From bees to butterflies, Canada’s pollinators need our protection from harmful pesticides if they’re going to thrive.
Did you know that 75 to 95 per cent of Earth’s flowering plants rely on pollinators for reproduction? These pollinators spend their days flitting from one bloom to the next pollinating some of the most important plants in Canada. And there are thousands of them here in Canada — bees and flies, butterflies and hummingbirds, beetles and night- flying moths. You have these pollinator powerhouses to thank for some of your favourite foods that make your mouth water, including apples, blueberries, strawberries, tomatoes, cucumbers, and even chocolate. Sadly, they’re in real trouble.
Many of these wild pollinators are put at risk when they feed on the blooms of crops treated with neonicotinoids (pesticides also known as neonics). Neonics were introduced in the 1990s and have become the most widely used insecticides in the world with global sales estimated to be over US $2.6 billion dollars. Here in Canada, five of them are approved for use on many of our food crops.
Hundreds of studies show that the use of neonics cause pollinators, like bees, significant harm. It affects their ability to navigate, collect food, and reproduce. Bumble bee colonies permeated with neonics grow more slowly and produce
fewer queens. In some areas, butterflies too are sharply declining where their habitat is nearby agricultural areas.
This summer the Canadian Wildlife Federation, Canada’s largest conservation charity, launched a petition asking for a legislated, national ban on use of all forms of neonicotinoid pesticides in agriculture, horticulture, turf production, and golf courses. Under the ban, emergency use of neonics would be permitted for a limited number of years, but only under cases of severe pest outbreak and with a prescription from a certified agronomist. A ban on neonics will benefit species negatively impacted and help to support their recovery.
Because a world without the Rusty-patched Bumble Bee, Monarch Butterfly and Ruby-throated Hummingbird, wouldn’t be nearly as beautiful (or beneficial) as it should be.
Visit BanWithaPlan.org for more information, to show your support, and to get involved in conservation.