Plant Health Care in Richmond, VA

Dozens memorialize bumblebees killed by pesticide at Wilsonville Target |

leave a comment »

Oh boy…

Dozens memorialize bumblebees killed by pesticide at Wilsonville Target

Dozens gathered at the edge of the Target store parking lot in Wilsonville on Sunday to memorialize an estimated 50,000 bees who died there from pesticide poisoning earlier this month.

Black netting covered more than 50 flowering European linden trees that had been sprayed with the pesticide Safari, which was intended to control aphids but is now blamed for killing the bees.

After a moment of silence, attendees took to the microphone to urge action, read poems, chant and sing songs. Nearly all argued that the incident illustrates the much larger issue of declining bee populations worldwide.

“In some parts of the world, bee populations have been so devastated that people have to pollinate crops chemically,” said Rozzell Medina, a Portland resident who organized the event. “That’s not sustainable. That’s not healthy.”

Jacqueline Freeman, a beekeeper and owner of Friendly Haven Rise farm near Battle Ground, Wash., said she’s seen firsthand how pesticides can wreak havoc on hives. On several occasions, chemicals used by unassuming neighbors have found their way into her hives and killed large numbers of bees, she said. “What we need to do is get these (pesticides) off the shelves.”

Last week, the Oregon Department of Agriculture issued a temporary restriction on 18 insecticides, including Safari, which use the active ingredient dinotefuran. The agency plans to reassess the restrictions after an investigation into how the pesticides were used in Wilsonville and in Hillsboro, where hundreds of bees were also found dead.

“(The pesticides) should be guilty before proven innocent,” said Kent Addleman of Tigard. “They shouldn’t be used until they’re proven not to affect the environment.”

Many who did not speak at Sunday’s gathering memorialized the bees by etching “bee prayers” on pieces of fabric, which were later strung around the speakers’ tent.

After the memorial, some attendees walked around the parking lot and took photos of the bee bodies, which still littered the base of the trees.

Medina, 34, said he and his friends were saddened by the news of the die-off and felt the urge to do something to bring people together and work for change.

“I thought this might just be me and 10 of my friends, but it turned into something bigger than that,” he said. “I think that says a lot.”

Since the Portland-based Xerces Society first reported the die-off earlier this month, the story has received attention from national and international media. As word of Medina’s memorial came out, some online commenters dismissed the event as frivolous.

“I’d just ask they learn more about the subject,” he said, “and recognize that people who are concerned about this are concerned for reasons that affect them as well.”


Written by vaphc

July 1, 2013 at 3:42 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: