Pesticides that contain nicotine will be phased out by 2021 in Canada in an effort to save honey bee colonies that have been declining in the past years in different parts of the world.
Today, the Pest Management Regulatory Agency of Canada will announce that three of the main current neonicotinoid pesticides that are approved for use in Canada will be phased out within a period of three years.
The agency already planned to phase out the pesticide in outdoor uses, meaning that spraying or pretreating seeds before they are planted will be banned.
Neonicotinoids, also known as neonics are used by hobby gardeners and farmers to keep away spider mites or aphids. But the chemicals can also weaken bees, which makes them prone to die from disease or bad weather.
The European Union has issued a similar ban which will start taking effect at the end of 2018.
Neonics Weaken the Bees
In the past 15 years, bee colonies have started collapsing. Studies linked the decrease in bee population to neonics and mites. Last year, at the International Union for Conservation of Nature, a task force updated a review of over 1,100 peer-reviewed research studies on the effect of neonicotinoids on bees, concluding that the chemicals harm bees.
Last month, the Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists reported that about half of the bees in Ontario died during the winter and a third of the bees all across the country died because of the cold winter.
The president of the Ontario Beekeepers Association and a beekeeper himself, Jim Coneybeare said that he would have seen such losses a decade ago, but “we wouldn’t have experienced what we did,” adding that neonics play a role in hurting the bees.
Coneybeare is appalled that the ban needs five years to be implemented.
Rex Austinwas born and raised in Thunder Bay Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior. Apart from running his own podcast (Ice Fishing And Other “Cool” Things), he spends his time canoeing and backpacking in Northern Ontario.. As a journalist Rex has published stories for Global News (Thunder Bay) we well as Buzz Feed and Joystiq. As a contributor to Great Lakes Ledger, Rex most covers science and health stories. Contact Rexhere