Guided by science

December 31, 2014

From: Leader-Post

By Lyle Stewart, Stewart is Saskatchewan’s minister of agriculture.

I write regarding the Dec. 8 letter, “Save our bees”. Saskatchewan has a successful honey bee industry with about 100,000 colonies of bees that produce high quality honey and play a valuable role in the pollination of crops.

As was noted, Saskatchewan does not currently plan to follow Ontario in implementing restrictions on neonicotinoid pesticides. The government respects Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency’s (PMRA) scientific system to evaluate, register and monitor pest control products and sees PMRA’s continuing evaluation of neonicotinoid insecticides as important. Decisions must be based on sound science.

Moreover, there have been no reported incidents of neonicotinoid seed treatments affecting honey bees in Saskatchewan. Varroa mites and other diseases are the main health concerns to our beekeeping industry. When these diseases are controlled, beekeepers are very successful at maintaining healthy colonies.

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