Fourth Massive Bee Poisoning this year in the Country: Two Million more Die in Carara

    SENASA veterinarians collected samples of the insects to determine the cause of death

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    Two million bees were poisoned in an apiary at Bijagual de Carara, in Turrubares de Puntarenas; apparently from the use of insecticides. This is the fourth slaughter of insects registered by the Costa Rican Beekeepers Organization so far in 2020, according to its director, Juan Bautista Alvarado.

    The new case of poisoning has the characteristic that it was gradually ending the life of the bees since the beginning of September, according to the owner of the bees, Rónald Sánchez.

    The poisoning spread in its 25 hives as of this past week, which wiped out practically its entire population. This situation caused Sánchez an economic loss that exceeds ¢ 10 million. He and his family have been dependent on honey production for two years.

    “Its the first time that my bees die like this. I have no idea why so many bees are dying in my hives. Of the 25 boxes I have, almost nothing remains. I am totally losing them,” said the affected person, who has 20 years experience in beekeeping. “I have had several nights that I cannot sleep because I feel very unmotivated and pressured, I am desperate, with a lot of uncertainty about my future,” he added.

    Sánchez reported that in the vicinity of the apiary there are cattle farms and small cultivation areas for consumption of corn and beans. “I think my bees are dying from some poison they use nearby. Now I feel a lot of anger and frustration because the bees did not harm anyone and they have always been part of my family,” he said.

    An Agricultural Extension technician from the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG) and a veterinarian from the National Animal Health Service (SENASA) visited the site where the poisoning occurred on September 11th to collect samples of the insects and initiate an investigation.

    In addition, the affected beekeeper announced that he would file a complaint with the Judicial Investigation Agency (OIJ).

    Other bee killings

    This is the fourth case of bee poisoning registered by the Costa Rican Beekeepers Organization so far this year. Its director, Juan Bautista Alvarado, detailed that the others were:

    March 19 – Apparently Fipronil insecticide placed on sugar cane used for feeding cattle on a neighboring farm caused the death of two million bees in Esparza de Puntarenas.  August 14 – Fipronil and a fungicide caused the death of five million bees in Orotina de Alajuela; The case remains under investigation by the Animal Health Service and the Judicial Police.

    August 28 – An unknown chemical killed the entire population of 40 hives in San Ramón de Alajuela; The beekeeper decided not to report, although the Animal Health Service did collect samples. Alvarado explained that, according to his estimates, for every person who reports such intoxication, at least four refrain from doing so.

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