Archives – December, 2013
From: Farmers Weekly
Restrictions on the neonicotinoids as a crop protection product came into effect on 1 December – amid ongoing disagreement over whether a ban is justified.
Farm leaders have described the lack of an EU impact assessment to determine the effect of neonicotinoids on pollinators and crop production as “alarming”. But some scientific studies have blamed the use of neonicotinoid seed treatments for a decline in bee populations.
The NFU argues that the decline in bumblebees in Great Britain has slowed – and that the biodiversity of other wild bees has increased. It suggests that these biodiversity improvements are the result of agri-environmental measures put in place by farmers over the past two decades.
December 30, 2013
From: Farm Forum
by Blake Nicholson
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – North Dakota, which has long led the nation in honey production, has developed guidelines for farmers, ranchers, landowners and beekeepers to better protect honeybees and help reverse the effects of a mysterious disorder that has vastly eroded the insects’ population in recent years.
The goal of the North Dakota Pollinator Plan is to reduce the risk to honeybees from the use of pesticides and other farming practices while minimizing the impact of doing so on agricultural production, Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said.
December 27, 2013
From: Portage Online
The Manitoba Corn Growers Association has added its voice to the discussion about the link between neonicotinoid seed treatments and bee health.
Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency is considering taking measures to protect bee populations, as bee deaths, especially in Ontario, have been linked to exposure to “neonics.” The Ontario Beekeepers Association and environmental groups are calling on Health Canada to follow the European Union decision to ban seed treatments that contain neonicotinoid pesticide.
December 25, 2013
EPA’s review of the European Food Safety Authority’s conclusions regarding studies involving the neonicotinoid pesticides
For Release: December 20, 2013
On request from the European Commission, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) asked its Panel on Plant Protection Products to develop a scientific opinion on the potential for harmful developmental effects on the nervous system (developmental neurotoxicity) of the neonicotinoid insecticides.
December 23, 2013
From: The Grower
By: Vicky Boyd
Bayer CropScience has successfully completed field trials of a new seed treatment technology that significantly reduces dust compared to traditional seed treatments.
That’s important because pesticide-laden dust from seed treatments is suspected to contribute to honeybee population declines, according to a news release.
The treatment, which is used on field crops such as corn, uses a polyethylene wax substrate. Traditional seed treatment uses talc and graphite lubricants. It acts as a carrier for pesticides, such as neonicotinoids, used to control soilborne seed pests.
December 20, 2013
Bees, as pollinators, are essential to food production worldwide. So when solid evidence of a link between corn planting and bee deaths in Ontario and Quebec was found, farmers and industry recognized the need to look into how to manage the risk of bee exposure to a particular insecticide class called neonicotinoids.
December 18, 2013
The NFU has pledged its support for Bayer’s legal challenge on the restrictions on the use of neonicotinoids.
A two-year ban on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides came into force across the EU on 1 December 2013.
The European Commission announced the ban in May after European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) scientists concluded these products posed “a number of risks” to bees.
Active ingredients involved in the suspension include Bayer’s imidacloprid and clothianidin and Syngenta’s thiamethoxam.
Both Bayer CropScience and Syngenta have filed legal challenges with the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg.
December 16, 2013
Editor’s Note: CRE’s comments to Health Canada’s Pest Managment Regulatory Agency explained that “PMRA should be focusing on dust reduction.” CRE’s comments also highlighted that bee colonies are thriving where neonics are used and declining where they have been banned. CRE’s comments to PMRA are available here.
From: The Western Producer
Neonicotinoid use | New product replaces talc and graphite used to seed corn
Bayer CropScience says a new seed fluency agent designed to reduce the amount of insecticide-laden dust emitted from corn planters will be available for growers next year.
December 13, 2013
The Center for Regulatory Effectiveness’s comments to Health Canada on their Notice of Intent, Consultation on Action to Protect Bees from Exposure to Neonicotinoid Pesticides is attached here. CRE’s comments explain that the real process of science requires ongoing community analysis and feedback; thus we will be ventilating key bee health issues discussed in the comments of leading stakeholders on the Review of Bee Health Decline.
Below is an excerpt from the introduction of CRE’s comments:
Dear Dr. Aucoin:
December 11, 2013
Editor’s Note: The editorial below from the Boston Globe fails to discuss key parts of the bee health story, such as the fact that British conservationists are fearing the environmental harm from the loss of neoniotinoids, as evidenced by the headline in the Guardian, ‘Wildlife at risk’ from incoming ban on pesticide linked to bee deaths. The UK has good reason to fear a neonic ban given the fact that bee colonies have dropped in France since their ban on neonics while bees have thrived in Ontario which introduced the pesticides almost ten years ago.
From: The Boston Globe
December 8, 2013