from the not-what-we-need dept.
South Carolina County Sprays for Zika, Kills Honey Bees
As Found here:
Following cases of Zika in the area, the county dispersed insecticides through aerial spraying using aircraft. They did not notify local populations, leading to the mass death of area bee keepers' entire population of honeybees.
This seems especially bad, given the context of continuing decline in bee populations:
Common Dreams reports
Millions of honeybees are dead in Dorchester County, South Carolina, and local beekeepers say the mass death was a result of the county spraying the area with the controversial pesticide Naled on [August 28] in an effort to combat Zika-spreading mosquitoes.
[...] A single apiary in Summerville, South Carolina lost 2.5 million bees in 46 hives, according to a local resident [...] Kristina Solara Litzenberger.
[...] "Without honeybees, we have no food", Litzenberger added. "Additionally, one can only deduct that if that much damage was caused to the bees, how will this affect people, wildlife, and the ecosystem?"
Beekeepers are supposed to be warned prior to any pesticide spraying, so that they can cover their hives to protect them. But local bee owners say they were not given any warning about Sunday's spraying, according to the local news station WCBD--and this was also the first time the community was subjected to aerial spraying, rather than spraying from trucks.
[...] Naled is a particularly dangerous pesticide, as the Miami Herald reported earlier this month:
Several studies suggest that long-term exposure to even low levels of Naled can have serious health effects for children and infants as well as wildlife, including butterflies and bees, for whom exposure can be lethal. Some studies suggest it might have neurological and developmental effects on human fetuses, including on brain size, echoing the severe consequences that eradication of the Aedes aegypti mosquito that carries the Zika virus is meant to prevent.
[...] The EU banned the chemical's use in Europe in 2012.
On the night of April 26th, an unknown person or persons destroyed beehives that were home to over half a million bees in Alvin, Texas.
With the advent of Colony Collapse Disorder early this millennium, and the resulting drops in bee populations across the USA, Europe, and Asia, people and organizations have been making efforts to house, protect and nurture honeybee populations for the sake of their crops, the good of the environment, or as a service to humanity at large.
Use of the land for the bees destroyed was donated by a private citizen and the location is visible to the road so passers by can watch and enjoy the bee keepers working with the bees.
Then we get people that do things like this:
Over the weekend, someone set fire to two dozen bee colonies in Alvin, Texas belonging to the Brazoria County Beekeepers Association. The perpetrator also dumped some of the bee boxes into a nearby pond.
According to one of the beekeepers:
I broke down in tears when I saw a floating brood frame in the water with bees still caring for the brood.
It is expected that the perpetrators were very likely stung and the community is on the lookout for individuals with bee stings.
Perhaps more remarkably, this is not a completely new idea. Multiple Facebook comments speak of past attacks on bees elsewhere attributed to teenagers and rival bee keepers.
We've already seen bees persevering through fire and smoke, according to beekeepers the surviving bees are stressed and many will have lost their queens, but is also possible some hives will survive.
Previous coverage of Bee troubles:
Some Honeybee Colonies Adapt in Wake of Deadly Mites
Backyard Beekeeping Now Legal in Los Angeles
Honeybees Pick Up 'Astonishing' Number of Pesticides Via Non-crop Plants
Bees Dead from Aerial Zika Spraying in South Carolina
Pesticide Companies' Own Secret Tests Showed Their Products Harm Bees
Extensive Study Concludes Neonicotinoid Pesticides Harm Bees
EU Bans Outdoor Use of Pesticides That Harm Bees
(Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 02 2016, @11:21PM
Humans, we are our own worst enemy.
The importance of bees cannot be overstated and their numbers have been plummeting for the last several years. So let's kill millions more because we're reacting in a knee jerk fashion due to lack of preparedness and watching Zika slowly get out of control for months.
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 03 2016, @12:14AM
The part that got me is that Naled is linked to reduced brain size in human fetuses.
-- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]
(Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 03 2016, @12:16AM
Makes sense perfect why it was used in those specific locations then.
(Score: 2) by davester666 on Sunday September 04 2016, @06:46PM
Just making sure the next generation of Congressmen/Senators are the best Americans.
(Score: 3, Informative) by Joe Desertrat on Saturday September 03 2016, @11:42AM
So let's kill millions more because we're reacting in a knee jerk fashion due to lack of preparedness and watching Zika slowly get out of control for months.
There were no cases of zika transmitted by local mosquitoes in South Carolina. They had a grand total of four travel related cases in the state. Southern governors are clamoring for Federal money to "combat zika" because there is likely going to be no oversight in how the money is used. Hand out a few fat contracts for some indiscriminate spraying and the rest will disappear in "administrative" costs.
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 02 2016, @11:34PM
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 03 2016, @12:05AM
Since they're using a known-hazardous chemical and not warning anyone ahead of time, mine went a different direction:
from the city-boys-doing-dumb-things-with-dangerous-stuff dept.
-- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]
(Score: 2) by captain normal on Saturday September 03 2016, @09:09PM
As for me it wouldn't have occurred to me to call people in South Carolina "city-boys".
"It is easier to fool someone than it is to convince them that they have been fooled" Mark Twain
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 03 2016, @11:21PM
I saw an article the other day about the increasing trend of city dwellers as a percent of the global population (already the majority).
When I think "USA", mostly I think "tract housing".
We're looking at people who don't understand where their food comes from (besides "the supermarket").
They clearly don't understand the concept of "pollinators" and the importance of those to food crops.
Not on the topic of "city boys" but rather WRT "responsible government":
In Los Angeles County, 3 decades back, there was an infestation of the Mediterranean Fruit Fly.
(You'd be amazed how many citrus trees there are in residential SoCal; there's even some commercial stuff.)
The county had a plan to use helicopters to drop "bait", sticky pinhead-sized pellets that they said would eliminate the MedFly.
When it was revealed that that stuff did nasty things to the finish of cars, there was a big revolt.
(You don't mess with folks' cars in L.A.)
Doing things without warning folks who might be affected is anti-democratic.
As demonstrated by the gov't in the SC county, it's also monumentally stupid.
-- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 02 2016, @11:56PM
Peter Thiel believes that freedom and democracy are compatible. [cato-unbound.org] Well, this is what you get when you let myopic technocrats run the show. They were so focused on zika they forgot to consider anything else. Democracy is about giving everybody a voice. Marginalize those voices at your own peril.
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 03 2016, @12:33AM
> Peter Thiel believes that freedom and democracy are compatible.
It seems you meant incompatible.
(Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday September 03 2016, @09:23AM
(Score: 2) by tibman on Saturday September 03 2016, @03:17PM
Can a technocrat be incompetent? By definition it seems like they couldn't be.
SN won't survive on lurkers alone. Write comments.
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 03 2016, @04:25PM
> Can a technocrat be incompetent? By definition it seems like they couldn't be.
Technocrats are experts within the very narrow range of their specific field. But real life is never so narrowly constrained so for practical purposes a technocracy is always incompetent. They just tend to be delusional about their own mismatch with the job requirements.
(Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday September 04 2016, @03:11AM
(Score: 2) by Subsentient on Saturday September 03 2016, @12:45AM
Concern, anger, misanthropy, in that order.
People suck. Pretty hard.
"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." -Jiddu Krishnamurti
(Score: 4, Insightful) by julian on Saturday September 03 2016, @12:48AM
I am shocked that a chemical engineered to kill flying insects killed flying insects!
(Score: 2) by dry on Saturday September 03 2016, @05:16AM
Generally Bees are much more sensitive to insecticides then other flying insects. They're also one of the most important insects to our survival.
As a aside, heard an interview, probably the same woman in the summary, on the way home today (CBC). Poor woman lost something like 84 hives, which were her livelihood. Very shitty but she did get an apology.
(Score: 0, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 03 2016, @01:09AM
...and got a Rash on my Nads ("Zika" needn't be capitalized and and the spraying was against mosquitoes).
(Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 03 2016, @01:20AM
> the controversial pesticide Naled
(Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 03 2016, @01:27AM
Makes me wonder if the hypothesis that babies having small brains after exposure to Zika is indeed purely due to spraying of pesticides and then blaming birth defects on Zika?
Two links to writings on this by Dr. Mercola:
"It's possible Zika-carrying mosquitoes could be involved in suspected cases of microcephaly, but there are other factors that should be considered as well. For starters, the outbreak occurred in a largely poverty-stricken agricultural area of Brazil that uses large amounts of banned pesticides. ..."
"While there is some evidence suggesting Zika virus may be linked to the birth defect microcephaly, and the virus has been spreading throughout Brazil, rates of the condition have only risen to very high rates in the northeast section of Brazil. Since the virus has spread throughout Brazil, but extremely high rates of microcephaly have not, officials are now being forced to admit that something else is likely at play. ... Data compiled by Marinho and colleagues, which has been submitted for publication, suggest socio-economic factors may be involved. Most of the women who gave birth to babies with microcephaly were poor and lived in small cities or on the outskirts of big cities. In addition, the outbreak occurred in a largely poverty-stricken agricultural area of Brazil that uses large amounts of banned pesticides."
(Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 03 2016, @02:02AM
Mercola is a fucktard asshole who made his money selling tanning beds (aka cancer boxes). He even had the fucking gall to claim that "tanning beds decrease melanoma risk." [mercola.com] The FTC levied $5M in fines on him for that bullshit.
NOTHING that shit head says should ever be trusted.
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 03 2016, @12:55PM
You must not have heard that adequate vitamin D helps prevent cancer, which is why tanning with the right wavelengths (UVB, which Mercola sells) is indeed good for you because the benefits outweigh the risks.
"Higher levels of vitamin D correspond to lower cancer risk"
A lot of people who die of melanomas get them where the shun does not shine. Explain that.
That said, it is best to get you vitamin D from natural sunlight. Typical tanning beds don't have the right spectrum (too much UVA) and pills that supplement vitamin D may still not fully provide all the beneficial reactions sunlight makes happen in the skin. Two problems with using natural sunlight are that people don't get enough these days with indoor living and also people bathe every day so the natural skin oils where vitamin D is created from UVB get washed off.
Whether for bees or people, the further we get away from the natural environment we are adapted for (whether absence of sunlight or presence of synthetic neurotoxins in pesticides or lead in gasoline), the more likely we will suffer ill health from it.
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 03 2016, @03:18PM
More on the theme that things may be more complex:
"For decades, Zika transmission was extremely rare. The virus didn't start spreading until after 2012 – right after the biotech company Oxitec released genetically modified mosquitoes en masse in Brazil. Zika outbreaks quickly exploded from sites where genetically modified mosquitoes were released to combat dengue. Zika has now spread to 21 other countries and territories. ...
In 2014, the Brazilian Minister of Health mandated that all expectant mothers receive the new Tdap vaccine. This meant that, at 20 weeks gestation, a vulnerable, developing young life would be exposed to aluminum adjuvant, mercury preservative, formaldehyde, antibiotics and a host of other chemicals that could damage a fetus's developing brain. It's no coincidence that birth defects have spiked in Brazil because of the toxic elements that fetuses have been exposed to.
It's also very obvious why Zika is being blamed for the birth defects. The biotech industry is using Zika virus to cover up three science experiments that have gone bad (Tdap vaccines, insecticides, GM mosquitoes). In this way, nature can be blamed, more insecticides and vaccines can be sold, and more GM mosquitoes can be released. The public is taught to fear nature even more and stop reproducing. ..."
(Score: 2) by fritsd on Saturday September 03 2016, @11:15AM
But if you look on the sunny side..
Unemployment in South Carolina will be way, way down, as agricultural workers crawl slowly through the fields, fertilizing every single plant with a small painting brush.
P.S. my grandfather was a bee-keeper. People who had that as a hobby/occupation were quite well respected by the farmers in that time.
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 05 2016, @02:45AM
The European honey bee is not native to the Americas. Its extirpation will bring those continents a little closer to their pristine condition.