Oregon scientists investigate death of 25,000 bumblebees

KTVB – by Erica Heartquist

WILSONVILLE — It’s a mystery that has prompted an investigation by the State of Oregon. Thousands of dead bumblebees are blanketing a parking lot in Wilsonville.

The plaza, just off Interstate 5 that houses Costco, Target, a Sprint store and Panda Express to name a few, has about 65 European Linden trees.

Since the weekend, dead bumblebees have been falling from the trees. Experts estimate there have been more than 25,000 dead bees. On Sunday, the bees started falling from the trees until  shoppers reported them to the various stores.

“They were just evenly spread out over the entire parking lot,” said Mace Vaughan, Pollinator Conservation Program Director with the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

Monday, the calls flooded The Xerces Society, a nonprofit organization that protects wildlife through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitat.

“(The were) just telling us that there seemed to be an incredible, awful bumblebee die-off and could we get out here to look and see what was going on,” said Vaughan.

Wednesday, KGW found even more dead or dying bees falling from the trees.

“I’ve never seen any sort of a die-off of bumblebees on this scale,” said Vaughan.

The group called in the Oregon Department of Agriculture who opened an investigation. They said they’re looking into whether a pesticide on the trees killed the bees.

“We’re aware of a pesticide application in the vicinity, but have not yet identified the active ingredient. We are in the process of interviewing parties that may have applied the pesticide,” said Dale Mitchell with the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

But, they’re also looking into whether the trees played a part. European Linden trees have been known to kill bees in Europe.

Vaughan and his staff have collected their own samples and they’re sending them to a lab in North Carolina that specifically tests for insecticides in bees and flowers. Vaughan said this is devastating because bumblebees are incredibly important to us all.

“The Willamette Valley is the heart of blueberry country, raspberry country, blackberry country. We are the biggest seed producing state in the union. All of those crops, bumblebees are critically important, probably the most important pollinator,” he added.


10 thoughts on “Oregon scientists investigate death of 25,000 bumblebees

  1. I think a recent commentator was right when they said it likely TPTB cannot fully depend upon their GMO terminator seeds while there are still bees alive. A few bees can still pollenate conventional crops for us even if those crops have limited yields, and not until the bee disappears completely can terminator seeds do what they’re designed to do – put an end to fertilized seeds and next year’s crops once and for all.

  2. They’re not re-engineering the World, they’re systematically killing it as outlined on the Guide-stones of Georgia. It’s been a known fact for some time that the Govt was putting poison in the skies. A person I know is a bee-keeper & has been infuriated for a couple of years. Look to the Federal Reserve Stock Holders & Board of directors for the trail to EXPOSURE……Continue to fight for Freedom & Liberty

  3. They’ve been killing off the honeybees for years. Maybe they’ve figured a way to take the bumblebees out too, now.

  4. From the size of the Linden trees, it looks like they have been there
    awhile. Is spraying from the skies a regular thing in Wilsonville?
    Doubtful. Hate to be a conspiracist but this leaves spraying was done
    on purpose knowing the Bumblebees would go to these trees.
    Revenge for the GMO wheat or the sugar beet destruction.
    Time for Monsanto to self-destruct.

  5. Oregon is absolutely huge. Why, there must be at least…TEN Linden trees there, probably closer to a billion or ten! Every little Linden tree, got its humble start from a bumble, or other fuzzy little friend pollinating away.

    Oregon is made almost entirely out of trees, grass, flowers, and weeds. Every single one of those countless plants needed a bee to get it started. Some need hot bee-on-tree action once a year or they’ll have a huge, noticable die-off. That’s what I’d be watching out for.

    Now, anybody who ever watched Portlandia knows the sort of hue and cry that having this happen in a portland suburb parking lot would undoubtedly cause.

    “I’ve never seen any sort of bumblebee die off on this scale.” Said Vaughan.
    (no doubt with no sense of irony in his quavering voice)

    Oh, the humanity! An entire parking lot in Wilsonville! Why, that must be close to one ten-trillionth of Oregon’s precious biomass and bee population!

    So, lucky it happened right there, in a Portland suburb with actual paved road access all year round, instead of off in some stretch of Oregon mountain woods that doesn’t even have a name yet. What are the chances? Probably pretty good, actually. There isn’t enough pesticide on earth to hit every green plant in Oregon. Thank god for that!

    I don’t like the idea of killing cute, fuzzy bees, but I fear the idea of a society-wide distorted sense of scale, and thought patterns, and the inability to notice and self-correct, in favor of breathless groupthink, which I think is probably more dangerous for the earth long-term.

    Neonicotinoids are certainly a worry. Hopefully people will rediscover more holistic ways of controlling pests. See the big picture.

    1. Joe,
      Oregon is a huge place. That being said, I hand your logic back to you. How many places are there that we cannot see or did not see where there have been even bigger die offs? I have lived here all my life and have spent a large portion of that time up in the wild places and I tell you I am seeing a whole hell of a lot less bees, more and more every year as the chemtrails cover our skies and genetically engineered crops, which cannot be legally planted have now shown up in an Oregon field.
      No, I believe they are trying to kill us in large numbers and starvation is a good tool for such an endeavor.

      1. I, too, have seen the ever decreasing number of wild bees visiting my back yard. For that reason, and I spit on the inhuman criminals killing the life of this planet, I keep my backyard a small bastion of weeds, which provide the local wild bees food in the spring and fall, when the wild plants blossom and pollinate.

  6. I read an article where an organic farmer’s land was next to a very large
    portion of forest in Oregon which Big Timber purchased and sprayed
    the forest with pesticides on a regular basis. Her concern and rightfully
    so was the spraying was also contaminating her organic farm.
    I understand Big Timber owns very, very large tracts of forests in Oregon.

    1. Yes, Big Timber is the terrorist in the temperate forests, including especially Oregon. All the more reason for farming states to continue to decriminalize and completely legalize industrial hemp without any infringement and put Big Timber out of business.

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