From FCC Express, by Trudy Kelly Forsythe
On Sept. 12, Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency posted a notice of intent announcing actions aimed at protecting bees from exposure to neonicotinoid pesticides.
In the notice, PMRA says it has determined that current agricultural practices related to the use of neonicotinoid treated corn and soybean seed are affecting the environment due to their impacts on bees and other pollinators.
It goes on to outline the protective measures it intends to implement for the 2014 planting season for corn and soybean.
The measures include requiring:
- use of safer dust-reducing seed flow lubricants
- adherence to safer seed planting practices
- enhanced warnings for new pesticide and seed package labels
- providing updated information to support the continued need for neonicotinoid treatment on up to 100 per cent of the corn seed and 50 per cent of the soybean seed
PMRA is also proposing to implement label improvements similar to those announced by the United States Environmental Protection Agency on Aug. 15.
The agency is working with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, provincial governments, growers, beekeepers and the pesticide industry to determine if other options exist that would protect the environment while allowing the continued use of these seed treatments for corn and soybeans. As well, in co-operation with the U.S. EPA, PMRA is re-evaluating all uses of neonicotinoid insecticides for better understanding and management of potential risks neonicotinoid pesticides may pose to long-term bee health.
PMRA is asking stakeholders and other interested parties for comments on its plans for stricter controls on the use of neonicotinoid-treated corn and soybean seed. Comments can be sent until Dec. 12 to firstname.lastname@example.org and must include your full name and organization, phone number and complete mailing address or email address.
A Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists report on honey bee overwintering losses in Canada reveals the wintering loss of honey bee colonies across Canada was 28.6 per cent over the winter of 2012 – 2013. Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick experienced the greatest losses at 46.4 per cent, 37.9 per cent and 37.4 per cent respectively. Beekeepers say an acceptable level of loss is 15 per cent.