TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Thousands of bees were found dead outside of a Cape Coral home over the weekend, according to NBC affiliate WBBH.

Homeowners Ben Giddin and his wife are local beekeepers and have had hives on their property for over 12 years.

But when they found the dead bees, their initial thought was the local mosquito control company spraying the neighborhood may have caused the bees to die.

“Once I saw that bees had their tongue sticking out, it was clear they had been poisoned,” Ben told WBBH.

But the cause of the bee’s death was not from mosquito spray. It was from pesticides.

When bees land on flowers to feel or pollinate, they pick up the pesticides from that plant and carry it back to their hives, passing the chemicals on to other bees.

“If you are going to treat your garden, please use it responsibly — please use the appropriate amount and do not spray the flowers directly because so much of our wildlife and bees depend on it,” Ben said.