On Sunday at 2 pm, a group will gather at the Target parking lot in Wilsonville to memorialize the estimated 50,000 bees that died from pesticide poisoning at the site last week.
“We will memorialize these fallen lifeforms and talk about the plight of the bees and their importance to life on Earth,” reads the event page on Facebook.
So far, the site shows 130 people plan on attending.
Event organizer Rozzell Medina told The Oregonian:
“I thought it would be a good opportunity for people to see that this is not just a news item. With a lot of these ecological catastrophes, they become so abstract that people become scared to feel them.”
The Oregon Department of Agriculture has confirmed that the bees died from the insecticide Safari, which was applied to 55 blooming European linden trees in the Target parking lot. The agency is not releasing the name of the landscaping company that did the work while it continues its investigation into whether state and federal regulations were violated.
In the meantime, the agency has restricted the use of 18 pesticide products to prevent more bee kills.
The pesticide used in Wilsonville was intended to kill aphids, which secrete honeydew that can drop onto cars in parking lots. But the blooming linden trees were also attracting a lot of bumblebees.