Massacre of the bees

A massacre of around a million bees in  20 hives in the Northern Territory of Australia has aroused the suspicion of their farmer-owner, Sam Curtis.

The bees were killed by Fipronil, a wide-spectrum insecticide that’s particularly lethal for bees and one of the major chemical factors behind colony collapse disorder. It’s used to kill off everything from the Raspberry crazy ant in Texas to ticks and fleas in cats and dogs.

Last November, a nearby beekeeper had 120 hives killed by the same insecticide. Curtis says that Fipronil is not used by farmers in his locality and he is worried his bees have been killed by someone “who doesn’t like bees”.

Tracking down the bee killer in such a remote area could be difficult – local police have already abandoned their investigation of a previous mass bee slaughter in November 2017.

Picture source: Peter Shanks