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Requiem for Bees
Ontario Beekeepers will deliver thousands of dead bees to Queen's Park to illustrate the effects of neoicotinoid pesticides on Saturday, May 24th. Beekeepers will open the Toronto edition of the international March Against Monsanto at Queen’s Park by dumping a coffin filled with hundreds of thousands of bees that have died over this past winter to illustrate the increasing numbers of Ontario bee deaths linked to the use of agricultural neonicotinoid pesticides at 11:00 a.m..
This "Requiem for Bees" will include four pallbearers in beekeeping suits and black mourning armbands distributed to attendees. Immediately afterwards, speakers will address 2000+ marchers at Queen’s Park, before proceeding to the soon-to-be-announced Toronto GMO-Free Festival and Farmers’ Market. Speakers at the March will include:
• John Bennett, executive director, Sierra Club Canada
• Local apiarist Karen McKenna of Hi Honey, who will speak on the cumulative effects of neonicotinoids
• Nutritionist, author, television host Julie Daniluk
• Teen GMO crusader Rachel Parent, founder of Kids Rights to Know
ABOUT NEONICOTINOID PESTICIDES
Neonicotinoids pesticides are used to control insect pests, especially in GMO corn, soy and canola; including 99% of Ontario corn. Recent scientific evidence is substantiating fears that neonicotinoids are also killing off honeybees and other beneficial pollinators. Since neonicotinoids were introduced into Ontario in 2004, average winter die-off in honeybee hives has risen from about 15% to more than 30%, in addition to mass bee die offs. The American Bird Conservancy reports that these pesticides can be fatal to wild birds.
The European Union has moved to limit use of neonicotinoids. The city of Eugene, Oregon recently banned them. Ontario Premier and Minister of Agriculture Kathleen Wynne announced in March 2014 that the province is referring the issue to the federal government, despite the fact that the Province has the authority to suspend the use of these pesticides and Ontario is the epicentre of the problem in Canada. Without action to ban these pesticides, beekeepers fear cumulative effects of neonicotinoid exposure will cause increasing numbers of bee deaths every year, and will seriously erode Ontario’s beekeeping industry.
Numerous peer-reviewed research and other resources are available at www.ontariobee.com/neonics.