State investigating death of bees in Beaverton

Bee experts suspect pesticides killed bees in Beaverton

A state pesticide investigator collects samples of dead bees found along a road in Beaverton, June 23, 2014. (KOIN 6)
A state pesticide investigator collects samples of dead bees found along a road in Beaverton, June 23, 2014. (KOIN 6)

BEAVERTON, Ore. (KOIN 6) — Hundreds of dead bees were discovered along a road in Beaverton over the weekend.

The bees were discovered underneath about 25 flowering linden trees in a neighborhood near the intersection of SW Farmington Road and 185th Avenue.

According to the Xerces Society, a bee conservation group, linden trees are often sprayed to get rid of aphids. They say even if the trees were sprayed with certain pesticides months ago before they were in bloom, a bee killing chemical could remain in the flowers and pollen.

Issak Stapleton, a state pesticide investigator was at the Beaverton neighborhood on Monday to take samples of the dead bees, flowers and leaves from the tress to determine how they died.

“I don’t know why someone would necessarily still be using [the pesticide] after the restriction that we placed,” said Stapleton.

After hearing from KOIN 6 about the dead bees, Pacific Landscape Management, the company that maintains the trees, said they contacted the Oregon Department of Agriculture and are “working with them to take appropriate action to protect the bees.”

Just last year, 50,000 bees died in a Wilsonville parking lot from a pesticide used on linden trees there. The state then restricted the use of a group of insecticides called neonicotinoids.

Most recently, the Oregon Department of Agriculture suspended the pesticide license of the tree care service responsible for spraying an insecticide blamed for killing 1,000 bees at a Eugene apartment complex last Friday.

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