EDITORIAL: Neonicotinoids kill our bees

We have been hearing it for years: bee populations are decreasing.

A world without bees would most likely mean a world food crisis. Whether you think they are cute flying furry insects, or a totally terrifying sharp object with wings, bees play an important role in our ecosystem.

Realistically, there are only 42 species of bees out of nearly 1,000 that pollinate crops, flowers, and contribute to our gardens and farms. And, a majority of these species are facing a declining population. The most startling is the American bumblebee, which is facing imminent extinction from Canada.

With spring on its way, and gardeners purchasing greenery to plant in their plots, a warning has swept over social media. This warning seems mostly targeted at Home Depot, and is letting people know not to purchase plants containing neonicotinoids. According to Snopes, this warning is out of date, but the harm of neonicotinoids remains very real.

At this time last year, the European Union banned three neonicotinoids insecticides based on concerns that they were affecting bee populations. Neonicotinoid use remains legal in most parts of the United States. There are three important neonicotinoids currently approved for agricultural use in Canada, imidacloprid, clothianidin, and thiamethoxam.

Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency’s (PMRA) began investigating and analyzing these pesticides in 2012 after bee incident reports suggested that exposure to neonicotinoids in dust contributed to bee mortalities. After this happened, the PMRA “worked to help ensure risk mitigation measures were communicated to growers across Canada, and that a dust-reducing lubricant was readily available,” according to Health Canada.

So basically, it sounds like Health Canada knows that neonicotinoids harm bees, and instead of banning the pesticides that clearly have adverse reactions in our environment, they went on to try to make this awful stuff stick to our crops, rather than abolishing it to save the future of those very same crops. Oh, and between 2014 and 2017, during planting season, the number of incidents reporter were 70 to 92 per cent lower, compared to 2013.

I guess that’s another good reason to make sure you’re rinsing you veggies thoroughly. They are also used for other purposes, including killing insects in homes, controlling fleas on pets, and protecting trees from invasive insects such as the Emerald Ash borer. Health Canada says the neonicotinoids are used on corn and soybean crops.

The three neonicotinoids have also been found in waterbodies in areas of intensive agriculture. So, not only are neonicotinoids killing off our bees, they could be causing reaction in and around Canada’s most valuable resource.

Just Posted

Your weekly Mountain Minute

Golden’s 60-second news recap

An Everest fundraiser

Man set to climb elevation of Mt. Everest in one day to raise school lunch funds

Interior Health study offers take-home drug testing kits to spot fentanyl

Interior Health to evaluate safety of at home drug testing kits aimed at reducing fentanyl overdoses

Golden Fire Rescue training grounds get a facelift

Residents may have noticed some changes at the fire hall in the… Continue reading

Area A Aquatic Feasibility Advisory Committee appointed

Submitted A committee has been formed to look into the idea of… Continue reading

UPDATE: B.C. pilot killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Full-scale search underway for missing kayaker on Okanagan Lake

Kelowna Paddle Centre member Zygmunt Janiewicz, 71, failed to return from his ‘daily kayak’ on the lake

Most Read