Over half a billion bees reportedly died over the course of three months, with pesticides being the likely cause of the massive die-off.
Environmentalists and researchers say that deaths are likely caused by pesticide usage in the four Brazilian states where the die-off took place. In the Rio Grande do Sul state alone, 400 million dead bees were found by beekeepers during the period.
Lab research points to pesticides with neonicotinoids and fipronil, products that are banned in Europe, as the main cause of death for most bees in Brazil. The pesticides caused a chain reaction inside of the hives of the bees, with healthy bees attempting to clear out their deceased brethren from the hive, only to become contaminated themselves.