Bee die-offs due to cool weather, not aerial spraying, says B.C. apiculturist

By Darron Kloster
Vancouver Sun
June 5, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA — The provincial apiculturist says bee die-offs this spring are due to the prolonged cool weather and have nothing to do with the recent aerial spraying for spongy moths. Paul van Westendorp said adult bees first out of the hive every spring are opportunistic and follow the pollen for the greater good of their hive.  …Social-media reports that the bees were killed by spraying for the spongy moth — formerly called gypsy moths — are unfounded, said van Westendorp. Van Westendorp said the insecticide affects only moth and butterfly caterpillars after ingestion. The active ingredient — bacillus thuringiensis variation kurstaki or BTK — is a natural bacteria found in soils and affects only insects with high-alkaline digestive systems. …Bee die-offs are common in the spring and usually happen because of the weather, said van Westendorp. If flowering is delayed, they stay put. But when they appear, the bees get busy.

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