Miller Urges Minister to Work Quickly on Study of Losses in Honey Bee Colonies

August 7, 2013

Owen Sound, ON – Larry Miller, MP for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound, is calling on Health Canada to act as quickly as possible on a re-evaluation of the Neonicotinoids pesticide and its connection to large-scale losses in honey bee colonies in Southern Ontario.


In the spring of 2012, the Government was made aware of record losses in honey bee colonies in parts of Southern Ontario and Quebec. These losses prompted Health Canada to conduct a review of the situation and it was determined that various factors including weather, seeding times, and over-exposure to chemicals, contributed to the losses.


In his role as Chair of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food in 2012, Miller called for a study to be conducted on these losses by the Committee. Miller has since participated in follow-up meetings wherein the Committee has heard from local apiarists and industry officials as well as other stakeholders.


“This is certainly a very serious matter that we have on our hands. Honey bees are pollinators and are a vital link in the pollination process for many plants. A loss in honey bees does not just affect beekeepers, it affects all of us,” said Miller. “I am urging the newly appointed Minister of Health to make this a top priority for our Government and work as quickly as possible on the re-evaluation of the Neonicotinoid pesticide.”


Health Canada has published several documents in regards to this issue. The following documents are available online by clicking on their title below.


For the results of the initial study undertaken to determine the cause or causes of the losses in honey bee colonies please see: Evaluation of Canadian Bee Mortalities that Coincided with Corn Planting in Spring 2012.


For the guidelines that will be implemented to mitigate the effects of chemicals on honey bee colonies while a re-evaluation takes place, please see: Pollinator Protection: Reducing Risk from Treated Seed.


For information on the re-evaluation of the Neonicotinoid pesticide that is taking place, please see: Re-evaluation Note REV2012-02, Re-evaluation of Neonicotinoid Insecticides.