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Ant Insecticide kills over Million Cape Bees Print

Cape beekeepers have an answer to what killed thousands of bees in Constantia leaving the local industry devastated after massive revenue losses.

Last week, Weekend Argus reported that beekeepers suspected wine farms in the area were spraying their vineyards with a pesticide consisting of a mixture of ant poison and molasses.

Vice-chairperson of Western Cape Bee Industry Association (WCBA) and commercial bee farmer Brendan Ashley-Cooper said at the time he lost 100 hives and sent a sample to be tested in the Hearshaw & Kinnes Analytical Laboratory in Cape Town.

This week, Ashley-Cooper received the sample back confirming his fears.

“We got it and it was fipronil that was the main ingredient in my sample, which is a pesticide used on ants.

 “I inspected about 150 hives on Thursday and about 40% of the hives have masses of dead bees in front of them.” Once the wine farms in the area discovered the mass killing of the bees, use of the pesticide was stopped immediately.

Fipronil disrupts the insects central nervous system and causes hyperexcitation of the contaminated insects’ nerves and muscles thus killing them.

He estimated this meant between 1-1.5 million bees had been killed.

Beekeeper Lawrence Woollam lost between 90% and 100% of his bees, which severely affected his business.

Sources: https://www.iol.co.za/weekend-argus/cape-town-beekeepers-uncover-reasons-for-mass-killing-18254639

SANHA Comments:
Allah has placed mankind, on earth as His representatives who should be guardians of this planet, its resources and various forms of life. Bees in particular have been honoured in that the 16th Chapter of the Quraan, an-Nahl – the Bee, is named after the industrious and useful insect.


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