It looks like a matter of bad timing. Around 65 European Linden trees were sprayed last Saturday with a pesticide to prevent aphids. The spray ended up killing up to 50,000 bumble bees. Scientists call it the worst bee die-off on record.
This is the time of year when the bees suck the precious nectar from the flowering trees. In an effort to keep more from dying, workers with the city of Wilsonville were out in front of the Target store putting bee-proof netting around the trees.
Mace Vaughn with The Xerces Society says the pesticide product Safari was used on the trees. He says better labeling could help prevent situations like this.
Honey bees may also be at risk. They may be trying to suck the nectar and dying on the way home. The netting will remain on the trees for two to three weeks until the pollination season is over.