Beekeeper says pesticide killing millions of bees

Author: 
CBC News
Source: 
CBC News
Date published: 
Wed, 2013-08-14

 Elmwood area beekeeper says the Ontario government needs to act now to ban a pesticide that he claims has killed millions of his honeybees and millions of others in the province.

Dave Schuit, owner of Saugeen Country Honey Inc., said the province needs to declare a moratorium on the neonicotinoid pesticide while the government investigates its affects on the bee population. Schuit and the Ontario Beekeepers Association have also launched a petition to get the province to ban the pesticide at least for now.

"It's unbelievable. I thought the government would be standing up and taking a stand and saying let's put a hold on this chemical until we do more research," Schuit told The Morning Edition host Craig Norris on Wednesday.

Last month, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynn said she was forming an expert panel that includes scientists, beekeepers and pesticide manufactures to provide advice on how to prevent bee mortalities and how to "mitigate the potential risk to honey bees exposed to neonicotinoid."

"The Ontario government recognizes the vitally important role that pollinators and beekeepers play in maintaining a healthy and productive agri-food sector," Gabrielle Gallant, a spokeswoman for the agriculture ministry, said in a statement to CBC.

They plan is to have recommendations by spring of 2014. But Schuit said that by then, it could be too late.

“It’s like this, if you would see 70 per cent of your cattle dead would you say let’s do more research and see if this really is a chemical that’s killing my cattle or would you say let’s put a hold on it," Schuit said.

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