Millions of honeybees are dead in a new colony collapse disorder crisis being reported from Ontario, Canada. And that’s on a single farm in Elmwood, Canada.
Depending on the reports you read, 30 million, 37 million, or even 40 million honeybees may already be dead — a reflection of the expanding numbers as the crisis continues.
According to MSN Living, Elmwood beekeeper Dave Schuit has lost at least 600 hives representing 37 million honeybees — and he’s pointing the finger squarely at neonicotinoid pesticides.
It’s a logical argument. The pesticides are popular for a reason: They’re an efficient way to kill insects. Unfortunately, they can’t discriminate between beneficial insects like bees and harmful pests like aphids.
The debate is already over in the European Union, which recently banned a large number of pesticides including neonicotinoids.
However, they are still used in both the United States and Canada.
The deaths at Dave and Erika Schuet’s Saugeen Honey operation in Elmwood reportedly occurred shortly after the local corn and canola crops were sprayed with two neonicotinoid insecticides known as Poncho 600 and Matador 120. “I guess you could call this a bee holocaust,” an upset Erika Schuet said when reporting on the disaster at a local meeting afterwards.
The Schuet bees are now being tested to see if they can confirm the cause of the mass bee deaths.
In mid-June, 25,000 bumblebees were found dead or dying in a Wilsonville, Oregon parking lot after flowering linden trees were sprayed with an insecticide called Safari. Landscapers had apparently ignored the manufacturer’s instructions that said it couldn’t be applied in areas where bees were present.
With some reports putting the total number of bumblebees dead as high as 50,000, that bee die-off represented one of the largest mass deaths of bumblebees known in the United States.
Honeybees, a smaller and more numerous species, are apparently even more vulnerable.
A recent report from Canada’s The Post said that almost 40 million honeybees were dead on the Elmwood farm.
[bee photo by Sidhe via Shutterstock]