Friday, March 13, 2015

Beekeepers and grain farmers remain at odds

The Ontario Beekeepers Association is not impressed with recent proposals from Grain Farmers of Ontario.

“Their proposal relies too heavily on voluntary compliance. It’s an unacceptably high-risk approach to pollinator protection,” said OBA president Tibor Szabo.

He also noted the Grain Farmers proposals are voluntary and don’t address concerns that neonicitinoid seed-treatment pesticides can linger in the soil and water.

“There is nothing in this plan that promotes the targeted use of pesticides to replace the current system of using pesticides prophylactically on nearly 100% of all the corn planted in Ontario.

“OBA recognizes that some of GFO’s suggestions could be positive supplements to Ontario’s plan,” the statement from the beekeepers says.

“ However, the emphasis on tracking pesticide drift ignores the problem with persistent, systemic pesticides that get into our soil and water and expose bees to poison from dust, pollen and standing water,“ says Szabo.

The Ontario government plan is to stop using neonicitinoids on 80 per cent of planted acreage by 2017. They have been used on almost all corn planted.