Death of bees symptom of a larger problem with insecticides

This refers to the article ‘Insecticide linked to mass die-off of bees‘, Arnprior Chronicle-Guide, Nov. 7. To quote this article: “In September Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) issued to farmers a series of recommendations against certain insecticides known as neonicotinoids.” This article continues: “Is it enough to recommend against the usage of neonicotinoids?” As a farmer (beekeeper), I have read this ‘Notice of Intent’ bulletin from Health Canada’s PMRA and do not see or read any such recommendations against the use of ‘neonics‘.

The only recommendation, as I read it, is that PMRA is “requiring the use of safer dust-reducing seed from lubricants.”

During 2012, PMRA received a significant number of honey bee mortality reports from across Canada, primarily from “beekeepers in corn-growing regions of Ontario involving over 40 beekeepers and 240 different bee yard locations.” PMRA’s research found “approximately 70 per cent of the affected area bee samples tested positive for residues of neonicotinoid insecticides used to treat corn seeds. Interestingly, the following comments are “food for thought” on the subject of neonicotinoids.

PMRA has yet to release bee mortality data for 2013, yet we are aware of major losses amongst some beekeepers, e.g. one beekeeper near Stratford lost all of his hives – 600. This likely represents 25 million bees, not counting the wild bees, butterflies, birds ingesting these poisons.

Many think of Mexico as being laggards on the banning of DDT, etc. Well, apparently they have announced a moratorium on these insecticides pending the outcome of litigations; Europe has a two-year moratorium in place.

Is this insecticide and its residues working up the food chain? As a beekeeper, it’s common for us to witness other insects, such as spiders, praying mantis, various flycatcher birds catching/eating our honey bees. Not to mention skunks and bears. What about human food? All beekeepers are negatively impacted by various mites, and it is my opinion that insecticides and herbicides are destroying biodiversity, weakening bee health, forcing beekeepers to shut down.


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Been a Beekeeper for 20 years
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