Canada - Federal Pest Management Regulatory Agency reports 80% drop in in-season bee mortality over two-year period

Publish time: 18th June, 2015      Source: Guelph, Ontario, Canada
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Canada - Federal Pest Management Regulatory Agency reports 80% drop in in-season bee mortality over two-year periodCanada - Federal Pest Management Regulatory Agency reports 80% drop in in-season bee mortality over two-year period" title="Share this link on Facebook">Guelph, Ontario, CanadaJune 18, 2015New data from the Government of Canada’s Pest ManagementRegulatory Agency shows an 80% in-season bee mortality decrease for the 2015 corn and soybeanplanting season, compared to 2013. The 2014 season saw a 70% decline in bee mortality, suggesting thefederal government’s leadership on neonicotinoids through improved best practices has been successful.The Government of Ontario’s Provincial Apiarist, in their 2014 report, suggested measures taken by grainfarmers contributed to the reduction in bee mortality. Despite this, farmers remain in the province’scrosshairs while they ignore the self-reported poor hive management practices of beekeepers, whichbeekeepers believe contributed to higher than normal mortalities in years prior.“Ontario’s rush to be the first in North America to restrict neonicotinoids is on track to cost ruralOntario’s economy more than $600 million dollars a year, to solve a problem that it appears the Federalgovernment has already addressed,” says Mark Brock, Chair of Grain Farmers of Ontario.The Government of Ontario’s rush to regulate treated seeds, without scientific basis, is dividing ruralOntario and further exacerbating the urban-rural divide. At the same time, agenda-driven, politicalappointees are fracturing rural relationships.Tibor Szabo, a provincial government appointed advisor on pesticides and President of the OntarioBeekeepers Association, has stated that “bees continue to die from the overuse of neonicotinoids,”despite the fact that his members are reporting dramatically reduced in-season mortality rates to thegovernment.In a recent interview, Szabo also issued a veiled threat to Ontario grain farmers, saying “when you applychemicals to the environment, the Canadian Law is whoever released the chemical is legally responsiblefor whatever effects there are,” while suggesting farmers are legally liable for the health of pollinatorswithin a five kilometre radius of their farmland.“Ontario beekeepers readily admit to the province that poor hive management by beekeepers in fourareas (starvation, weak colonies, fungal infections, and mite infestation), and acts of God (weather) arealso likely to blame for bee moralities,” says Brock. “Farmers have done their part on the pesticidemanagement front – when will beekeepers be expected to do theirs?”Grain Farmers of OntarioGrain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s28,000 corn, soybean and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover 5 million acres of farm land acrossthe province, generate over $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic outputand are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province.More news from: Grain Farmers of OntarioWebsite: http://www.grainfarmersontario.comPublished: June 18, 2015The news item on this page is copyright by the organization where it originatedFair use notice