Canadian Honey Council
December 12, 2014
In 2011, the Canadian Honey Council (CHC) and a number of industry partners began discussions on ways to improve honey bee health. As discussions progressed, the Canadian Seed Trade Association (CSTA) in close consultation with its corn and soybean company members and the CHC took a significant step forward to mitigate risk to pollinators by recently implementing a major pesticide reduction program for corn and soybean seed sold in Canada. By reducing the application rate of seed applied insecticides and introducing more fungicide only options this industry lead program is estimated to see an overall reduction of the pesticide load across Canada in 2015 by 15% in corn and 9% in soybeans. In 2016 the reduction will climb to 31% in corn and 18% in soybeans for a combined overall pesticide reduction of 24%. This will significantly reduce the amount of seed applied insecticide used in Ontario; the province with the largest acreage of corn and soybeans.
The CHC is extremely pleased with this major reduction strategy as it shows the value of cooperation and consultation with industry partners. Canadian Honey Council Chair Gerry McKee said “It is our responsibility to beekeepers across Canada to look at ways and means to mitigate the risk of pesticide exposure to honey bees, and working with our industry partner, the Canadian Seed Trade Association has instituted a major step forward in addressing this goal. They must be commended for taking this step forward.”
CSTA is committed to working together with our agriculture and apiculture value chain partners and provincial and federal regulators to ensure that pollinator health is protected and enhanced while ensuring that growers have access to the latest technologies that they need to be successful. “CSTA and the Canadian Honey Council came together in the spirit of collaboration to ensure that both of our sectors remain environmentally sustainable and economically viable,” said Dave Baute, President of the Canadian Seed Trade Association. “Both associations agreed to work together based on mutual respect and understanding and have just taken a significant non-regulatory step forward to ensuring a prosperous apiculture and agriculture industry in Ontario and across Canada.”
The Canadian Honey Council believes that this announcement underscores the importance of having stakeholders at the table as it is an invaluable asset for agriculture in general. To date, there has been considerable work done in both pesticide reduction strategies and bee health initiatives by farm organizations, equipment manufacturers, federal and provincial governments and by the life sciences companies.
The Canadian Honey council represents over 8000 beekeepers in Canada.
For further information contact
Canadian Honey Council
Manager, Policy Initiatives
Canadian Seed Trade Association
CFIA Food labelling information
Food Labelling for Industry http://www.inspection.gc.ca/food/labelling/food-labelling-for-industry/eng/1383607266489/1383607344939;
Food Labelling for Consumers: http://www.inspection.gc.ca/food/labelling/food-labelling-for-consumers/eng/1400426541985/1400455563893;
Email notification subscription: http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/util/listserv/listcsube.shtml?LABETI-DEC;
Updates to Food Labelling and Advertising Information webpage: http://www.inspection.gc.ca/food/labelling/updates/eng/1398697584083/1398776210946
Pesticide exposure statement
The Canadian Honey Council views pesticide exposure, both internally and externally as an extremely important bee health issue. By working co-operatively with governments, agricultural producers, agri- chemical companies, equipment manufactures and beekeepers, significant improvements have been made that have mitigated exposure risks to honey bees. Certainly more work needs to be done, and working together with all those involved in the agriculture sector, we are confident that more successes will be achieved. Accusations of blame do not provide an environment that welcomes new and innovative solutions and as such we will continue to work together with all parties to ensure optimum bee health, and at the same time, uphold our responsibility to beekeepers all across Canada to represent their interest in a respectful manner.
PMRA releases Update on Neonicotinoid Pesticides and Bee Health
Canadian Bee Industry Safety Quality Traceability program successfully completed.
The Canadian Honey Council is very pleased to announce that CBISQT has passed the final hurdle, the technical review, and is available for producers to voluntarily adopt. Paticular thanks go out to Tim Townsend and Robert McDonald who worked diligently to complete the process. The Producer Manual can be seen here:
A flow diagram can be seen here:
Over the course of the next few months, the CHC will be making copies widely available and will providing more information as to the content and its relationship with bee-biosecurity. For now, if you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact the office.
A NATIONAL COMPRENSIVE APPROACH TO BEE HEALTH
– Stakeholder Workshop Ottawa, Ontario -
March 31, 2014, Ottawa ON - The necessity to take a comprehensive look at the various factors impacting bee health in Canada brought together a diverse group of stakeholders at a Bee Health Workshop in Ottawa.
“Bees are critical to both our economy and our ecosystem,” said Rod Scarlett Bee Health Workshop Chair & Executive Director of the Canadian Honey Council. “That is why beekeepers, farmers, agronomists, scientists, government and other partners are working on this together. We know if we develop a national and inclusive approach, everyone will be better off. If we can’t work together, everyone will lose something because so much is at stake.”
The national workshop held this week, was the next step in ensuring all parties with a stake in bee health can collaborate on solutions. Participants included beekeeper groups, grain, horticulture and organic farm groups, chemical and seed industry representatives, federal and provincial governments and bee health experts.
The need and opportunities for Canada’s beekeepers are expected to continue to grow and this group of stakeholders is committed to working together to find positive outcomes for pollinator health as well as agricultural production.
“Bees are an important part of agriculture. Grain farmers are pleased with this opportunity to work with beekeepers, scientific experts and governments to promote the health of bees,” said William Van Tassel, Workshop attendee and First Vice- President of la Fédération des producteurs de cultures commerciales du Québec. “A commitment to a co-ordinated, comprehensive national focus on honey bee health is the right approach.”
The group has agreed to continue to meet in a collaborative manner.
The following is a link to the first gap report that resulted from the workshop. The Steering Committee met on May 22, 2014 and refined the report. An update from that meeting will be posted shortly.
Record of decision reports
At the August Steering Committee, at the request of the Bee Health Workshop, CAPA prepared a list of the certified labs across Canada and to some extent, the United States, that provide disease and chemical analysis.
Below is the Record of Decision and Bulletin from the meeting held on October 3, 2014.
Bee Healthy Roadmap released by the Honey Bee Health Coalition
The Canadian Honey Council is proud to be a member of the Honey Bee Health Coalition, a coalition of more than 30 organizations and agencies from across food, agriculture, government and conservation working to improve the health of honey bees in North America. The Coalition recently released its Bee Healthy Roadmap, a roadmap to improve honey bee health through collective action that will accomplish more than any one group can achieve on its own.