Bees, as pollinators, are essential to food production worldwide. So when solid evidence of a link between corn planting and bee deaths in Ontario and Quebec was found, farmers and industry recognized the need to look into how to manage the risk of bee exposure to a particular insecticide class called neonicotinoids.
As Steve Denys, of PRIDE Seeds and current past-president of the Canadian Seed Trade Association, explains in this video, neonicotinoid exposure is only one part of the risk bees currently face in North America. What’s more, there are several things farmers can do to lessen this risk — a change of planter lubricant and treating planting like a spray application, are just two examples. What Denys says we shouldn’t do is ban the insecticide. As he says in the video below, neonicotinoids are a valuable, low-risk option for Western and Eastern farmers alike. Banning the insecticide would mean having to use more toxic products or higher rates of chemical to make up the difference. Everything is about trade-offs — an outright ban on neonicotinoid seed treatment products is not without its own risks or costs.
If you cannot see the embedded video, click here.
A special thank you to Steve Denys, from Pride Seeds on this very informative interview.