Category: Bees

The More We Know: Measuring Stressors on Bee Health

Honeybees have played an important role in Canadian agriculture for decades, with past stressors and tough seasons humming along under the radar, for the most part. That all changed a few years ago when it became a political imperative to “save the bees.” Maryam Sultan, bee health associate with Bayer, recently discussed the subject of… Read more »

Pollinator Health is not Just Farmers’ Responsibility

The Ontario government recently rolled out its Pollinator Health Action Plan, a draft of which had been put forward in January, 2016, and up for discussion. The final product, found here, is remarkably similar, and, as many have commented, it’s a solid, balanced approach to improving honeybee and native pollinator health in the province. The… Read more »

Ontario Announces Details of Pollinator Health Plan

Ontario has released its Pollinator Health Action Plan which includes focusing on four key stressors to honeybee and pollinator health and financial support and increased education for beekeepers. A re-iterated aspirational goal to “restore, enhance and protect” 1 million acres of pollinator habitat is also included in the plan. Found here, the plan is a mix of… Read more »

Ontario to Update Ontario Wildlife Damage Compensation Program

Ontario’s government, in conjunction with the federal government, has announced updates to the Ontario Wildlife Damage Compensation Program (OWDCP). The updated OWDCP will clearly define the requirements farmers need to meet to receive compensation for losses of livestock, poultry, and bees/hives. The OWDCP is part of the GrowingForward 2 program. Changes are said to be… Read more »

Next Phase of Neonic Regs Too Restrictive on Farmers & Ag Professionals: Thompson

Ontario MPP for Huron-Bruce, Lisa Thompson, has launched an initiative aimed at addressing concerns that the next phase of Ontario’s neonicotinoid regulations will unfairly limit farmers’ choices and the professional reach of agriculture professionals. Last week, Thompson introduced to the provincial legislature Bill 4, the Supporting Agricultural Experts in Their Field Act, 2016, in counter to changes… Read more »

Planter Modification Can Fix Neonic Problem, says University of Guelph Researcher

If agriculture wants to reduce the potential impact neonicotinoid seed treatments have on pollinators, it has to modify standard vacuum planters. That’s the verdict from Ridgetown College, University of Guelph researcher Dr. Art Schaafsma. “Essentially, what we’ve created is a drift problem,” says Schaafsma, who spoke publicly about his research for the first time last… Read more »

Farming Gets Top Marks In Canadian Survey But Red Flags Appear

61% of Canadians have a “very or somewhat” positive impression of Canadian agriculture according to a new national survey released by Farm and Food Care (FFC) and the newly minted Canadian Centre For Food Integrity. That’s the highest ranking Canadians have given farming since FFC started asking Canadians for their impression of the industry 10… Read more »

Czech Scientists Harness Sun’s Energy to Offer “Anti-Vorroa” Hive

Imagine finding a plate-sized tick on your person. That’s the rather disturbing — and epic — analogy Ontario’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs gives to offer a visual understanding of the size of a varroa mite compared to its host, the beloved bee. Though not a tick, Varroa destructor are of the class Arachnida, (along with… Read more »

Honey Nut Cheerios’ Buzz is Disappearing, But Honeybees Are Not

“The world’s bee population is in crisis and Honey Nut Cheerios is coming to the rescue, minus its perky mascot.” — Toronto Star, March 15, 2016 Move over Kathleen Wynne and Glen Murray. There’s a new saviour of bees in town. General Mills Canada announced last week “Buzz” the honeybee will disappear from its Honey… Read more »

Entomologist Recommends Proactive Approach to Neonics on the Prairies

Regulatory restrictions are not on the radar in Manitoba, but the province’s agriculture entomologist suggests farmers in Western Canada should ask themselves “why?” before using neonicotinoid seed treatments. The Ontario and Quebec governments are restricting the use of insecticide-treated seed in response to concerns about neonics hurting bee health, but there haven’t been the same problems with pollinator populations… Read more »

Cold Weather Needed to Manage Pest Pressure, says OMAFRA Entomologist

A recent spurt of colder weather in Ontario is bad news for pests and good news for farmers, says OMAFRA Field Entomologist Tracey Baute. “It makes entomologists a little nervous, especially when we don’t see winter arriving until mid January,” says Baute who’s concerned that the warm fall and late-arriving winter of 2016 will mean… Read more »

Ontario Seeks Feedback on Pollinator Health Plan

After implementing restrictions on the use of corn and soybean seed treatments last summer, the Ontario government is now seeking public feedback on a “Pollinator Health Action Plan.” The plan is seen as the third component in the province’s pollinator health strategy, with the other two pillars being restrictions on neonicotinoid seed treatments and the… Read more »

Neonic Battle Returns to Court March 9

Grain Farmers of Ontario is heading back to court to fight another round in its court battle to contest the province’s new seed treatment regulations. GFO will be in court on March 9th. “We are pleased that the Ontario Court of Appeal has agreed to hear our case and to move quickly on the issue,” GFO… Read more »

Will New Reports Turn the Tide in the Neonic Debate?

It’s been a good news week for Grain Farmers of Ontario chair Mark Brock. But he’s unsure how positive reports on the impacts neonicotinoid seed treatments have on pollinators will affect provincial grain farmers. Earlier this week, reports from Health Canada and the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) delivered a one-two punch supporting the embattled… Read more »

Standing on Principle, Neonic Court Battle Will Continue, says GFO Chair

Ontario Grain Farmers lost the first round of its court battle to contest the province’s new seed treatment regulations, but the fight will continue. “At the end of the day this has always been a fight on principle,” says GFO Chair Mark Brock. “I don’t think we want to tuck tail and run because we got… Read more »