Saturday, May 5, 2012

Media Release from the Ontario Bee Association

This is a media release put out earlier this week by the OBA.  The problem with poisoned hives has grown over the last few days.  We all hope that the rain we've had recently will make a difference.  The results of the samples taken is still pending.

NEW THREAT to Ontario Bees!
After the most successful overwintering of honeybees in Ontario for a number of years, beekeepers are experiencing a new threat to their livelihood.

May 1, 2012, Milton, Ontario

The Ontario Beekeepers’ Association has received numerous reports of Honey Bees observed to have acute poisoning symptoms. To date we have had 50 + reports involving multiple hives per location. The beekeepers have reported the incidents to several agencies including Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs, Ministry Of the Environment and the Pest Management Regulatory Agency. In most of the cases Ministry inspectors have responded and taken samples for analysis. We are still awaiting the results which could determine the exact cause of the honey bee mortality.

Anecdotal observations show a strong link to the air seeding of treated corn. In all cases surrounding fields have been seeded within a day of the observed bee mortality. This phenomenon is especially troubling because the seeding season is really just beginning in the rest of the province.

The Ontario Beekeepers’ Association has been in contact with OMAFRA officials who have indicated serious concern and are working to determine the reason why this may be happening in such large numbers this year.

Because honey bees play such a large role in the pollination of crops in Ontario, and that this may indicate that other non-managed pollinators are also affected, the Ontario Beekeepers Association is sending out this press release to express our concern and to indicate our desire to find a solution to this troubling trend.

We understand that farmers are doing what they need to do to get their planting done in a timely manner, and the farmers that we have spoken to are equally concerned about inadvertently causing harm to pollinating insects. We would like to see all parties work together to find a solution.

The Ontario Beekeepers’ Association, established in 1881, is one of the oldest established farm organizations in Ontario. It is incorporated under the Agricultural and Horticultural Organizations Act (1987).

The Ontario Beekeepers’ Association’s mission is to ensure a thriving and sustainable beekeeping industry in Ontario. For more information please call Ontario Beekeepers Association.

For more information or media interviews, contact:
Nancy Comber, Promotions/Media Coordinator
Ontario Beekeepers’ Association
Telephone: 905-636-0661
email:  media@ontariobee.com
website:  ontariobee.com

Funding for this position is provided in part by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Agriculture Adaption Council's CanAdvance Program.
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