It’s been a hard couple of years for pesticides kills in Ontario. David Schuitt in Elmwood estimates he lost 37 million bees in 2012 and he’s not alone. The spring planting season saw a number of apiaries in Southwestern Ontario wiped out by residue from a synthetic nicotine-based pesticide that’s applied to corn seed before it’s sold. The planting machinery kicks up a lot of toxic dust that coats everything around these field. The bees load up on nectar and pollen from dusted plants and take it back to the hives. The hives get wiped out.
The Ontario government set up a working group to look into this and make recommendations. Unfortunately, the much ballyhooed Bee Health Working Group seems almost doomed to do nothing substantive. There are 30+ members of this group: 3 beekeepers, 3 members of the pesticide industry and the rest are farmers and government representatives. It seems kind of stacked in favour of the status quo and it hasn’t disappointed.
Their second meeting was held in Guelph last Friday. Dan Davidson, President of the Ontario Beekeepers Association is one of the beeks on the panel and he told CBC’s Ontario Morning all about it this morning (Sorry, there’s no way to disable autoplay on the clip):
The petition that Dan mentions is here. I’m of the opinion that internet petitions aren’t worth the paper that they’re written on, but it certainly can’t hurt to sign it. You know what really has an impact? A physical letter. Write the Premier here:
Kathleen Wynne, Premier
Toronto ON M7A 1A1
You can also phone her office: 416-325-1941