[Location]: Brevard County, Florida
[Probable Cause]: Mosquito insecticidal spray confined to specific area
But the recent Florida event involved hundreds of colonies from 30 different sites in a one-and-a-half mile radius literally dropping dead all at the same time and leaving their carcasses behind, which is why authorities have dismissed CCD [Colony Collapse Disorder] as the cause. Based on the appearance of the dead bees, as well as the synchronous timing of their deaths, pesticide sprayings appear to be the culprit in this case.
“I’m a pretty tough guy, but it is heart wrenching,” said Charles Smith of Smith Family Honey Company to News 13 in Orlando. His family’s company lost an estimated $150,000 worth of bees in the recent die-off. “Not only is it a monetary loss here, but we work really hard on these bees to keep them in good health.”
The Florida die-off coincides with a recent county-wide mosquito eradication effort, during which helicopters flew over various parts of the county and sprayed airborne pesticides. Officials, of course, deny that this taxpayer-funded spraying initiative had anything to do with the bee genocide, though.
“The fact that it was so widespread and so rapid, I think you can pretty much rule out disease,” said Bill Kern, an entomologist from the University of Florida (UF) to Florida Today. “It happened essentially almost in one day. Usually diseases affect adults or the brood, you don’t have something that kills them both.”