Opinions, studies on neonicotinoids contradictory

Farmers, apiculturists and ag researchers say many studies citing harm to bee populations don’t hold up

Ontario’s plan to restrict neonicotinoid use is on track now that a request to appeal the new regulations was denied, but the debate is far from over. Ontario farmers cannot use the seed treatments on 50 percent of their crops this year and on any of them next year unless they submit crop and soil […] Read more


What’s the buzz about?

BeeConnected is the latest software created to assist farmers with better on-farm practices. It enables communication between beekeepers, sprayer operators and farmers. CropLife Canada and the Canadian Honey Council worked together to develop the free app. It shares information of farm pesticide activities and beehive locations with registered users. The app will provide information through […] Read more


Bee deaths reported low this winter

After years of severe winter losses, Ontario bee colonies look great this spring as the vast majority of hives survived the winter. On Tibor Szabo’s beekeeping operation, near Moffat, Ont., essentially every hive is still alive. “I’m about 99 percent (survival),” said Szabo, Ontario Beekeepers’ Association (OBA) president. Winter losses weren’t quite as low at […] Read more



Leafcutter bees operate in the dark

BROOKS, Alta. — Leafcutter bees are integral to the production of alfalfa seed, but they go unrecognized in national data on pollination related to agriculture. Bee researcher Shelley Hoover of Alberta Agriculture said leafcutters pollinate alfalfa as well as southern Alberta’s valuable seed canola crops, and statistically recognizing their value could leverage research money as it […] Read more


The reasons queen bees are dying sooner

Not long ago, queen bees lasted two to three years before a beekeeper had to replace them. But they’re not living that long any more and beekeepers are asking why. “I don’t know if you get a year and a half any more…. So. What’s going on? Why are the queens not lasting?” asked Bryan […] Read more



Thinking of getting into bees? Here’s what you need to know

This year, Deb Krause hopes to dip her toe into beekeeping The Thorhild, Alta., market gardener wants a colony of bees to pollinate her garden and offer a bit of honey for her Community Supported Agriculture boxes. “I’m hoping it will give an extra boost of pollinators around,” said Krause, who hand pollinates the squash […] Read more


Queen bees dying sooner. Here’s why

Not long ago, queen bees lasted two to three years before a beekeeper had to replace them. But they’re not living that long any more and beekeepers are asking why. “I don’t know if you get a year and a half any more…. So. What’s going on? Why are the queens not lasting?” asked Bryan […] Read more


Ontario beekeepers dispute latest neonic study

A Health Canada study on neonicotinoid seed treatments has irritated beekeepers in Ontario and delighted defenders of the technology. However, it’s probably premature to be outraged or to celebrate because Health Canada will release two more reports on neonicotinoids later this year. The Pest Management Regulatory Agency, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the State […] Read more



Honeybee colonies show increase despite ‘bee apocalypse’ reports

The opening line of an article posted on CBC News’s website last May summarized a commonly held belief about honeybees: “The collapse of bee colonies nationwide (in Canada) is well-established and beyond dispute.” A provocative lead, but not true. Statistics Canada data shows that honeybee colony numbers have increased steadily from 637,920 colonies in 2011 […] Read more


Neonics benefit corn, soybean growers: PMRA

Health Canada has determined that neonicotinoid seed treatments do provide economic value for Canadian corn and soybean growers. For corn, the national economic benefit is $74.2 to $83.3 million annually. “Or about 3.2 to 3.6 percent of the national farmgate value for corn in 2013,” the PMRA said. “The majority of these benefits appeared to […] Read more