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.
A Thunder Bay city councillor wants environmental groups to take over the Experimental Lakes Area — but one of the groups he's named is throwing cold water on the idea.
Federal government support for the Experimental Lakes Area in northwestern Ontario is set to expire by the end of the month and there's been no announcement of any deal for another operator to take over the project.
Thunder Bay councillor Larry Hebert said it's time for groups such as Greenpeace or the Sierra Club to get involved.
“Why haven't they come to the fore? It is important, and I don't disagree with that, but if it's that important let them … put their money where their mouth is,” he said.
The executive director of the Sierra Club of Canada said it's not a significant cost for the federal government to keep the ELA open. However John Bennett said his group’s budget could not support it.
There is no denying the amount of fight still left in Farley Mowat. Just let him get going on the “evil forces” who are sacrificing the environment in their lust for oil.
The writer, conservationist and conversationalist, who completed what he declared to be his final book nearly three years ago at the age of 89, is irate. A proposal to put an offshore oil and gas well in the Gulf of St. Lawrence will not go away, and Mr. Mowat is aghast at the depths of human folly.
Back in 1984, he wrote a book called Sea of Slaughter that detailed a litany of environmental wrongs in the gulf and on the Atlantic seaboard. The looming development, known as the Old Harry Prospect, holds the potential to unleash more of the same, Mr. Mowat said this week in a telephone interview from Cape Breton, where he and his wife, Claire, spend their summers.
There are warnings the tidal bore in the Bay of Fundy will light up by itself if a plan to dump more than four-million litres of fracking waste water into the ocean goes ahead.
The water, which has some level of naturally occurring radiation in it, is in a holding tank right now, but Atlantic Industrial Services plans to dump that water into the Debert sewer system if it can get approval.
The district manager for the provincial environment department’s Truro office has given the dump the thumbs up, but nothing is official until the Municipality of Colchester says so.
The municipality is holding public hearings on the topic tonight and tomorrow.
There are concerns fracking companies don’t reveal all the chemicals used in their “special sauce” recipe that they use to get the gas out of the ground.