Archives for posts with tag: news

 

Missing Bees CCD Poster

Yesterday it was announced that Ontario will begin phasing out the use of Neonicotinoid (neonics) in farm settings in the province. This decision in the first of its kind in North America and is part of Ontario’s plan to ban neonics.

Under the new law, which takes effect July 1:

  • Starting in the 2016 season, farmers may only use neonic treated seeds on 50% of their corn and soybean fields.
  • In order to plant more than 50%, farmers must prove to the government that they have a pest problem and take a pest-management course.
  • In 2016, all farmers wanting to buy neonic-treated seeds will need to take the course and prove the existence of a pest problem.
  • Starting in August, all seed sellers must apply for new licensing to sell neonic-treated seeds and collect documentation from farmers when selling the seeds in the future.

The province of Ontario hopes to reduce the use of Neonicotinoid laden crops by 80% in 2017.

For more information, visit these news stories at Global News and CTV News.

Dan Davidson – president of the Ontario Beekeepers’ Association – released a letter today informing beekeepers that the Province of Ontario has decided to give money to beekeepers who suffer losses this year. The letter says:

Dear Beekeeper,

On Tuesday afternoon, OBA board members were informed at a meeting with senior OMAF officials that the Province has developed a one-time compensation package for beekeepers experiencing higher than normal mortality rates. Compensation includes $105 per hive to beekeepers with more than ten hives who experience hive mortality of over 40% of their colonies between Jan. 1st and October 31, 2014. OBA has been advocating for over a year for beekeeper compensation related to extraordinary bee deaths. The amount per hive provided under this program is significantly less than we were proposing; however, we feel it is a good first step and shows awareness of the hardships many Ontario beekeepers are experiencing. We are pleased, as well, that losses will include those occurring over the summer and early fall, and not just winter. This is significant. Ontario is the first province to compensate beekeepers for losses likely caused by pesticides as well as other causes. We will be getting back to everyone with further information as it becomes available.

OBA is preparing a press release for later today. Watch the website and future newsletters for new developments.

All the best,
Dan
Dan Davidson, President

This is great news for anyone that has lost a significant portion of their colonies this past winter and heading into the rest of the year. Unfortunately, I don’t qualify myself, because I have fewer than 10 hives. Still, I’m sure this will come as a great help to many beekeepers.

Forms to apply for this compensation will be available by mid-May, 2014.

As reported in the National Post, French beekeepers are finding brightly coloured honey in their hives. The source of the brown, blue and green honey was tracked down to a biogas plant nearby that was processing containers with residue from M&M candies.

I must admit, at first, I thought that this article was a hoax. It would only take a drop or two of food colouring to fake this story, however it is plausible if the bees were foraging in the area where these liquids were available.

The beekeepers are claiming that the honey is not sellable in this coloured state. I think that with a bit of a clever spin, this honey could probably be sold for more than regular honey. After all, what kid wouldn’t want some blue honey spread on their toast in the morning?

Read the original article here.

These types of stories sicken me. A bee yard theft in Abbotsford, B.C. has left a beekeeper without a substantial portion of their beekeeping business.

Usually when you hear of bee yard vandalism, it’s caused by teenagers or random people (often under the influence of something) who get a kick out of damaging other people’s property. However,  when a theft occurs, it’s usually someone who knows bees and has a bee yard of their own. I really can’t believe that anyone in the beekeeping community would steal another beekeeper’s bees and equipment. I hope that this person is caught and is punished appropriately.

Full story found here.

UPDATE April 25, 2013: This link was changed, so I have updated to link to CBC.ca instead.

It shocked and saddened me to read this story on CBC News: Millions of bees stolen from Alberta honey producer. A beekeeper and honey producer, Bill Termeer of Alberta has had more than 150 of his hives stolen recently and suspects another beekeeper is to blame.

I can’t imagine any of the beekeepers that I’ve met either in person or online doing something like this. Beekeepers are typically such honest people but obviously there’s at least one out there that has no respect for other beekeepers.

Have you ever experienced bee theft or vandalism? Leave a comment below.

Theft of bees

Image from CBC.ca