State: Insecticide to blame for death of 25,000 bumblebees

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by Evan Sernoffsky, kgw.com staff

KGW

Posted on June 21, 2013 at 3:35 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 5:35 AM

WILSONVILLE, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Agriculture determined the pesticide Safari is responsible for the death of 25,000 bumblebees at a Wilsonville parking lot this week.

Since last weekend bumblebees have been falling from a cluster of 65 European Linden trees near a plaza just off Interstate 5.

Public and private partners are putting up bee-proof netting to prevent more bees from dying. The pesticide was reportedly applied to the trees on June 15 to control aphids. Safari’s active ingredient is dinotefuran, part of a group of insecticides known as neonicotinoids.

The ODA is continuing an investigation to determine if the pesticide was in violation of state and federal pesticide regulations.

The ODA also thought the trees may have been responsible for the dying bees because European Linden trees have been known to kill bees before. But, after collecting samples earlier in the week, the ODA received laboratory analysis that confirmed the pesticide was killing the bees.

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