Tibor Szabo, president of the Ontario Beekeepers Association, is calling for a complete ban on neonicitinoid pesticides. They are the most effective seed treatment available to corn and soybean producers.
Szabo repeated his call for a neonic ban after CropLife Canada and the Canadian Honey Council rolled out a new app that enables crop farmers to know the location of hives within five kilometres of their fields.
Szabo says the Bee Connected app could create a false sense of security.
CropLife says the app allows farmers to register the location of their hives, to alert beekeepers to the application of neonics and to communicate with each other through a secure internet connection.
Szabo said bees regularly forage as far as five kilometers from the hive and it’s impossible for beekeepers to avoid all the various routes of exposure.
He says the best option is for farmers to stop using neonics and says they may be paying for neonics when there are no crop-munching insects in their soils.
This kind of talk generates a lot of heat, as do the court challenges the Grain Farmers of Ontario has taken against provincial regulations to sharply curb the use of neonicitinoids.
At least CropLife Canada and the Canadian Honey Council are making an effort to get neighbours talking to each other about their concerns. That, to me, is a lot more sensible than what we've been witnessing so far on this issue.