UPDATE for this blog here.
Yesterday morning, a woman and her friend were walking around downtown St. Paul. Next to a couple of small trees they noticed “snowdrifts of dead bees.” The woman contacted Dr. Marla Spivak and sent a couple of pictures showing thousands of dead bees. With the huge bee kill that went on in Oregon (read Liz’s blog here), we were all really worried something similar was going on. Marla went to investigate early this morning, as did the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Unluckily, there was a downpour of rain and they weren’t able to get a soil sample, but they did get a dead bee and leaf sample for pesticide analysis.
The bees were on two small oak trees, and were dead all over the ground. However, compared to the pictures from yesterday it did look like quite a few were cleaned up. What had probably happened was someone sprayed a swarm of bees that had landed in one of the small oaks. I don’t really know how they happened to get to the other tree, expect maybe they started to fly or go to the other tree as they were being sprayed.
It was a pretty terrible way to start a day. At least it looks like this was an isolated incident and not something more insidious like what happend in Oregon where many blooming trees were sprayed.