State investigates honeybee die-off in Sherwood

State investigates honeybee die-off in Sherwood

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by KGW.com Staff

kgw.com

Posted on April 21, 2014 at 8:03 AM

Updated Monday, Apr 21 at 7:04 PM

SHERWOOD, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Agriculture is trying to figure out what killed thousands of honeybees in Sherwood last weekend.

A mass of the dead bees were found scattered along on Highway 99 at Sunset Boulevard on Sunday.

"We did receive some calls of concern and so we're in investigation mode right now," said Oregon Department of Agriculture Insect Pest Prevention & Management specialist Pat Mitchell.

Sherwood resident Danya Anderson was driving on Highway 99 when she spotted the bees.

“There were a bunch on the ground and a bunch swarming,” she said. “Some were crawling and some were dead already."

There are agricultural fields nearby and even a beekeepers colony less than a mile away.  Mitchell said there are many theories as to what happened, but the state won't know for sure until samples can be completely tested.

Last year, tens of thousands of bumblebees were found dead in a Wilsonville shopping center.

More: State probes death of 25,000 bumblebees

Anderson said she remembered that die-off, which is partly what prompted her to alert authorities about what she saw in Sherwood.

“I know that something similar happened in Wilsonville, so I just want to make sure that the bees around here are OK,” Anderson said. “I know that they're important to us."

In the Wilsonville case, two companies were eventually fined for spraying pesticide and killing the bees.

More: Memorial held for dead bees

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KGW reporter Erica Heartquist contributed to this report.

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