MRCU main suspect in mass bee deaths

| 27/11/2019 | 64 Comments
Cayman News Service
Dead bees found on Seven Mile Beach

(CNS): Hundreds of dead and dying bees along Seven Mile Beach caused significant public concern yesterday, and the cause may be the Mosquito Research and Control Unit’s aerial spraying. In response to CNS inquiries, the Department of Environment said the situation was serious and that they had raised their concerns about the deaths, and while they could not yet confirm a link to the spraying, they would be talking to the MRCU as they try to gather the facts.

CNS also contacted the MRCU. The director, who was travelling, said he would have a response about the MRCU’s role, if any, in this worrying situation on his return.

Bees the world over are under threat, and as one of the most important pollinators, protecting them is critical to human survival. Scientists around the world say bees are at risk because of a web of complex, largely man-made threats.

Changes to the climate and weather patterns, the loss and fragmentation of vital habitats, and threats from pesticides and pollution are the main culprits in the collapse of many populations of bees. Restoring bee populations requires many changes, such as reversing fragmentation of wild habitat, cutting chemical pollution, protecting bees from imported diseases, and targeted action to preserve the species that attract bees.

The DoE said they would be talking to MRCU about their use of chemicals, and while they do not have the facts to support any correlation and causation, the department is pursuing that information.

“The concern is sufficiently serious to merit looking into, and we plan to work collaboratively with MRCU to do some rigorous fact-finding,” said Fred Burton, manager of the DoE Terrestrial Research Unit.

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Category: Land Habitat, Science & Nature

Comments (64)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    MRCU need to be seriously investigated….imagine the chemicals being sprayed by plane…they even killed the lime trees.

    • Paola says:

      Hi We live in Oceana South Sound. I am very concerned about the amount of solitary bees that end up dead by the pool and ocean.
      Can anyone identify the reason they get lost in balconies and end up dead. The amount of bodies is alarming. Does anyone have a plan ?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Joni Mitchell – “Hey farmer, farmer, put away the DDT. Give me spots on my apples but leave me the birds and the bees”!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Bees have been dying like this in their thousands in South Sound for at least the past year.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Imagine howmuch of us are being killed? Id rather dengue fever over cancer.

  5. Anonymous says:

    “Toxic Island”

  6. Anonymous says:

    The same concerns appeared on CNS in July

    “Most of these queries have remained unanswered. However, MRCU Director Dr Jim McNelly has indicated that the ministry is preparing a statement to address the queries.”

    @CNS – did you get any responses to the questions you raised directly to the MRCU, was a statement ever released?

    CNS: We got some, but not all, questions answered, which are in this story posted a few weeks later.

  7. MR says:

    Well recently they have been spraying very heavily and whatever is being sprayed has been much thicker and stinker than anything I smelt in the past as the mosquitos are becoming resistant to the chemicals… and all this happening 3 years after Oxitec’s arrival.

    Where are all the people that supported millions of mosquitos being let loose in our communities? Even the head of the MRCU Bill Petrie left after the Oxitec “trial” started… even Oxitec themselves have packed up and left. And yet every questioning article, viewpoint or court inquiry in to this experiment was challenge by a now silent hoard of people as more and more evidence comes out that the experiment was not only ineffective, but has also made the mosquitos stronger, faster and more resistant to spraying… mess we in. Now we are killing the bees as we try to kill the skeeters.

    • Anonymous says:

      What is this”evidence” that the Oxitec experiment – which was based on infertile mosquitoes being released who by definition couldn’t breed – making the domestic population (largely composed of other species of mosquito – stronger, faster! (you got a little radar gun there chief) and more resistant? Can you post a link? Or is it more like ” I read it on a blog” or ” my mate told me” type “evidence”.

  8. Jacky Boatside from Oldbush says:

    The bees don’t have voice but we do it’s time Cayman to put a stop to this $#!t protests time let out feet do the talking.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Try swimming on SMB in the morning you will see thousands of bees still alive in the water and can’t get out.

    It’s a nero toxin that destroys the nervous system first.

    Once the bees are dead you can assume wild life will also follow.

    Other than the toxic food another reason why hoomans are so slow on this island.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sucking swamp gas all your life also has detrimental neurological effects. That’s the cost of living in paradise.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Question: Why is DoE doing Dept. of Agriculture’s job?

    Bees are extremely important to agriculture. We have been experiencing the loss of bees for years. What has the DoA been doing to protect bees and agriculture?

    • Anonymous says:

      Nothing to do with DOE for the THOUSANDTH time… It’s MRCU (mosquito research and control unit). DOE has nothing to do with the spraying.

      • Anonymous says:

        Agreed. But why is DoA not mentioned in the article but DoE is?

        • Anonymous says:

          10:29 The articles says only that the DOE would be discussing with MRCU about their use of chemicals. The DOE are clearly worried about the effect on wildlife which falls under their jurisdiction and is there responsibility to protect.

          DOE arent doing agriculture’s job as department of agriculture (DOA) dont have anything to do with mosquito control either. They deal with things like animal imports, water quality etc.

  11. Raffaelle says:

    How long Cayman ??? Are we going to allow Alden and Makeewa unity @$$#o!%$ to over populate over develop and destroy these islands and it’s fragile environment How long??

  12. Liquid Smoke says:

    Had we not listen to our resident idiots sitting in our parliament pushing certain political funding donors financial agendas and their hocus pocus science human experiment to weaponize GM mosquitoes we won’t be in this terrible mess of having to use hard pesticide now to kill these man made insects Wow Cayman! Telling us now to stay inside whilst they kill off the bees now. How long Cayman are we going to allow this bunch of unity environmental pirates to destroy or environment trees bees and coral before we remove them from power. Stop the port and beach bay foolishness is a real start Cayman and removing the CPA rubber stamp board sametime.

  13. Anonymous says:

    We’ll decide live with the mosquitoes or the bees we don’t need. We’ll be back to smoke pots in no time as we will lose out on our Tourism. No one will want to come here. Honey bees are not indigenous to Cayman. Our flowers have been getting pilibated fine without them for donkey years.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sometimes I wish a person’s internet access could be blocked based on how backward their comments online are.

    • Anonymous says:

      You shouldn’t go outside when the mosquito plane is above and sit with your mouth open so often it’s killing your brain cells.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I live in Prospect and I have found 10-15 dead bees in my swimming pool every time the Mosquito Plane has been spraying over my house. The chemicals being sprayed are killing our bees and probably us .

  15. Anonymous says:

    MRCU (and prior PWD) spraying over the past 60 years (by truck then later by air) could explain Cayman’s high per capita rate of cancer. Why then be surprised if they’re also killing bees and our needlecases! Haven’t seen one of those in years!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Paul McCartney said it best.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Did we used to get fireflies in Cayman or am I imagining that?

    • Anonymous says:

      Our fireflies are a beetle, Ignelater glasesum, that occurs on all three islands. The glowing bioluminescence organs are on the sides of the front part of the body and do not flash on and off as do the fireflies (also actually beetles) that glow from the tip of the abdomen.

    • Anonymous says:

      We had fireflies by the thousands They were beautiful – when there were no streetlights we could see them. We called them “blinkies”

    • Anonymous says:

      we always had fire flies in Cayman, loads of them.

  18. Anonymous says:

    This is Cayman Islands. If the bees are dying out and the government is to blame no one will ever know. It won’t stop and bee’s will be a thing of the past. They fix no problems. Only make new ones. Sorry I am off island but will get right on your personal problem as soon as I get back. That should tell you if anything gonna happen in your lifetime.

    • Anonymous says:

      I thought you were going to say it’s the Cayman Islands, they’ll just fly in more bees!

      Ha ha ha – sad but true.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Speaking of weird phenomena, what ever happened to Spring, Fall and Winter? 98’F today at the end of November…maybe these bees are ready for the Christmas breeze!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Bees don’t live forever, but we’ve seen more than usual dying in the early evening and it seemed more than just coincidence. Would be good to know what’s ending them. Hopefully most are safely sheltered in the hive between the dusk knock-down fly-overs!

  21. Anonymous says:

    @225, when last you saw Dragon flies or Needle case. We had many one time.

  22. Anonymous says:

    nope..cireba told me nothing…i am a indigenous caymanian…live here all my life…mrcu aerial sprays by patrick island and my bee’s are fine….could be mt thrashmore? or some other chemical😯

  23. caymanbird says:

    I completely believe that it is aerial spraying over the years that has resulted in hardly ever seeing a firefly now. Yes, MRCU have hugely reduced the mosquito population, but in doing so it has messed with many other aspects of nature. Cayman is no longer a good fuel stopover for swallows on their migration route north and south each year. In the past hundreds and hundreds of them would gather on telephone wires when they were getting ready to leave. Now there are so few seen. Antillean Nighthawks are another insect “feed on the wing” bird who struggle for food.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Ohmigosh – how ALARMING!!!!!!

    Canary in the Coal Mine is right.

    Pandora’s Islands. Da wha ya get!

  25. Real Caymanian says:

    M.R.C.U is under extreme pressure everywhere, if you do not control mosquitoes it is a problem, if there are cases of dengue it is another problem, now to increase the pressure dead bees appear and M.R.C.U is blamed for it, Waooo must be stressful to work in that department.

  26. SaveTheBees says:

    Interesting. One early morning near to Prospect Primary I saw what appeared to be a “mist” over the trees. I was wondering, what is that? There was also a slight smell. I thought someone might have been burning leaves to chase the mosquitoes.

    I usually check my pumpkin vine from time to time. The previous mornings I noted there were bees on every flower. However, on that morning, I had to check many flowers before I saw a bee. I was wondering, what’s up with the bees?

    I haven’t check since. The thought of agriculture and possibly the human race going extince if bees go extince is alarming. No stone must be left unturned in this matter.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Honeybees are not native to the Cayman Islands and are arguably themselves threat to native pollinating insects, including the small number of native solitary bees. This honeybee die off may be a canary-in-the-coalmine notification of threats to native invertebrates. It is these species that are should be our concern, and indeed, to which all the issues described above are even more critical.

  28. Anonymous says:

    that is not true…i live by entrance of patrick island and have a whole colony in my eaves…if it was the spray they would be dying? instead..they multiplying….call me ..if they want see them

    • Anonymous says:

      Probably can’t get enough oxygen to breath from this overcrowded Island, and of course from all the chemicals coating their vents.

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe your CIREBA agent told you that Patrick’s Island was ‘Seven Mile Beach corridor’ but you may want to check a map.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are the kind of persons that doesn’t believe the titanic is sinking because their feet are still dry.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Probably been feeding off our national cancer pile just down the road

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