On Friday a local commercial citrus company sprayed 1500 gallons of Admire mix on their grove that is located about 1/2 mile from my bee yards. One of my three local yards sits on my own property where my home is located. On Saturday I was inspecting my bees and noticed a massive amount of bees dead and dying near the entrance of each hive. 100% of my hives in this yard were showing the same signs of a major poisoning. I immediately went to my other two locations and the same thing was happening. The total number of hives was almost 100 in these three yards and all were being killed by this suspected poisoning.
I immediately notified the grove company and asked them to come take a look, they accepted my invitation and I showed them the problem. They admitted spraying the Admire at a label rate, which I don't believe, and told me that they had done a application that differed from previous applications, in as much as this was a different supplier for the chemicals.
I also called the police to have a report filled out as to document the event. The sheriff ranch and grove were quiet helpful in handling my request. I am quiet disturbed by this incident, I cannot even keep bees on my own property without being subjected to massive kills by harsh chemicals that are being sprayed by citrus growers at an alarming rate.
First thing in the morning I am contacting the State Of Florida bee inspector and reporting the incident. I have also gathered samples of dead and dying bees for their evaluation. Some of the dead bees had their pollen sacks full of pollen from Spanish Needle flowers. This is a indication of direct contact with the chemical as the bees were gathering food.
I have refused to give the grove company any samples of the dead bees or any sugar water that I have been feeding. I plan on giving these items to the state inspectors for their testing. I have advised the grove company to contact their chemical rep and report this incident ASAP.
There is another commercial beekeeper that located 160+ hives within 1/2 mile from me and I have contacted him as well to advise him of this situation. I truly hope that he has not suffered the same consequences as I have.
I will keep all you posted as to the outcome of the test results. Hopefully the grove company will step up to the plate and do the right thing.