East Las Vegas “Mystery Droplets” Case Solved…You Won’t BEE-lieve it!
Remember those reports in early February of unexplained “mystery droplets” falling from the sky in an east Las Vegas Neighborhood? These dark-colored droplets covered vehicles and home of at least one resident in the neighborhood. What was causing the “rain” to fall in this neighborhood? Was it toxic? Was it caused by air traffic or something else?
DES Division of Air Quality supervisor Scott Jelinek was tasked with investigating the situation in Eastern Las Vegas. He visited the neighborhood in question, collected samples and sent them to SGS Forensic Laboratories for a full analysis. Was it a military exercise? Was it a UFO? Turns out, the sources of the droplets were buzzing a bit closer to terra firma.
On March 1, SGS delivered the results: “The samples consist of pollen grains of multiple species of plants,” reads the report’s conclusion “Based on content and deposition of the material on surfaces, the samples are identified as bee frass.”
According to the beekeeper website, HoneyBeeSuite.com, bee frass is defined as “fecal droppings.” That’s right. The “mystery droplets” are actually bee poop.
DES officials said the offending bees will not be issued a notice of violation at this time.
While the bee frass case may seem silly, DES director Marci Henson points out the importance of taking seriously environmental issues in the community.
“In the end, this turned out to be a relatively harmless, natural occurrence; a bit of a nuisance, but harmless,” said Henson. “We along with other agencies who were contacted felt it was important we investigate because we’ve seen in other communities the environmental and public health issues that can arise from urban and industrial pollution.”
About the Department of Environment and Sustainability
The Department of Environment and Sustainability is the air pollution control agency, regional Endangered Species Act compliance program, and sustainability office for all of Clark County, Nevada. Established as the Department of Air Quality by the Clark County Commission in 2001, it was renamed in 2020 and is comprised of three divisions: Air Quality, Desert Conservation Program and Office of Sustainability. Through these three divisions, DES is ensuring the air we share meets healthful, regulatory standards, administering the County's Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan and addressing climate change through the All-In Clark County initiative.
Clark County is a dynamic and innovative organization dedicated to providing top-quality service with integrity, respect and accountability. With jurisdiction over the world-famous Las Vegas Strip and covering an area the size of New Jersey, Clark is the nation’s 11th-largest county and provides extensive regional services to 2.3 million citizens and 45.6 million visitors a year (2019). Included are the nation’s 9th-busiest airport, air quality compliance, social services and the state’s largest public hospital, University Medical Center. The County also provides municipal services that are traditionally provided by cities to 1 million residents in the unincorporated area. Those include fire protection, roads and other public works, parks and recreation, and planning and development.