Outrageous Millions of Honeybees Killed by Zika Spraying in SC County
As a South Carolina county took drastic measures to protect against Zika virus-carrying mosquitoes, millions of honeybees were tragically caught in the crossfire.
Dorchester County sprayed by plane a powerful insecticide called Naled over parts of the county. The mist fell on beekeeping farms, including Flowertown Bee and Farm Supplies in Summerville.
That single farm lost lost 46 hives and 2 and a half million honeybees.
"Our family business has been destroyed by the aerial spray," they wrote on Facebook, along with photos of the aftermath.
Co-owner Juanity Stanley said her farm “looks like it’s been nuked.”
"All of my equipment is contaminated, my honey is contaminated, my cone is contaminated, I'm totally shut down here," she said. Stanley said that she wasn't notified about the spraying, but had she been, she'd "have been camping on the steps doing whatever I had to do screaming no you can't do this."
A woman who visited the site said it was “like visiting a cemetery, pure sadness.”
"Most of her hives were rescued hives and her mission is to help with the already dwindling honeybee population," Kristina Solara Litzenberger wrote. "This is a total loss for her business and mission!"
County administrator Jason Ward said he was "not pleased that so many bees were killed.”
Ward told The Washington Post that the county contacted beekeepers ahead of the spraying, but that Flowertown Bee and Farm Supplies were mistakenly kept off the list.
No one in the state has so far contracted Zika from a local mosquito bite, though there have been several dozen cases of travel-related Zika.
Click here to visit Flowertown's GoFundMe page. The page says the farm was struck by a "devastating blow," forcing them to refocus on "informing and educating." They are still a long way from their $100,000 goal.