Another Large Bee Die-off Attributed to Pesticides

By Rachael McDonald

Hundreds of honey bees and bumblebees died at a Eugene apartment complex Tuesday after trees on the property were sprayed with pesticides. The state is investigating.

The State Department of Agriculture found out about the bee deaths from a TV report and sent an investigator out Wednesday. Bruce Pokarney is with ODA:

Pokarney: "What we've discovered is that a commercial pesticide operator had applied a pesticide, active ingredient Imidacloprid on 17 trees at the complex early Tuesday morning. Most of those trees if not all of them were Linden trees. Those are the same trees that were involved in bee death incidents last year in Oregon."

Last summer 50 thousand bumblebees were found dead in a parking lot in Wilsonville after pesticides were applied to Linden Trees. After that incident, state regulators required label statements on products containing chemicals that harm bees. The labels advise against spraying trees in full bloom and attracting pollinators, as in this case.

Pokarney says ODA will potentially pursue enforcement action against the company, Glass Tree Care. The company says it's cooperating with the investigation.

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