Food production and bees: Believe it or not, the two go hand-in-hand … like milk and honey.
Bees serve an all-important role in transferring pollen and seeds from one flower to another - a practice that supports at least 30 per cent of the world's food crops and 90 per cent of our wild plants, according to the U.S.-based Natural Resources Defense Council.
But despite a bee's integral role in cross-pollination, news that their population is on the decline is unlikely to come up at the dinner table.
But it is catching the attention of governments around the world, including in Europe, the U.S, as well as here at home, in Canada.
Toronto, May 31, 2013 – The provincial Cabinet announced today its approval of sweeping exemptions for industry under the Endangered Species Act, 2007 (ESA). Environmental organizations are incensed at the government’s abdication of its responsibility to protect and recover Ontario’s endangered plants and animals.
At its December meeting the City of Mississauga’s Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC) passed on to Mississauga Council a recommendation to apply to add the City’s publicly owned Credit River and Etobicoke Creek valley lands to the Greenbelt. The Greenbelt resolution is on the Council agenda for its February 12th meeting. If successful, the Mississauga initiative will be the first addition to the Greenbelt under Ontario’s new Urban River Valley (URV) designation, enacted early last year. It will also mark the expansion of the Greenbelt into Ontario’s second most populous municipality.
Saturday Nov. 16 a group of volunteers in Peel brought a strong message to local MP's in Brampton. We participated in a "Bike for the Climate" event, riding the Etobicoke Creek Trail from MP Parm Gill's office to MP Kyle Seeback's office. We carried signs with the message that we don't want dirty tar sands or leaky pipelines running through our communities. We invited both MPs to participate but they didn't respond to our invitation.
Beekeeper John Van Blyderveen is troubled by the silence in his laneway in Ontario's Oxford County.
The familiar summertime buzz of bees hovering over the lush cherry blossom trees is noticeably absent. The flowers sit untouched.
"This is extremely unusual for this being a bee farm, there are no bees here," Blyderveen says. "This is really sad."
This increasingly familiar scene, which is playing out across North America and Europe, worries beekeepers, farmers and scientists who have been tracking the collapse of honeybee colonies over the past decade.
Sierra Club Canada and the Ontario Chapter submitted a detailed report on the Pickering Nuclear Station request for permit extension. Our research has turned up a good argument for immediate closure of the plant - certainly not operating it beyond its own planned obsolescence.
Following a massive, deadly fire sparked by the derailment of a train in Quebec, questions are being asked about the safety of hazardous goods rail networks in British Columbia.
Early Saturday morning, a parked train carrying crude oil rolled away and crashed, sparking multiple explosions and a major fire in the community of Lac-Mégantic. Thirteen people have been confirmed dead and around 50 remain missing as of Monday.
The incident has shone the spotlight on the contentious political debate over oil transportation and Canada's rapidly expanding oil-by-rail industry.