Collateral Damage: Bees die in South Carolina Zika spraying

This 2006 photo provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a female Aedes aegypti mosquito in the process of acquiring a blood meal from a human host.

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (AP) – There’s been some collateral damage in the fight against Zika – millions of honeybees in South Carolina.

News outlets report that Dorchester County officials have apologized for killing the bees when the county failed to notify local beekeepers about mosquito spraying last weekend.

Four travel-related cases of the Zika virus have been confirmed in the county northwest of Charleston. Aerial mosquito spraying operations were conducted Sunday morning.

Flowertown Bee Farm and Supply in Summerville lost more than 2 million bees. Company co-owner Juanita Stanley says the farm “looks like it’s been nuked.” Andrew Macke, a hobby beekeeper, says he lost thousands of bees.

The county usually notifies beekeepers before it sprays for mosquitoes. Officials say Sunday was the first time spraying had been done from the air.

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