WEATHER ALERT

Owner of poisoned bees convinced it was “targeted attack”

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BRANDON -- Hundreds of thousands of bees are dead after what an apparent pair of poison attacks on nearly 180 honey-producing hives near Brandon.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 18/09/2014 (3060 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

BRANDON — Hundreds of thousands of bees are dead after what an apparent pair of poison attacks on nearly 180 honey-producing hives near Brandon.

The bee deaths reportedly happened sometime between Aug. 14 and Sept. 3 at two separate locations in the RM of Elton, about 10 kilometres and 18 kilometres northwest of Brandon.

Loewen Honey Farms out of Steinbach operates about 1,200 hives located in several areas throughout southern Manitoba, including the locations in the Elton.

Four boxes of hives were targeted in total, and the deaths will cost owner Jason Loewen an estimated $15,000 to $20,000 worth of honey.

Because other bees kept in the area out of sight of the road were unharmed, he said he’s convinced it was a targeted attack.

“If there was a disease, or if farmers had sprayed pesticide, those bees would’ve all been hit,” he told the Brandon Sun this morning.

He said there was residue on the boxes and lids, but it’s not clear what type of poison was used. He said the hives will be tested.

Close to 180 hives were kept in the area and 60 were completely killed off, amounting hundreds of thousands of dead bees. The bees were killed while they were still producing honey.

Along with the decimated hives, another 40 hives are “weakened.”

He said he’s never experienced anything like this before.

“We just have to try and keep what’s left, the ones that were damaged we’re trying to take care of them … and make sure they make it through the winter,” Loewen said. “We might have to buy some bees next spring.”

The poisoning punctuates a hard year for beekeepers in Westman due to the late spring, cool and wet summer and the early onset of fall.

 — Brandon Sun

 

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