A report from the Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists shows that Ontario bee populations have dropped 38% since last year. It also showed that Ontario’s death rate of bees was almost triple of what other provinces reported.
Many reasons such as starvation and poor weather conditions were given as reason for the declines, but some think that another, artificial, factor is at work
“Big [Agriculture] is saying to the farmers that ‘we need this, we need this, we need this'” says local beekeeper Albert Debreeve “but there have been a lot of studies indicating ‘we don’t need this’ and it can be used better”
Albert believes that chemicals known as neonicotinoids are the culprit for the mass amount of bee deaths in the recent years. Most crop seeds come coated in the chemical that is a deadly neurotoxin to bees and other insects. The chemical is relatively new on the market compared to others and has been the centre of controversy in the last few years
“it just seems like its the profits of the big companies are what at stake here, that and a bunch of bees’
Albert has been keeping bees for many years here in London and started noticing the affects of the chemicals back in 2012. Since then he says that it can be a struggle just to maintain a population of bees, much less produce honey that can be sold.
while the most recent calculation shows a 38% loss in bees, it is an increase from last year when the lost rate was over 50%