• South Niagara’s Silent Bee Killer

    Although there are no studies that prove a correlation between bee deaths and agricultural chemicals, the European Union recently decided to implement a pesticide ban. Such pesticides seem to now be causing large problems for beekepers in south Niagara, as they are troubled this season by a higher than average mortality rate.

    A few agricultural experts speculate that this may be caused by Niagara’s clay soil, which doesn’t allow for neoitcotinoid abating in the ground. As a result, these chemicals enter runoff streams, releasing high levels of toxins into the environment. Similarly, the fungicides used on south Niagara farms are unsuited for clay soil; another factor to consider in the growing number of bee deaths.

    Niagara Beekeepers Association believes this to be a real problem since bee pollination represents $2,200 an acre. Currently, efforts are being made to replace these harmful chemicals with environmental friendly bio-control, but the positive efforts of this change will not be seen for some time.

    Thankfully, progress has been made elsewhere in Niagara, as CleanFarms, a non-profit agricultural stewardship organization, receives the 2012 Ontario Minster’s Award for Environmental Excellence. Over the last year, CleanFarms has helped the Niagara community divert non-organic agricultural wastes from Ontario landfills. This has been an immense help in light of other recycling related scandals in the news.

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