Quebec announces restrictions on honeybee-harming pesticides

Honeybee losses
CC BY 2.0 Wikimedia Commons

While not banning the killer pesticides altogether, the new measure will at least hopefully help the beleaguered pollinators.

Something funny happens to bees when they fly through clouds of chemicals meant to kill insects. Like, they die … weird, right?

Thankfully – since humans are reliant on honeybees’ pollinating skills for one-third of our crops and most of the planet’s wild plants– some places in the world are deciding to prioritize the health of honeybees over the profits of pesticide manufacturers.

Joining Ontario (which put restrictions on neonicotinoids) and Montreal (which banned them altogether) Quebec has announced that going forward, farmers will be required to get permission from a certified agronomist before using certain pesticides on crops, reports CBC News. The new no-no pesticides include three types of neonicotinoides, along with chlorpyrifos and atrazine. CBC writes:

Last September, the International Union for Conservation of Nature updated a 2015 report on neonicotinoids, which said a review of more than 1,110 peer-reviewed research studies showed there was no doubt that flying through chemical-laden clouds of dust from neonic-treated farm fields is killing bees.

The province’s sustainable development minister, Isabelle Melançon, made the announcement in Quebec City, saying that the new rules strike a balance between the needs of farmers and environmental concerns, notes CBC.

While some Quebec farmers have voiced concern about how pesticide regulations might affect crop yields, it seems prudent to remember that crops without these toxic pesticides presumably can’t be worse than crops without bees –
since crops without bees could end up not being crops at all.

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