Friday, July 6, 2012

Bee Hives Poisoned in Australia



     Police in New South Wales, Australia are investigating the chemical poisoning of approximately 740 hives  which killed thousands of bees poisoning honey worth $150,000.  The incident is suspected to be the result of a vicious rivalry in the honey industry.  A spokes person for one of the companies effected, Australian Rainforest Honey said the offender appeared to know where the bees were and how to poison them efficiently. ''I'd say they would have had to have a good knowledge of bees.''  The NSW Department of Primary Industries has taken samples of dead bees and poisoned honey from the hives to be analysed at its forensic laboratory operated by the Environmental Protection Agency in Lidcombe.  The results of the testing are expected within the week.

Update:
*The results of the testing by the Environmental Protection Agency confirmed the chemical Permethrin, a common household insecticide, was used to kill the bees. Unfortunately, this is not a unique incident and has happened throughout the world of commercial beekeeping. Competition for available pollen and nectar can be fairly cut-throat amongst commercial beekeepers. As a spokesman for the Australian Honey Industry said, "This is not the first time something like this happened. They have been stolen in the past or destroyed," he said. "I've been in the industry 30 years and it doesn't happen regularly, but it does happen."

5 comments:

  1. Thanks for the post, Danielle. It makes you wonder who would be so cruel as to kill millions of bees. Not only that, but torpedo the business of a commercial beekeeper. Please keep us posted on the outcome if you find out. I'm curious as to what they used to poison so many bees. -Mark

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  2. The Environmental Protection Agency confirmed the chemical Permethrin, a common household insecticide, was used to kill the bees. Unfortunately, this is not a unique incident and has happened throughout the world of commercial beekeeping. Competition for available pollen and nectar can be fairly cut-throat amongst commercial beekeepers. As a spokesman for the Australian Honey Industry said, "This is not the first time something like this happened. They have been stolen in the past or destroyed," he said. "I've been in the industry 30 years and it doesn't happen regularly, but it does happen."

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  3. Here in NZ we have had theft of hives but nothing as awful as this, i really feel for our Aussie neighbor beekeepers - (the rainforest honey is delicious ) All those poor bees died in agony ..

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  4. Whether intentional or unintentional it is very sad. In Canada and the U.S. the unintentional poisoning of bees through agricultural spraying of neonicotinoid insecticides has become a major problem (http://strathconabeekeepers.blogspot.ca/2012/06/neonicotinoids-kill-bees-in-ontario.html). That is why I support small scale, local organic agriculture and beekeeping.

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  5. Just so disgusting. I'm at a loss for words.

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