Buzz Kill: Chemical spray for Zika killing U.S. bee population

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SUMMERVILLE, SC - A huge sting went to the beekeepers of Summerville South Carolina as over 2.5 million bees were killed after the EPA and CDC sprayed a toxic poison called Naled from the sky to try and fight the spreading Zika virus.

“Every little thing that you put into the environment makes a difference, whether it’s a spray that you just spray on yourself for mosquito repellent, or a spray you put over your whole yard. Every little bit adds up,” Jennifer Scott said.

Scott is a certified bee remover and handler who goes by the moniker, “The Bee Wrangler.”

And this doesn’t help the fact that across the country, beekeepers lost 44 percent of their colonies in the past year due to pesticides, parasites, and over-development of the environment.

“The reason that the bee is so important to the ecosystem is that they pollinate the crops all around up to a 5 mile range around their hive,” Scott said.

She continued saying,“The grocery store would not exist without exist if it were not for all these managed hives here in the United States.”

Between 20,000 and 60,000 bees live together in a hive, and not only are these busy buzzers crucial for preserving our environment, they contribute about $29 billion to farm production through pollination.

“When you start seeing these huge collapses to the bee hives, the next thing you’re going to see is shortages of different types of food.”

“At first it might just be a little bit of an inconvenience, but if we fundamentally don’t change the way we grow crops and the way that we treat the environment, I feel like we’re all going to be going down a dead end road.” said Scott as she harvested a slab of honeycomb from one of her hives at Gundermann Farms.

While we want to make sure we can stop the spread of the Zika virus, Naled, the chemical neurotoxin, has been banned by the European Union and is believed to be especially dangerous for pregnant women because it can cause birth defects.

The EPA and CDC both insist that there’s nothing to be afraid of and are continuing to spray it in suspected outbreak areas.

This Zika thing sure is becoming a huge buzz kill.