NEONICOTINOID

According To the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) of Health Canada, during 2012, the Agency received a significant number of honey bee mortality reports from across Canada. An unusually high number of reports of honey bee mortality were received from beekeepers in corn growing regions of Ontario (southern). The majority of reports were from southern Ontario involving over 40 beekeepers and 240 different bee-yard locations. Timing and location of these honey bee mortalities appeared to coincide with planting corn seed treated with insecticides.

Residue analysis was conducted to determine whether bees were exposed to the insecticides used on treated corn seed. Information from Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Foodland Ministry of Environment confirmed large areas of corn planted near these affected bee-yards and that the insecticide coated corn seed was planted with negative pressure (vacuum) planters and talc seed flow lubricants. On a bee-yard basis, these residues (clothianididn) were detected in approximately 80% of the bee-yards where dead bee samples were collected and analysed.

PMRA implemented “Best Management Practices” however, major losses appear to be continuing and bear in mind that PMRA are not studying the effects on wild bees, butterflies and birds, let alone humans. It is common for us to see praying mantis, spiders and fly catchers picking off our honey bees and we all are aware of the decline in the Monarch Butterfly.

Europe has placed a moratorium on the use of this pesticide. It’s time for Canada to take action. Please call or email your Federal MP, Provincial MPP or Pest Management Regulatory Agency at:
1-800-267-6317 and pmra.infoserv@hc-sc.gc.ca.

Researched and submitted by Russell Corbett of Russell’s Honey.