Ontario beekeepers and representatives of the Canadian Honey Council met with Canadian government officials on June 4th to discuss the latest significant bee die-off. A few commercial beekeepers explained how the devasting spring die-off coincided with the nearby planting of neonicotinoid coated corn seed. The same scenario has been reported countless times in Europe and the United States. The main problem appears to be the neonicotinoid pesticide being released during the planting, becoming airborn and travelling more than a mile. Some reports claim the pesticide can travel much further in dry, windy conditions. The physical effect on bees is rather violent convulsions leading to paralysis. As a result the neonicotinoid pesticides have been banned or restricted in a number of European countries including most recently France and Poland. A number of the Ontario beekeepers effected by this latest poisoning are financially devastated with little or no recourse. The beekeepers are asking for a moratorium on neonicotinoid use and further impartial testing of the effects of these insecticides.
Below is the link to the audio version of this meeting between the Ontario beekeepers and the government officials. Although a bit boring to begin with once the beekeepers begin speaking the reality of the suffering caused by the use of neonicotinoid pesticides becomes all too clear.
I hear over and over again from beekeeping experts who claim there is no validity to the negative results from the neonicotinoid testing. They find fault in every single test done. My question to them is where were they when the initial testing for the approval of the neonicotinoids was done. The insufficient short term testing carried out by the companies (Bayer, Monsanto..) that stood to make millions from the sales of the product were at best flawed. Neonicotinoid pesticides are produced from tobacco plants. The denial of the negative effects of these pesticides sounds very much like the denial of the tobacco industry of the negative effects of smoking.