A court has sentenced a woman to four months in prison over the deaths of about 2 million bees in a bungled pest control operation.
Joanna S. (full name withheld under Polish privacy laws) was hired by local authorities in Biecz, southern Poland, following flooding in the region in 2010.
She was assigned with the job of culling the mosquito population, after a sharp rise in numbers of the insects in connection with the floods.
However, one of the pesticides she used had not been cleared by the Ministry of Health.
Shortly after the operation, beekeepers found that as many as 358 bee colonies had been wiped out.
Lucjan Furmanek, chairman of the Beekeepers’ Association in Biecz, welcomed the verdict, after a three-year battle to bring the case to court.
“We are not motivated by revenge, but this scandalous action could even have led to people being poisoned,” he said.
“I hope that this judgement will prevent any further mindless devastation of the environment.