Public and private partners are collaborating in response to this week’s die off of bees in Wilsonville by taking measures to prevent further insect loss. Bee-proof netting is being placed on 55 European linden trees in the Target parking lot of Argyle Square at the site where an estimated 25,000 bumblebees were found dead or dying this week. Officials hope the netting will successfully keep additional bees away from blooms that have been attracting the pollinators.
The Oregon Department of Agriculture, City of Wilsonville, City of Sherwood, Xerces Society, and Valent USA have been working together on prevention and recovery efforts in the wake of the bee death discovery. Work crews are expected to complete the placement of nets on the trees as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, ODA has confirmed that the bee deaths are directly related to a pesticide application on the linden trees conducted last Saturday, June 15 to control aphids. The pesticide product Safari was used in that application. Safari, with its active ingredient dinotefuran, is part of a group of insecticides known as neonicotinoids. Valent USA is the distributor of Safari. ODA collected samples earlier this week of bees and foliage in the area, and conducted laboratory analysis.
ODA continues its active investigation of the incident to determine if the pesticide application was in violation of state and federal pesticide regulations.