Vancouver may ban pesticide linked to bee deaths

Posted November 21st, 2018 by admin and filed in 长沙夜网
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The city of Vancouver might ban on pesticide that’s a powerful tool for homeowners – but potentially deadly for honeybees.

They’re called neonicotinoids (neonics, for short) and they’re used to kill pests. However, some believe the pesticide also kills bees.

“When bees are exposed to low doses of neonicotinoids and other pesticides, their immune systems will diminish, they will lose their ability to orient,” explains Mark Winston, an SFU professor who’s been working with bees for 40 years.

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The city’s Park Board doesn’t use neonics, but residents trying to rid their lawns of chafer beetles do. In order to kill the invasive bug, homeowners spray the pesticide on their lawns, where wild bees might be nesting.

A city bylaw bans the use of pesticides, but there is a clause that allows for an exception.

“There’s a clause in the bylaw that allows people to use a pesticide to treat infestations and we know that neonics are harmful to the environment, so we felt it was important to change that,” said Brad Badelt, the city’s Senior Sustainibility Specialist.

READ MORE: How you can help save the bees this spring

Critics say ban is unnecessary. Health Canada was unable to make a definitive connection between neonics and the decline of bee colonies.

“At this time Health Canada’s PMRA does not have sufficient information to draw conclusions regarding a link between these colony effects and potential neonicotinoid exposure” is what’s written on the health authority’s website.

Pierre Petelle, Vice President of Chemistry for CropLife Canada, says the ban is unnecessary.

“What I would say to Vancouver is that you’re potentially taking away a valuable tool that’s going to help maintain your green spaces, protect trees from various invasive insects over the years for no measureable benefit,” said Petelle.

Even though most cities don’t have a neonic ban, Petelle said colonies continue to grow in Canada.

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