I've tried to start this post about my neighborhood bumblebees a number of times, but find I am at a loss for words. What happened to the bees just hits too hard and close to home.
What happened is this.
About a week and a half ago, I went to our local Target store to get my sister-in-law a birthday present. As I pulled into the parking lot, the sun finally peeked out from behind the dense morning clouds. On my way into the store, I noticed a bumblebee skittering around on the pavement. If I had been carrying something to pick him up and move him to safer ground, I would have.
Instead I went into the store.
I was in the store shopping for about 30 minutes
When I got back outside, it was warm and sunny. And there were more dead/dying bees.
As I approached my car, I glanced around and was horrified to realize the entire parking lot was black with the bodies of dead and dying bumblebees, and a few honeybees. There were thousands and thousands of them. People coming out of the store stopped and stared in shock. As I was getting into my car, a bee dropped onto my window, and tried to climb in ... then fell to the pavement.
Several days later it hit the news. The largest bumblebee kill caused by pesticides. Ever. Anywhere. More than 50,000 bees were estimated to be killed. That's over 300 colonies.
I was too upset to take a picture of the parking lot as I saw it.
It made me sick.
You can read the full story at the OPB (Oregon Public Broadcasting) website. They are very thorough in their information, and they have a few pictures of what I saw.
I did get a picture of just a few of the 60+ sprayed trees after they were covered with bee-proof mesh.
They give me the creeps ...
But at least there aren't so many dead bumblebees.
It sounds silly, but an environmental group is hosting a memorial service on Sunday afternoon - in the Target parking lot - for the bees.
I'm thinking of going.
(even though the lady at the flower shop told me that I need to "get over it" - it was ridiculous to feel so bad about something so "stupid" -- can you believe it?)