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.
Ontario is bringing together a group of experts to provide advice on how to prevent bee mortalities.
The Bee Health Working Group will be comprised of beekeepers, farmers, agri-business representatives, scientists, and staff from both federal and provincial government agencies. Drawing on a broad range of expertise, the working group will provide recommendations on how to mitigate the potential risk to honey bees from exposure to neonicotinoid -- a pesticide used for corn and soybeans.
The working group will meet for the first time this month and provide its recommendations by spring 2014.
Supporting the province's agri-businesses while protecting the environment is part of the Ontario government's plan to create a fair and prosperous society.
Southwestern Energy (SWN) Resources is suing New Brunswick citizens attempting to protect their land, air, and water from the impacts of fracking by protesting seismic testing. In addition to naming 13 individuals, SWN named “Jane Doe” and “John Doe” as being responsible for costs they are claiming are caused by protestors. This Wednesday in Moncton, Jane Doe will speak out in response to SWN’s suit.
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.
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.
Come out to hear about actions taking place here in Atlantic Canada to stop fracking from damaging our precious water resources! Sierra Club Atlantic will share stories of what local citizens are doing to stop fracking, followed by a screening of Josh Fox’s Gasland 2.
The Garden of Eat’n Café & Food Fare event will support our efforts to educate people about the risks of fracking and to defend Jane Doe, an indigenous community leader who is protecting the voices of the people speaking out against fracking in New Brunswick.
Please RSVP by calling (902) 431-8050 so we make sure no one is turned away!
WHAT: Gasland 2 Film Screening and Fracking Action Coffee House
Sierra Club Canada's Ontario Chapter was instrumental in the decision by our provincial government to shut down all coal plants. The day has come! Toronto environmental lawyer Dianne Saxe has a nice piece on her website about it:
Goodbye to Nanticoke, and all that coal
by DIANNE SAXE on JANUARY 15, 2014
January 8 marked the last day of operation of the Nanticoke Generating Station, the last operating coal-fired electrical generating facility in southern Ontario. This latest shut down will help mark 2014 as the year Ontario will become a coal-free jurisdiction.
Commercial fishing boats make their way back up the Fraser River to Steveston Harbour to offload sockeye salmon near the end of a 32-hour fishery window in Richmond, B.C., on Thursday August 26, 2010.
(DARRYL DYCK FOR THE GLOBE AND MAIL)
The federal Conservative government consulted with both environmental organizations and industry associations before making controversial changes to the Fisheries Act last year, but listened primarily to industry.
When a section of one of the government’s massive 2012 omnibus budget bills limited the scope of the legislation governing the protection of fish and their habitats, some ecologists said it was the biggest setback to conservation law in more than 50 years.