Taking Action on Bee Mortalities
Ontario Government Creating Cross-Industry Working Group
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.
- Three thousand registered beekeepers manage approximately 100,000 honey bee colonies in Ontario. Honey production contributes $25 million to the province’s economy.
- The Ontario government is also working with the University of Guelph on research projects to support the health of bees and other pollinators.
“The creation of this working group is a vital step in our efforts to protect the environment and Ontario's agri-food sector. We look forward to working together to find solutions that will support a thriving, healthy bee population that will in turn support a strong, successful agri-food sector.”
“We look forward to working with partners to find alternatives for insect treatment to better protect bee health and prevent the losses of honey bees and other insect pollinators that we have seen during the last two seasons.”
“Grain farmers want to be part of the solution — we are actively supporting research to help ensure the health of pollinators and are optimistic that the working group will lead to a practical, balanced approach that determines Best Management Practices that ensures the health of honey bees and provides farmers with the necessary tools to grow competitive corn crops with their U.S. counterparts.”