WILSONVILLE, Ore. (KOIN) — In the aftermath of what is being called the largest mass bumblebee death on record, crews from the Oregon Department of Agriculture wrapped the trees in netting to keep the bees away.
Originally, 25,000 bees were thought to have died. But a closer inspection by the Xerces Society puts the number at more than 50,000 bees.
The European Linden trees are in bloom, and the bees are attracted to the highly fragrant flowers.
An ODA investigation found the trees were treated with a pesticide called “safari,” used to control aphids. The landscaping company which applied the pesticide may have done so incorrectly. The Xerces Society suspects that is what caused the massive bee die-off.
“The goal today and over the next couple days is going to be to try and mitigate the damage and rap the trees with netting so we can prevent additional losses from the bumblebees on site,” siad Mace Vaughan of the Xerces Society.
The netting will stay in place for the next two weeks and the experts are confident the netting will protect the bees.