Pollinators are very important for a sustainable food supply: about 70% of our crop species are dependent on pollinators, including bees and honey bees. Abnormal high rates of bee deaths have had beekeepers in Ontario and around the world alarmed for the past decade or so.
In Part 2 of our series on Bee Health & Neonicotinoids, we speak with Dennis Edell, an Ontario beekeeper, social marketer, founding member of EPODE International Network, and board member of the Ontario Beekeepers Association. Dennis explains the phenomenon and history of “colony collapse disorder” (abnormally high rates of bees dying off) and the disorder’s relationship with neonicotinoids. He explains how—in principle—these kinds of pesticide are a “great idea” because farmers are not spraying all over the place, but how they’re extremely poisonous for insects, including pollinators.
Dennis points out how Ontario is leading jurisdiction taking action on this issue, but how we are still are a long way away from not having to worry about the dangers of these pesticides. He recommends looking at future pesticides in detail and with skepticism in terms of their safety for pollinators— and having a better screening system in place for future pesticides.