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  1. #1
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    Default 25,000 bumblebees killed, dropping from trees in Wilsonville; pesticide suspected

    From: http://www.oregonlive.com/environmen...droppi.html#/0

    -b09b23f5af8d51ac.JPG

    An estimated 25,000 bumblebees have been found dead in a Target parking lot in Wilsonville since Saturday, the largest known incident of bumblebee deaths in the United States, according to the Xerces Society. Preliminary information suggests pesticides may be at fault.

    The Oregon Department of Agriculture received reports of bees and other insects falling out of 55 blooming European linden trees Monday from the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

    The bees were still dying on Wednesday. Yellow-faced bees fell from the trees, twitching on their backs or wandering in tight circles on the asphalt. Some honeybees and ladybugs were also found dead. A few dead bumblebees even clung to linden flowers, while hundreds littered the lot.

    Dan Hilburn, director of plant programs at the state Agriculture Department, surveyed the damage after an earlier assessment from pesticide experts.

    "I've never encountered anything quite like it in 30 years in the business," he said Wednesday outside the Argyle Square Target.

    Hilburn said initial findings indicate the trees were sprayed Saturday with an insecticide called Safari. Tests to confirm what killed the bees will take at least two or three days, department officials said. The department of agriculture is also investigating other possible culprits, which may include other pesticides used in the surrounding area.

    Safari is part of the neonicotinoid pesticide family. When it is sprayed on a plant, the leaves, flowers and nectar become toxic to almost all insects. The product's label on the distributor's website warns it is "highly toxic" to bees and tells applicators not to apply it "if bees are visiting the area."

    "Bumblebees are the single most important natural pollinator in Oregon," said Mace Vaughan, pollinator program director for Xerces.

    They play a crucial role in pollinating berries, flowers and other plants. The decline of the honeybee, whose populations have been decimated by Colony Collapse Disorder, has received much attention, but bumblebee populations are decreasing as well.

    Elliot Associates Inc., the company that rents and manages the Argyle Square land, did not respond to multiple calls by The Oregonian. The landscapers that care for the grounds couldn't be reached for comment.

    The Agriculture Department is working with the Xerces Society to help mitigate any further insect deaths at Argyle Square. As precautionary moves, they are considering either putting up netting around the trees, stripping off flowers and leaves or finding non-toxic repellents to keep bees and insects from eating the leaves or nectar.

    Dale Mitchell, pesticide compliance program manager for the state agriculture department, said if test show pesticide is the culprit, the department will assess if the company responsible violated any state or federal laws, and if so, the severity of those violations. Fines for pesticide regulation infractions can range from $1000 to $10,000.

    The bumblebee deaths marked an inauspicious start to National Pollinator Week, which runs through June 23.

    -- Elizabeth Case
    Zone4A
    “We can love completely what we cannot completely understand.” -Maclean

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 25,000 bumblebees killed, dropping from trees in Wilsonville; pesticide suspected

    How does this relate to CCD?

    Tom

  3. #3
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    Default Re: 25,000 bumblebees killed, dropping from trees in Wilsonville; pesticide suspected

    Quote Originally Posted by TWall View Post
    How does this relate to CCD?

    Tom
    CCD is related to the use and overuse and misuse of pesticides. by the looks of it, a colony of bumblebees **** the bed.

    a rather small drop in the bucket i suppose....but it just goes to show those using chemicals need to be more responsible for the deaths of our pollinators.
    Zone4A
    “We can love completely what we cannot completely understand.” -Maclean

  4. #4
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    Sacramento, Calif. USA
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    Default Re: 25,000 bumblebees killed, dropping from trees in Wilsonville; pesticide suspected

    Conservation groups keep telling us bumblebees are in worrisome decline due, in part, to urbanization causing a loss of habitat. If that is true
    then how come there were 25,000 bumblebees in the Oregon shopping center parking lot in question?
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  5. #5
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    Ritchie Co, WV
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    Default Re: 25,000 bumblebees killed, dropping from trees in Wilsonville; pesticide suspected

    why would that many bumble bees be there ?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 25,000 bumblebees killed, dropping from trees in Wilsonville; pesticide suspected

    I expect they planted the linden trees specifically to attract pollinators.

    deknow
    The irony is free. It's the sarcasm you are paying for....ironically.
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: 25,000 bumblebees killed, dropping from trees in Wilsonville; pesticide suspected

    Quote Originally Posted by thebalvenie View Post
    CCD is related to the use and overuse and misuse of pesticides. by the looks of it, a colony of bumblebees **** the bed.

    a rather small drop in the bucket i suppose....but it just goes to show those using chemicals need to be more responsible for the deaths of our pollinators.
    I don't believe CCD has been attributed to anyone cause. I also don't believe anyone is attributing acute pesticide kills to CCD.

    Bumble bee colonies are significatly smaller than honey bee colonies. Bumble bee colonies often consist of only 50 adults. So, the killing of 25,000 bumble bees represents thousands of colonies.

    Tom

  8. #8
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    Default Re: 25,000 bumblebees killed, dropping from trees in Wilsonville; pesticide suspected

    1) The 25,000 dead bees figure must be wildly exaggerated because there are only 55 Linden trees in the Target store parking lot and likely only dozens of bumblebees per tree. So that means only hundreds of bumblebees likely died.

    2) Collisions with cars likely kill hundreds of bumblebees PER (sunny) DAY in Wilsonsonville. So this parking lot kill is minor and trivial by comparison.

    3) The fact that there were at least hundreds of bumblebees nectaring in the Target store parking lot Linden trees proves bumblebees are abundant in the region despite urbanization and associated pesticide use and daily car collision kills.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: 25,000 bumblebees killed, dropping from trees in Wilsonville; pesticide suspected

    Update: Thousands of bumblebees did really die in a shopping center parking lot: http://www.xerces.org/wp-content/upl...8-1024x768.jpg
    http://www.xerces.org/wp-content/upl...8-1024x749.jpg

    I find it ironic that will all the hype of "vanishing bumblebees due to habitat loss" thousands of them could actually be found in a 1 acre suburban asphalt habitat!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: 25,000 bumblebees killed, dropping from trees in Wilsonville; pesticide suspected

    Quote Originally Posted by JenWV View Post
    why would that many bumble bees be there ?
    Because that shopping center is right next to some giant open fields which is probably host to the lion's share of bumbles in the whole area.
    As for me, all I know is that I know nothing...
    - Socrates

  11. #11
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    Default Re: 25,000 bumblebees killed, dropping from trees in Wilsonville; pesticide suspected

    Quote Originally Posted by Cris View Post
    Because that shopping center is right next to some giant open fields which is probably host to the lion's share of bumbles in the whole area.
    Yes, to the south of the Target Store parking lot is a large open field, - in May 2012 it looks like it was a field planted in clover: http://imageshack.us/a/img545/2849/zrb7.jpg

  12. #12
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    lenoir caldwell county north carolina
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    Default Re: 25,000 bumblebees killed, dropping from trees in Wilsonville; pesticide suspected


    I am old and half blind please count the bees in the pictures in the url posted and tell me if there is really 25,000. Just think of how many bees we wont have next year.( Varroa really works fast.)

  13. #13
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    Default Re: 25,000 bumblebees killed, dropping from trees in Wilsonville; pesticide suspected

    if that's clover then it looks like red clover .. and am i right in saying red clover is hard for most bees and pollinators to get to? i think that is why someone said not to plant red clover but plant white. the linden trees were an easier source of nectar than the local wildflowers.. thus attracting a lions share of the pollinators.. http://www.goodstuffnw.com/2012/11/t...den-trees.html this link would explain why linden trees are so good for bees.. and for the humans that eat the honey! lol.
    Smart man knows that the road is a one way street..
    Wise man looks both ways anyhow.......

  14. #14
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    Default Re: 25,000 bumblebees killed, dropping from trees in Wilsonville; pesticide suspected

    So this pesticide is bumblebee specific? What? Only bumblebees died? No hylictid bees or moths or butterflys or other natural pollinators. Seems fishy to me.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  15. #15
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    Default Re: 25,000 bumblebees killed, dropping from trees in Wilsonville; pesticide suspected

    It was Safari: fast acting and toxic to every bug under the sun. I'm sure it decimated everything, it's just that the bees were the largest and most easily seen casualties.
    As for me, all I know is that I know nothing...
    - Socrates

  16. #16
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    Default Re: 25,000 bumblebees killed, dropping from trees in Wilsonville; pesticide suspected

    What was the reason for using Safari? Does it say in any of the articles? I didn't read everything, sorry.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  17. #17
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    Default Re: 25,000 bumblebees killed, dropping from trees in Wilsonville; pesticide suspected

    Yankee, IN the second photo there is in fact approx 500 bees in the one parking space alone. with 50 trees and that number representing only one side of the tree the number is likely to be more like 50,000 bees. It's called math and it was developed in order to count large numbers in cases just like this. I am sure it is all fine and good if the number was only 24,999 though.

    Blue Diamond. You claim time and again that this kill is not that significant given the rate of kill urbanization makes. then claim that these numbers in fact being present in a parking lot is proof that urbanization is not harming the bees. so which is it. the kill does not mater because it is insignificant. or is it?

    I say for a fact that I see dead bees under a tree. urbanization had not harmed these bees. the pesticide sprayed on the trees did. No car ran into them. they where not starving to death they where poisoned by use of a chemical inconsistent with it's labeling. In horrific numbers. This is not the result of over half a million cars passing by. this was the result of one person with a sprayer. this is not the result of housing and development for thousands of people. this is the result of lax care of decorative foliage in a single location.

    You cannot in any way describe what actually has happened in this case and call it okay you have to change nearly every detail of what in fact happened.

    It is not really thousands of bees but hundreds so that is fine. except it is thousands. It is fine because many more bees are killed by cars. I have not seen a high incident of trees being planted in the middle of freeways or cars passing through target parking lots at a speed high enough to kill many bees. I actually suspect more bees die from natural causes than any other reason.

    I keep bees in the middle of a city and can tell you first hand bees do just fine there. they do better in this area with it's abundant artificially maintained landscape.

    It also does not require much more than a casual observation to realize that bees will favor a specific forage at specific times. it is most likely these bees are victim of unfortunate timing. I know of one type of bush a couple of blocks from my house. If pretty much anything else is on bloom you will not see a bee one on these bushes even though it is constantly in bloom. but let a dearth hit for even a couple of days. and they are crawling with bees. I have come to call them the robber trees. If I see bees foraging on them I know that bees are hard up for finding anything to forage on. Unlike lavender that will attract bees no matter what else is in bloom. I suspect that these trees where something that attracted the bees in huge numbers. so well in fact that in attracted and consequently killed every bumble bee in the area for several miles. So yes I agree the bumble bee population was just fine in this area. Until it was killed by this one application of pesticide.
    Last edited by Daniel Y; 06-24-2013 at 08:42 AM.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: 25,000 bumblebees killed, dropping from trees in Wilsonville; pesticide suspected

    "Safari", what a name for a pesticide!
    Regards, Barry

  19. #19
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    Default Re: 25,000 bumblebees killed, dropping from trees in Wilsonville; pesticide suspected

    Let's keep in mind that the applicator violated the law by spraying these trees during bloom and flight time. Reminds me of the kills we would see with the old crop dusters. Acted more like an organophosphate than a neonic.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: 25,000 bumblebees killed, dropping from trees in Wilsonville; pesticide suspected

    I have no idea what they were trying to kill here but it sure was effective. This is how it used to be, a real "blast from the past" if you will. It really matters not what agent was involved Neonic or otherwise, if you are using a foliar application of an insecticide you are going to kill pretty much every insect that is contacted. This is the best example I could possibly use to illustrate the inherent advantages of systemic applications and why they have replaced foliar treatments in so many applications.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

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