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Pollinator Die-off In Oregon

Tens of thousands of dead bumblebees, honeybees and ladybugs blanketed a shopping plaza's parking lot in Wilsonville, Oregon.

Its estimated 25,000 dead bumblebees and 150 colonies were lost. Rich Hatfield, a conservation biologist with the non-profit Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation said "To our knowledge this is one of the largest documented bumblebee deaths in the Western U.S. It was heartbreaking to watch."

Landscapers had sprayed the lot's 65 European Linden trees with the insecticide Safari. The insecticide is marketed by manufacturer Valent as 'a super-systemic insecticide with quick uptake and knockdown.'

Xerces sampled the dead bees and concluded that the landscaping company that sprayed the insecticide was to blame. State investigators are looking into other pesticide applications in the area.