island’s arctic end. On Thursday and Friday his “Tybee Island Hives” Facebook postings about his bees dying garnered over a hundred comments and shares.
“It’s appealing able-bodied accurate what pesticide contagion looks like,” Strickland said Friday. “In the video you can see the bees spinning around. They’re disoriented.”
City Administrator Shawn Gillen emphasized that it’s cryptic what asleep Strickland’s bees, but the burghal is demography the affair actively and investigating.
“What we apperceive is that bees are dying in massive amounts,” Gillen said.
The Stricklands accept agreed to accept the asleep bees activated for pesticide contamination, Gillen said. The burghal apoplectic its blaze ant treatments until it’s assertive that analysis wasn’t affiliated to the bee death. With no rain in the forecast, Gillen was authoritative affairs to baptize the esplanade as a precaution.
“We accept to accept bees on the island,” Gillen said. “If it’s not us, we charge to apperceive what it was.”
The burghal apprenticed with Yates-Astro to amusement Jaycee Esplanade for blaze ants. On Wednesday morning the annoyance ascendancy aggregation activated Fendona CS, a BASF product, anon to about 100 blaze ant mounds in the 7.5-acre esplanade in alertness for an accident there this weekend. The administrator who activated the artefact did so by cloudburst about a bisected gallon of a low absorption band-aid of it on anniversary mound, said Yates-Astro administrator Mark Willman. He followed up with granules of the blaze ant allurement Advion activated with a spreader throughout the park. Although Fendona’s characterization indicates it kills bees, its targeted appliance on the ant mounds should accept prevented bees from advancing in acquaintance with it, Willman said.
“Bees should not be landing on ant hills,” he said. “You don’t appetite to aerosol blooming plants area they’re landing.”
Advion granules, fabricated by Syngenta, charge be ingested to assignment and so would not be a crisis to bees out foraging for ambrosia in the field’s blooming clover.
Pesticides activated by homeowners could be amenable for the die off or it could be a non-pesticide botheration like mites, Willman said.
“I candidly do not accept it was us,” he said. “We went bank to bank spraying anniversary mound. Why would a bee acreage on a blaze ant mound?”
Gillen said the esplanade is safe.
“There is no animal bloom hazard whatsoever at this point,” he said, acquainted this his babe will be amid the kids arena soccer there this weekend.
Gillen visited Strickland’s hives on Friday morning, a action Strickland appreciated.
“He was absolutely anxious and bidding that they appetite to assignment with us to get to the basal of this alarming event,” Strickland wrote on Facebook. “They appetite to accomplish changes so that this won’t appear in the future. I was afflicted by his affection and admiration to accomplish things right. We are activity to accept the bees activated to acquisition out absolutely what poisons were complex and again go from there!”
Strickland started beekeeping in 2011 with the capital ambition of adorning pollinators to “make Tybee a greener place.” His four hives housed an estimated 200,000 bees. On Friday he said all the hives, including the two anchored further south on the island, had afflicted bees. The better accumulate of about 100,000 bees was abnormally adamantine hit. He speculated that the bees brought the contagion aback to the accumulate and advance it there. He affairs to actuate of all the bounce honey, about 10-15 gallons, because of doubtable pesticide contamination. The hives’ board frames are acceptable a accident too, as they couldn’t be decontaminated.
“I don’t apperceive at this point how we can recover,” he said. Strickland had letters that at atomic two added hives, a neighbor’s and an ascertainment accumulate at the Tybee Island Maritime Academy, had additionally accomplished a aerial cardinal of deaths this week.
He’s acquisitive that aback bodies apprehend about his bees they’ll anticipate alert about application pesticides. It’s not aloof about bees, he said.
“Our bees are the bare in the atramentous mine,” Strickland said. “They’re aloof sensitive. And they’re aloof assuming what the beyond botheration is. The botheration is you go all about boondocks and see all these annoyance ascendancy companies. The burghal affairs with them and all they do is dump poisons into the environment. It doesn’t go away. It leaks into our streams and oceans and the environment.”
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