The pesticide raining down from the sky in Dorchester County, S.C., was meant to kill mosquitoes — for the sake of safety, the county says. Mosquitoes, after all, can carry West Nile and Zika, and four cases of Zika were recently confirmed in the county.
But on Sunday morning, from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., as the county conducted aerial spraying, the bees fell by the millions.
“By Sunday afternoon,” The Post and Courier newspaper reports, “thousands of bee carcasses dotted Andrew Macke’s Spring House Lane property.” The amateur beekeeper — also the fire captain of the town of Summerville — was at work when his wife called.
Beekeepers in Dorchester County sound downright apocalyptic when they talk about the impact of the spraying.
“We have a mass killing,” Macke’s wife told him.
“My bee yard looks like it’s been nuked,” Juanita Stanley, co-owner of Flowertown Bee Farm and Supply, told the Post and Courier.
Flowertown lost more than 2 million bees, Stanley says.
On Facebook, Flowertown posted photo after photo of piles of dead bees. The bee farm also posted images and videos of the burning of apiaries — which have to be destroyed now that they’ve been contaminated, the owners say.
Dorchester County says it provided sufficient notice to local beekeepers, with announcements sent to the local media on Friday morning and Saturday night.
But in a petition on Change.org seeking to call off the spraying, Dorchester County residents say the notices released Friday didn’t provide any details on the type of pesticide to be used, and that requests for more information from the county weren’t answered.
“This is both disturbing and frightening to many that live in the area that is to be covered,” the petition reads. “There are live and privately owned beehives that are in this area and to the best …