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Large-scale bee deaths spark fears over insects’ health

The mystery death of hundreds of bees has raised fears about the health of the species.

Sara Zakszewska, from Pembroke, said she spotted dead bees as she walked along Southlands Beach in Warwick on Thursday.

Ms Zakszewska added: “It was like every few feet there was a dead bee, and it was the whole length of the beach.

“It was maybe every foot, and it was almost in a straight line. It was the strangest thing.

“There were a couple who you could see struggling, like they were trying to get out of the sand but couldn’t.”

Ms Zakszewska said she lifted the bees still alive out of the sand but that she had no idea if they were able to recover.

She added: “I know bees have been struggling, but when you see something like that it hits home a little bit more. The reality sets in.

“You expect to see a dead fish or something, but you don’t expect to look down and see a line of dead bees. It’s not normal.”

A large number of the insects were also found dead on other South Shore beaches.

But a spokesman for the Ministry of Home Affairs said the event was a “normal occurrence”.

He added: “The Department of Environment and Natural Resources is aware and has looked into this occurrence and can advise that the bees are likely remnants of a swarm that got left behind.

“This is a normal occurrence and not cause for alarm. DENR will continue to monitor the situation.”

Other people posted online that they had seen dead bees at other South Shore spots, including Horseshoe Bay and Elbow Beach.

The number of honeybees have been in decline around the world for 100 years and wild bees have experienced the sharpest drop.

Experts said two years ago that Bermuda's honeybee population, devastated in 2009 by the killer varroa mite, had started to recover.

The use of some kinds of pesticides has also been blamed for a global decline in the honeybee population.

Bees are vital to agricultural production through pollination and it has been estimated that, without them, the human population would die off in the space of four years.

A bee visits a flower at Spittal Pond. (File photograph)

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Published October 25, 2021 at 12:04 pm (Updated October 25, 2021 at 12:04 pm)

Large-scale bee deaths spark fears over insects’ health

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