As a cautionary response by the government against the spread of the Zika infection, the pursued option may have produced devastating results.
Dr. Mike Weyman, program head, said county officials used the neurotoxin Naled due to a clear and public health crisis. This amid South Carolina's tight rules about protecting pollinators.
Earlier this week, millions of dead honey bees have been found by the state's beekeepers. Thousands of dead insects have been thrown over each in hives while survivors have contended resolutely to push the dead bodies of fellow bees.
Flowertown Bees Company co-owner Juanita Stanley voiced out her frustration to the Associated Press (AP) that her farm looked like it has been nuked.
South Carolina hobbyists Andrew Macke said that his business is destroyed after he lost thousands upon thousands of bees.
Across the US, bees and other pollinators contribute an estimated $29 billion to farm income. The pesticide regulation department at Clemson University will be investigating the incident.
With three dozen people reportedly testing positive for Zika in South Carolina, state officials have instituted preventive countermeasures against the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which are considered the main infection carriers.
The protocol for the area against Zika cases is to alert local officials of a carrier's residence. Authorities employed a 200-yard radius for the operation, which in this case involves spray approach.
According to Dorchester County officers, a notice about spraying has been posted on the community website last August 26. Many residents have also been notified about the action by phone.
According to Leif Richardson, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics, although the headlines have focused on the annihilation of honeybees, there is a growing concern that other insects, which are excluded from the course taken, have also been hit.
Dorchester County Administrator Jason Ward has stated that the spray was done between 6:30-8:30 in the morning on Sunday when people were mostly staying indoors and the bees less likely to be active.
Around one million pounds of the Naled chemical are used in the US annually. Like all organophosphate insectisides, the chemical, also known as Dibrom, is primarily utilized to control mosquitoes. There are 43 confiremd Zika cases in South Carolina but none of which were transmitted via mosquitoes.