I love catching a glimpse of the bumblebees here in Oregon, I grew up around honey bees, and while I still find them magnificent, I love gazing at bumblebees, their fuzzy little bodies are just too adorable to resist. I finally finally FINALLY got one to sit still long enough for me to take this photo of her. Watching her pollinate my lovely blackberry vines I’m both delighted and saddened. Delighted that she is alive – and saddened by the deaths of her sisters.
“As the estimate of dead bees rose to 50,000, the Oregon Department of Agriculture confirmed the insecticide Safari caused the deaths in a Wilsonville earlier this week. A landscaping company sprayed 55 linden trees in a Target parking lot to control for aphids, said Dan Hilburn, the plants division director at the department of agriculture. The bees have been dropping from trees since the spraying on Saturday.
Aphids produce honeydew, a sticky liquid that can drip off onto cars or pedestrians. A Target representative said by email that the Wilsonville store had received no customer complaints about it. The Portland-based Xerces Society said aphids can be controlled without insecticides, including by spraying infested plants with soapy water. On Friday the Agriculture Department, the City of Wilsonville, neighboring towns and some local landscape contractors covered the sprayed trees with netting in an attempt to prevent further insect deaths.”
–The Oregonian June 21, 2013
“The City of Hillsboro and the Oregon Department of Agriculture are investigating the deaths of what could be hundreds of bees in downown Hillsboro over the past few days… Preston confirmed that the trees in downtown Hillsboro were treated with the same pesticide, Safari spray, as 55 trees that were sprayed in Wilsonville. Although bees have been found dead elsewhere along the street, he said most of them have been found dead below one tree. It’s between Fourth and Fifth avenues. Workers were planning to cast a large net over that tree Saturday afternoon, to prevent more bees from landing on it and falling victim.”
–The Oregonian June 28, 2013
On top of that:
“IT’S NOT JUST BEES ANY MORE. Researchers conducted an in-depth review of existing literature and found that neonicotinoid pesticides are causing plummeting wildlife populations in areas where the chemicals are heavily used… including death to millions of bats and non-target insects (which deprive wildlife of a food source), and outbreaks of infectious diseases in fish, amphibians, and birds–all of which directly coincide with the emerging use of the pesticides.”
–www.realfarmacy.com July 26, 2013
Wilsonville is in my county, Hillsboro is my home. I’ve walked by that tree, I even wondered why it had a net over it. This is scary, more so since it’s so close to home. I can’t pollinate my blackberries. And if we kill the bees, the obvious next question is what will happen to the food supply? Even the processed junk food came from food that was pollinated. Somehow we must stop the Big Agra companies from amassing money by selling pesticides, it feels hopeless sometimes, but we just have to keep spreading the word.
Only when the last tree has died, and the last river has been poisoned,
and the last fish has been caught, will we realize we can’t eat money.