Minister of Agriculture | Lyle Stewart | No Neonic Ban Here | Saskatchewan is Guided by science |

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.

This is demonstrated by winter mortality rates in Saskatchewan that were below the fiveyear average this year, despite a long, cold winter in 2013/2014. I would like to commend Saskatchewan's professional beekeepers for their work in mitigating the effects of the diseases that are the real cause of bee mortality.

The government supports important research on bee health through the Agriculture Development Fund. The province has also collaborated with industry and producers to put in place DriftWatch, an online tool that helps identify drift sensitive agricultural areas including beehives to help manage potential effects of spray operations.

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NutriLawn Down Playing Ban | Devastation Looming | Zero Value Company Now | CBC My Region – Price to wack weeds rises in Manitoba

Price to wack weeds rises in Manitoba

The price of one lawn-care company to rise 34%

CBC News

Posted:Jan 02, 2015 7:33 AM CT

Last Updated:Jan 02, 2015 7:33 AM CT

Weeds may seem more pesky than ever during summer 2015, when increased rates for their removal will come into effect following a cosmetic pesticide ban in Manitoba.

Manitoba's cosmetic pesticide ban is now in effect across the province, which means paying to have weeds eliminated from your lawn will be more expensive in 2015 than in previous years.

The ban prohibits certain widely-used pesticides and the province is expected to hold workshops in the near future that help people understand all of its implications.

Dana Kapusta of Nutrilawn says the company's prices are expected to rise by 34% following the ban, but he is prepared.

"The decision is made. They are not going to change it," he said. "Us, being a small family business, we change with the times."

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Ontario BeeKeepers Association Shut out of Consultations | Grain farmers hive off talks on bees | Norwich Gazette

Boycotting provincial discussion, growers to come up with their own recommendations at invitation-only session

By Debora Van Brenk, The London Free Press

Tuesday, December 30, 2014 12:31:19 EST PM

Boycotting provincial talks on how to protect bees from a controversial pesticide, Ontario grain farmers will hold their own talks instead, starting next week.

Beginning Monday, the Grain Farmers of Ontario will hold ­invitation-only sessions in Guelph to talk about neonicotinoids, which are applied as a seed coatings to most corn and soybeans planted in the province.

When the group is done, it will present its own recommendations to the province in the hope “that common sense will prevail,” said Barry Senft, who heads the GFO.

The province declared in late November it would have farmers reduce neonic use by 80% in a bid to reduce annual bee mortality to 15%, and would welcome input on how to achieve that by 2016.

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Overwhelming Majority Supports Continued Neonic Use | Benefits of Neonicotinoid Seed Treatments to Soybean Production |Regulations.gov – Docket Browser

Benefits of Neonicotinoid Seed Treatments to Soybean Production

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Docket ID: EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0737Agency: Environmental Protection Agency

Summary:

Public docket for the Agency’s assessment of benefits of neonicotinoid seed treatments to soybean production