Date
19 January 2017
Millions of bees became collateral victim as authorities in the US state of South Carolina sought to eradicate mosquitoes following some Zika cases. Photo: Reuters
Millions of bees became collateral victim as authorities in the US state of South Carolina sought to eradicate mosquitoes following some Zika cases. Photo: Reuters

Millions of bees die from anti-Zika spraying in South Carolina

Millions of bees accidentally became victim in the US fight against the Zika virus, prompting concerns among scientists and environmentalists.

The Washington Post reports that there were mass-deaths of bees in South Carolina as authorities in a county sprayed a powerful insecticide in a bid to eradicate Zika-carrying mosquitoes.

On Sunday, parts of Dorchester County were sprayed with Naled, a common insecticide that kills mosquitoes on contact.

The pesticide was sprayed via planes, leading to poisoning of millions of bees. 

One bee apiary alone is said to have lost 46 hives, involving about 2.5 million bees. 

A visitor to the farm wrote in a social media post that it was “like visiting a cemetery, pure sadness”.

Farmers said their bees had become collateral casualties in the fight against disease-carrying mosquitoes.

County authorities were quoted as saying that they had provided plenty of warning about the aerial pesticide-spraying, spreading word via a newspaper announcement and a Facebook post.

The aerial spraying came after four travel-related cases of Zika were confirmed in Summerville in South Carolina.

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