The Oregon Department of Agriculture and the Xerces Society are planning to cover 55 European linden trees in Wilsonville with bee-proof netting to prevent more insects from dying.
The plan follows the discovery of an estimated 25,000 dead bumblebees bees near the linden trees in a Target parking lot on Monday.
According to Mace Vaughn of the Xerces Society, a group of people including volunteers and a crew of state workers will use cherry pickers to cover the trees with shade cloth, a mesh used in greenhouses to keep sun off plants.
“We’re out in the parking lot right now trying to figure out how best to put it together,” said Mace Vaughn of the Xerces Society. “It’s pretty epic. We’ll be out here for awhile working on this today.”
Vaughn said the initial proposal to prune the flowers off the linden trees would have been impossible: “It would be the same as cutting all the trees down, and it would have been hard work. It would have taken longer than putting up the netting.”
The Oregonian reports the land management company that rents the area to Target and other stores at the Argyle Square shopping center, is working to determine whether regulations were violated. Neither the company nor the state agriculture department would release name of the landscape contractors that were working on the property.
The department of agriculture says the insecticide Safari was sprayed on the linden trees on Saturday. The agency is still investigating whether that is the cause of the bee deaths.