Photo: Xerces Society of Invertebrate Conservation
WILSONVILLE, OR (KPTV) -
Thousands of dead bumble bees were discovered in the parking lot of a Wilsonville store.
Rich Hatfield, a conservation biologist with the Portland-based Xerces Society of Invertebrate Conservation, said shoppers at the Target store called him to report the dead and dying bees.
He then went to look for himself.
"There were literally falling out of the trees," he said. "To our knowledge, this is one of the largest documented bumble bee deaths in the Western U.S. It was heartbreaking to watch."
Hatfield said the bees were underneath blooming European linden trees.
The Xerces Society contacted the Oregon Department of Agriculture, who responded by sending staff to collect samples of the bees and foliage from the trees.
The nonprofit bee conservation organization said while the case of the mass bee deaths is unknown, they believe it likely involves acute pesticide poisoning or a poisonous species of European linden tree.
Hatfield estimated at least 25,000 dead bumble bees at the site. That number likely represents a loss of more than 150 colonies. Dead honey bees, lady bird beetles and other insects were also found at the site.
Copyright 2013 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.
Thousands of dead bees found outside Target storeMore>>
Saturday, April 25 2015 10:45 PM EDT2015-04-26 02:45:05 GMT
Protesters who've been holding near-daily demonstrations this week over the death of Freddie Gray are promising their biggest march yet a day after the Baltimore Police Department acknowledged that it failed to...More >
Thousands of protesters took to the streets Saturday in the largest Freddie Gray rally yet, and after hours of peaceful demonstrations, pockets of protesters smashed out police car windows and storefronts.More >
Authorities say a 17-year-old boy who went missing for nearly four days before he returned to his Northern California home told his family he hid on his high school campus, surviving on fruit from trees and...More >
Authorities say a 17-year-old boy who went missing for nearly four days before he returned to his Northern California home told his family he hid on his high school campus, surviving on fruit from trees and drinking from...More >