Observations regarding the Ontario bee death issue By Craig Hunter, OFVGA – research@ofvga.org

Ontario has experienced significant bee deaths in 2012 and 2013. In 2012, the initial premise was there was some relationship to a highly unusual early spring and sudden freeze. However, significant bee deaths were also reported in 2013, a ‘normal’ spring year.

In 2012 (results not yet made available for 2013) it was reported that about 70% of the dead bees had detectable levels of neonicotenoid insecticide residues. There were also concerns raised about levels (undetermined) emanating from corn and soybean planters, arising from seed treatments. To many, this was enough to show cause and effect.

There is a serious anomaly though, since the same seed treatments are used in Western Canada on about 1 million acres of corn and 16 million acres of canola- without similar reports of bee mortality. There are in fact far more kept bees in the West than in Ontario. Another anomaly is that the deaths of bees in Ontario are not uniform from keeper to keeper, or region to region. This is in spite of the virtually uniform distribution of the use of the seed treatments. Obviously, some other fact(s) is/are in play to explain such randomness of effect.

for the rest please read here: http://www.ofvga.org/readnews.php?ref=3&ID=2013-09-09 10:25:01.

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