July 16, 2017 4:07 pm
Updated: July 16, 2017 4:14 pm

Ontario lawsuit on pesticides draws the eye of Alberta beekeepers

A cold spring meant a late start to this years bee season in Alberta

(AP Photo/Scott Smith)
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A class-action lawsuit filed in Ontario could help the future of bees across Canada.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a few beekeepers in the province against the use of certain pesticides – mainly used on corn and soybeans – that are harmful to bees.

Director of the Beekeepers Commission of Alberta Kevin Nixon said the same chemistry in the neonicotinoids are used in Alberta, mostly on canola, but as a seed treatment.

He told the Alberta Morning News, it’s when the pesticide is applied other ways that harms the bees.

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“There are cases where it could be used as a foliar application, sprayed above ground. That’s where the risk comes very high, but when it’s being used as a seed treatment, the pesticide is in the ground it’s very targeted.

He said despite the competing nature of different agro-groups, they do need to work together for a healthy agro-system.

“There’s a lot of opportunities for us to work together, and the partnership that beekeepers have across the country with growers of all kinds of different fields, it’s a great relationship. It’s something that we can all be proud of. There’s times when it comes where we’ll all need to be careful in what we do to protect each other’s investment.”

As for Alberta’s bees, Nixon said that the season is underway after a late start due to a colder spring.

He said beekeepers are eager to get started with the 2017 harvest.

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