Thiamethoxam can reduce the chances of bumblebee queens starting new colonies by about 25 pe cent, a University of Guelph study has found. |  File photo

Neonic risk to bees found

A food safety group in Europe says most uses of neonicotinoid pesticides represent a risk to wild bees and honeybees. The European Food Safety Authority has updated its risk assessment of three neonicotinoids: clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam. The three pesticides are currently subject to restrictions in the EU because of the threats they pose to […] Read more

Fruit, vegetable and potato producers are the main users of imidacloprid, but prairie growers use it on wheat crops to control wireworm. | PMRA photo

No imidacloprid decision expected till next year

Health Canada proposed last November to ban imidacloprid, an insecticide applied to fruit, vegetables, potatoes and many other crops across the country. Twelve months have passed since the announcement, but Canadian farmers who use the insecticide will have to wait another year to know if it’s banned or not. “Health Canada is reviewing an extensive […] Read more

Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan found that songbirds given small doses of imidacloprid  
lost weight and lost their sense of direction, preventing them from migrating south.
|  University of Saskatchewan photo

Sask. study links neonicotinoids to songbird health

Scientists have conducted dozens of studies on neonicotinoid seed treatments and the potential impact on bee health. Now, researchers at the University of Saskatchewan have found that canola seed coated with imidacloprid, a type of neonicotinoid, can be toxic to songbirds. “Imidacloprid dosed birds exhibited significant declines in fat stores and body mass and failed […] Read more


Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan have found that canola seed coated with imidacloprid, a type of neonicotinoid, can be toxic to songbirds. | File photo

Neonics linked to songbird deaths

Scientists have conducted dozens of studies on neonicotinoid seed treatments and the potential impact on bee health. Now, researchers at the University of Saskatchewan have found that canola seed coated with imidacloprid, a type of neonicotinoid, can be toxic to songbirds. “Imidacloprid dosed birds exhibited significant declines in fat stores and body mass and failed […] Read more

On Oct. 9, CBC news posted a story on its website suggesting honey is contaminated with insecticides. The CBC story was factual but omitted a key point. The levels of neonics found in the honey samples were insignificant.
 | File photo

Neonic levels in honey below accepted guidelines: expert

The Swiss study was misleading and the methodology used to measure concentrations was ‘illogical,’ says toxicologist

On Oct. 9, CBC news posted a story on its website suggesting honey is contaminated with insecticides. The story was based on a Swiss study that analyzed honey samples from around the globe. The study, published in the journal Science, found that 75 percent of honey contains neonicotinoids, a class of insecticides commonly used as […] Read more


Ontario researcher Nigel Raine, at the University of Guelph, said thiamethoxam can reduce the chances of bumblebee queens starting new colonies by about 25 per cent. | File photo

New bee study points finger at neonicotinoid

WINNIPEG, Aug. 15 – A commonly used neonicotinoid pesticide is being blamed in a new report for increasing bumblebee’s risk of extinction. Ontario researcher Nigel Raine, at the University of Guelph, said thiamethoxam can reduce the chances of bumblebee queens starting new colonies by about 25 per cent. The results of the study were published […] Read more

The Pest Management Regulatory Agency’s decision last fall to phase out imidacloprid within three to five years continues to reverberate through the agricultural community.
 | File photo

Neonic hearings get variety of opinions

The Pest Management Regulatory Agency’s decision last fall to phase out imidacloprid within three to five years continues to reverberate through the agricultural community. The House of Commons agriculture committee began examining the issue during meetings last week, although the PMRA is a Health Canada agency. The PMRA made its decision based on harmful effects […] Read more

In a release, the NFU said it backs Health Canada's proposed phase out of imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid insecticide used on many Canadian crops. | File photo

NFU urges ban on one neonic insecticide

The National Farmers Union says imidacloprid should be banned. In a release, the NFU said it backs Health Canada’s proposed phase out of imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid insecticide used on many Canadian crops. “We believe this proposed decision is a positive step and we fully support it,” the NFU said in a submission to Health Canada. […] Read more


Scientists with Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency determined that levels of imidacloprid in water bodies near agricultural land are unacceptably high, which is putting aquatic insects at risk and a threat to animals that depend on those insects for food. | File photo

PMRA’s proposed neonic ban called political

In November, Health Canada said that a nation-wide ban of imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid insecticide, was necessary because the chemical is a threat to aquatic insects. In late December a University of Guelph expert said the government’s conclusion was an “over-reaction” and a mistake. “I’m not in agreement with the decision to ban (imidacloprid)…. I don’t […] Read more

The area around Leamington, Ont., has a large number of greenhouses.
 Environment Canada believes those greenhouses, which produce vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers, are contributing to high levels of insecticides in surface water in the surrounding area.
 | Google Earth imagery

Greenhouse connection to neonic contamination disputed

The area around Leamington, Ont., has a large number of greenhouses. Environment Canada believes those greenhouses, which produce vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers, are contributing to high levels of insecticides in surface water in the surrounding area. Environment Canada scientists collected surface water samples from 15 locations across Ontario in 2012-14, including a […] Read more