Investigating the Crime Scene

A few days ago, I read an interesting American Bee Journal article by Tammy Horn (et al.) and it made me think differently about something. Although I know that poisoned bees represent a real crime, I never really thought of poisoned bee yards as literal ‘crime scenes’.

KY inspector and author Tammy Horn

KY inspector and author Tammy Horn

In her informative and engaging article, Kentucky’s chief apiarist, Tammy Horn, explains that we need to adopt the mindset that dead bees need inspected responsibly – like police would do at a crime scene. Don’t scoop dead bees into a baggie and ship them off.  If a farmer or agri-business has misused pesticides, they have committed a crime. Crimes need undisturbed evidence for successful prosecution. Ms Horn writes, “When dealing with a possible pesticide kill, time is not on your side. You need to get a sample taken as soon as possible. If you want to take legal action…the sample must be collected by a regulatory official.”

I hadn’t really considered that a crime is a crime and a crime scene can be a bee yard. If you start cleaning things up improperly, you may impair future litigation and possible recovery of losses. Before securing your equipment and helping any surviving hives, the best immediate action is to call your regional chief inspector and ask for advice.

One possible sign of pesticide damage in your bees.

One possible sign of pesticide damage in your bees.

Horn’s article helps us to recognize chemical bee kills, collect samples (when appropriate), report losses, and take pro-active steps to protect honey bees and native pollinators. I won’t repeat it all here, you should read her article in the bee journal. If you don’t already receive ABJ, consider ordering it or perhaps get your bee club or library to subscribe. Though I’m not going to detail Tammy Horn’s information, I am going to list some of the links she gave in her article:

About Ron Miksha

Ron Miksha is a geophysicist who also does a bit of science writing and blogging. Ron has worked as a radio broadcaster, a beekeeper, and is based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He has written two books, dozens of magazine and journal articles, and complements his first book, Bad Beekeeping, with a popular blog at www.badbeekeeping.com. Ron wrote his most recent book, The Mountain Mystery, for everyone who has looked at a mountain and wondered what miracles of nature set it upon the landscape. For more about Ron, including some cool pictures taken when he was a teenager, please check Ron's site: miksha.com.
This entry was posted in Pesticides, Save the Bees and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Investigating the Crime Scene

  1. Great post. I also found interesting information through some of the links.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: 2016 in Bee Review | Bad Beekeeping Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s