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Millions of Bees Dead After South Carolina Aerial Zika Spraying Despite Toxicity Knowledge – NO WARNING TO POPULATION, UNLESS YOU HAPPENED TO BE ON FACEBOOK AND THEN


By Heather Callaghan

“Nuked” bees. A little known aerial, pesticide spraying campaign in South Carolina led to a devastating instant mass bee death…

Zika virus hysteria has now reached untold heights. First it was the morbid but questionable association with microcephaly, the strange timing of releasing genetically engineered mosquitoes, vaccine development at break-neck speed, and officials going door-to-door collecting people’s bodily fluids.
Then there was the knee-jerk motion to spray the public – in Florida – with a toxic pesticide called Naled in order to eradicate mosquitoes – despite health effects that are arguably worse than the virus Zika. And just when you thought you could take a little vay-cay to get away from it all – there were renewed reports of airlines dousing the inside of their planes with pesticides despite the enclosed airspace for their passengers.

But now, it has taken a turn for the worse…

Because now – spraying campaigns have been lifted off the roads and befall us from above. Unbeknownst to most of the public, one county in South Carolina launched its own spraying efforts using airplanes to unload the toxic plumes onto an unsuspecting public.
Mosquito spraying trucks are still a thing, but Ben Guarino for the Washington Post plus Tree Hugger note:

[this was] a departure from Dorchester County’s usual ground-based efforts. For the first time an airplane dispensed Naled in a fine mist, raining insect death from above on Sunday between the hours of 6:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. The county says it provided plenty of warning, spreading word about the pesticide plane via a newspaper announcement Friday and a Facebook post Saturday.

Just in time for church…and for bees to start their daily grind. And that’s part of why next turn of events happened.
When a town is gearing up for a spraying event there is usually ample warning so that beekeepers can cover their hives in protective materials. Or, the spraying takes place at night when bees are resting in their hives.
According to a petition, the notice took place only three hours before the event – and on Facebook! Phone calls with concerns went mainly unanswered and the spraying went accordingly.
Unfortunately, Melissa Breyer writes:

[…] without sufficient warning, the results of the recent spraying were disastrous. At Flowertown Bee Farm and Supply in Summerville, the inhabitants of 46 hives died on the spot, totaling some 2.5 million bees, writes Guarino. “Walking through the farm, one Summerville woman wrote on Facebook, was “like visiting a cemetery, pure sadness.”” There were many other losses as well.
“Dorchester County is aware that some beekeepers in the area that was sprayed on Sunday lost their beehives,” said Jason Ward, County Administrator, in a news statement. He added, “I am not pleased that so many bees were killed.”

The so-called warning isn’t exactly a courtesy when no one – including the beekeepers – can really opt out. Does air get into people’s homes? Then so does pesticide mist, I’m afraid – ask anyone such as myself what happens after living next to farm fields for years on end.
Additionally, no matter how many times the press and officials say this pesticide is safe around humans, I’m afraid that isn’t so, especially if you have certain health ailments. All humans are vulnerable to the toxic effects of Naled which kills mosquitoes (and other insects) on contact.
As Wendell Forester noted about Naled (my emphasis added):

And the description of NALED provided by the Pesticide Management Education Programme out of Cornell University has this to say about NALED:
Naled is moderately to highly toxic by ingestion, inhalation and dermal adsorption. Vapors or fumes of naled are corrosive to the mucous membranes lining the mouth, throat and lungs, and inhalation may cause severe irritation. A sensation of tightness in the chest and coughing are commonly experienced after inhalation. As with all organophosphates, naled is readily absorbed through the skin. Skin which has come in contact with this material should be washed immediately with soap and water and all contaminated clothing should be removed. Persons with respiratory ailments, recent exposure to cholinesterase inhibitors, impaired cholinesterase production, or with liver malfunction may be at increased risk from exposure to naled. High environmental temperatures or exposure of naled to visible or UV light may enhance its toxicity.

This same profile warned that Naled is “highly toxic to bees” among other “non-targets.”
When did this spraying campaign take place? During a South Carolina August! The highest god-forsaken temperatures available in the U.S. In fact, it was in the 90s with the threat of tropical storm action moving in. Sadly, when temperatures reach 90 degrees or above, that’s precisely when bees exit their hives to cool off – a fact that any beekeeper could have told the officials and anyone using a neurotoxic substance should know. And how was it dispersed? Through the air and in a mist – ready to be breathed and absorbed.
Did the town evacuate people who have Alzheimer’s, dementia or Parkinson’s and may be on the following cholinesterase inhibitors?

  • Cognex (tacrine)
  • Razadyne ER (galantamine)
  • Aricept ODT (donepezil)
  • Exelon (rivastigmine)
  • Aricept (donepezil)
  • Razadyne (galantamine)
  • Namzaric (donepez)

But for sure – the bees never stood a chance. There’s no way for a mass spraying to discriminate between pollinators and mosquitoes. And the precautions that usually help in such a situation simply weren’t there to prevent this tragedy from taking place.

Please consider signing this petition with your personal comments: Change.org
You may also respectfully let Dorchester county and the city of Summerville know your concerns about the lack of protection to the pollinators that resulted in a mass bee death – the petition will be hand delivered to officials: