On Sunday August 28, 2016, millions of dead bees lay scattered across the multiple crop farms of South Carolina- leaving behind only the queen bees and young bees. Scientists looked into the cause of this bee genocide and were saddened by their findings.
On that very morning of the bees’ death, on the farms, trucks released clouds of a mosquito insecticide called Naled. The United States began using the chemical in 1959, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, which is harmless to people.This was the first time Naled was distributed through airplane. With the fear of the Zika and the West Nile virus spreading throughout the state, the decision to release Naled seemed to be the best option at the time.
“Had I known, I would have been camping on the steps doing whatever I had to do screaming, ‘No you can’t do this,’” beekeeper Juanita Stanley said in an interview with Charleston’s WCSC-TV.
The State was well aware that Naled is toxic to bees, but at the moment, the threat of an outbreak seemed more important and urgent than the lives of the bees. With the bees dead, South Carolina will have a big problem producing food without their worker bees. Many local farmers and beekeepers are worried if there will be enough bees next year and what they will do without any bees. Without the bees, South Carolina will not be able to produce any food. There is also the fear the more bees will start dying from pesticides and many scientists are worried about the world’s bees going extinct. Albert Einstein is sometimes quoted as saying, “If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live.” In fact, one third of our global food supply is pollinated by bees. Without the bees, our crops would stop growing and we will all fight for the little food that is left.
By Megan Saari