Thursday, December 5, 2013

Dead bees

Yesterday afternoon, we were about to leave for my Texas Master Naturalist holiday party when I noticed a dead bee (Apis sp.) on the driveway. Then another one...and another one....and another one...They were EVERYWHERE on the driveway! I hurriedly went back in the house for my camera. While I snapped some photos, James collected two dozen or so in a plastic container. I've contacted a biologist with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. We'd like to ship the specimens to someone who'd be interested in studying them.

And yes, there is an active "hive" in a large branch of one of our huge live oaks in the front yard. I walked over and looked up. I did see a bee or two buzz in and out of the hole but not many. This is the first time we've observed this many bee deaths at one time. The weather yesterday was sunny and warm in the 80s. They seemingly just fell from the sky.


sandy lawrence said...

Here's one thought: You don't have to use pesticides to kill bees. Big box stores like Lowe's and Home Depot bring us bee-killing plants! Neonicotinoids (neonics) seem to be the culprit. Unlike the U.S., the European Union isn’t taking any chances. Researchers there are doing more reasearch, but in the meantime, have instituted a two-year ban on the use of neonicotinoids, the pesticides most frequently implicated in the bee die-off. Unlike here in the U.S. Where the pesticides will continue to flow. If interested, a petition to sign asking big box stores to stop selling bee-killing plants:

Steph@RamblingWren said...

So sad! Sounds like colony collapse disorder. Terrible when you are doing your part to help nature and then witness something like this.

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