I recently sent an email to Gwendolyn Lohbrunner, IPM Licence Officer Integrated Pest Management
Unit, Ministry of Environment inquiring about
the implementation of the Intentions Paper. She responded with the email below
which indicated that the changes outlined in the intentions paper are likely
what we will see starting in 2015.
As you may know, government`s intention was to restrict the use of pesticides
not on Schedule 2 and 5 to licensees. Additionally, government intended to
restrict access to these products in retail outlets. Based on follow-up
consultation, we could see some minor changes but have not yet received any
direction that a change from the Intentions Paper is occurring. With regard to
the assistant applicator proposal, we do not expect any significant changes
from what was described in the Intentions Paper.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office.
Gwendolyn Lohbrunner, MPM, RPBio
IPM Licence Officer
Integrated Pest Management Unit, Environmental Standards Branch
Ministry of Environment
Are Thriving Public Needs Facts Not Fear
originally printed in We
Grow for the World on April 8 2014
This week’s guest commentary comes from Lee Townsend, a commercial
beekeeper from Stony Plain, Alta. He has represented the beekeeping industry at
both the national and provincial level over the past eight years.
News outlets throughout Canada are filled with stories about the
imminent decline of honeybees and the calls by some beekeepers to ban the pesticides
— called neonicotinoids — which they blame for their problems.
As a commercial beekeeper, I have a couple of points to make that may
surprise some readers. First, the Canadian honeybee industry is far from
collapsing — in fact, it’s thriving. The numbers don’t lie. Both the total
number of honeybee colonies and beekeepers in Canada has risen dramatically
My second point is that while the honeybee industry is stressed by many
factors, there is one emerging threat that is becoming our biggest challenge.
That isn’t the many natural infections that plague bees, ranging from varroa
mites to nosema to the emergence of the small hive beetle in Ontario and
Quebec. The rising numbers of bee colonies and flourishing honey and
pollination industries demonstrate that beekeepers can contend with those
No, the newest and most preventable threat comes from the mistaken
alliance some beekeepers are forming with environmental activist groups who
would turn farmers into enemies and drive a wedge between the farming and
beekeeping communities that depend on each other for their livelihoods.
So why are we consistently hearing reports of the demise of our
industry, while the numbers clearly show this is not true? Simply put, the
neonicotinoid debate in eastern Canada.
In 2012, Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency reported that
43 beekeepers in Ontario and Quebec had exposure to these products. In 2013,
the number of beekeepers affected (including Manitoba) increased to 82,
impacting some 7,115 colonies. For these beekeepers, this is a very serious
problem that threatens their livelihoods. But, put in perspective, this
represents only slightly more than one per cent of Canada’s colonies over the
past two years..
Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to work together to find out what is
really happening, in part due to the insertion of special interest groups like
the Sierra Club. There is no denying that neonics, like any other pesticide,
can be toxic to honeybees if misapplied. But these special interest groups have
scared beekeepers, the public, and the media into believing these products are
far worse than actual scientific data indicates. If it was the epidemic they
claim, why is it only affecting one per cent of Canada’s colonies? And out of
that one per cent, we have yet to see data indicating exactly how many of those
hives’ sole problem was neonic exposure.
In addition, these special interest groups fail to acknowledge there are
colonies in Ontario and Quebec that are exposed to neonics on both corn and
soy, with zero problems. And look at Western Canada. On the Prairies, 70 per
cent of Canada’s colonies forage canola without issue. We are even exposed to
corn and soy, and except for four beekeepers in Manitoba in 2013, there have
been no issues there either.
Clearly there is need for further research, including the health status
of these colonies prior to neonic exposure and clear records of the management
practices of beekeepers. Most non-beekeepers don’t realize that just as farmers
use pesticides to keep pests off their crops, beekeepers use pesticides inside
the hive to control for infestations such as varroa mites. There is nothing
wrong with this, if it is done properly. But beekeepers should keep this in
mind when they link arms with activist groups with a larger anti-pesticide
Both weak and unhealthy mismanaged colonies are more susceptible to
neonic exposure, just as they are to any other stress. But up until now, little
information regarding either of these items has been shared by the affected
The only way a solution will be found is if beekeepers, growers and
manufacturers of these products come together to work for a common solution.
Since the first problems were reported, both the growers and seed manufacturers
have demonstrated a willingness to work with beekeepers. In addition, Canada’s
national bee organization, the Canadian Honey Council, has been working with
all the involved parties on a solution.
Unfortunately, because of the antagonistic approach taken by some
beekeepers — as well as the environmental groups for whom conflict is their
bread and butter — this willingness to work with the honeybee industry is
We depend on the growers for the land and forage
our colonies rely on. The relationship between beekeepers, growers and the seed
manufacturers is symbiotic. To let short-sighted agendas ruin that would be a
tragedy. Emotional responses rarely solve problems
Industrial Veg Noxious Weed Certificates
Management Staff, BC Ministry of Environment,were recently asked to clarify some crossover issues oflandscape vs Industrial Vegetation Noxious
Weed certificate. The legislation does not define what the certificate can actually be used
for. Alandscape certificate is historically used
for residential property with the focus on turf and tree pests. A Industrial
Veg Noxious weed certificate has been historically used for range management
and large commercial properties such as BC Hydro and Fortis.
With the increasing spread
of noxious weeds can a landscape certificate holder control noxious weeds on
Is a Landscape
certificate valid for treating industrial commercial property to remove unwanted vegetation?
These questions were put to MOE staff and they responded
with the answer below.
We realize that certificate holders may have
some uncertainty in what activities they may perform for some vegetation
management programs. The IPM Program has
recently discussed the issue and our current position is:
- A certificate holder may only work in the category for which the certificate
- The IPM Program recognizes there are some areas of overlap, and are
interested in assisting pest managers in clarifying these situations.
- If a person holds a landscape certificate and they encounter some noxious
weeds or invasive plants pests that are being controlled for a landscape purpose
in a landscaped setting, the certificate holder may perform the treatment.
- If the noxious weeds or invasive plants are being controlled because they are
noxious or invasive (i.e., part of an invasive plant campaign), a certificate
holder would be required to hold an industrial vegetation and noxious weed
- If certificate holders are unsure about specific situations, they should
contact the IPM Program for clarification.
Please join us for this webinar series for information you can use about good and bad insects. Topics will include how you can help good insects like bee pollinators and how to control insects we think of as bad, like fire ants, termites, and new invasive insects. Spiders and ticks aren't actually insects, but we will talk about them too. Webinars will be on the first Friday of each month at 2 p.m. Eastern time. Click on the title for information on how to connect to the webinar.
Invitation to a unique session on fruit tree pest issues
In cooperation with the PMRA
and Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Agriculture you are invited to a dinner
meeting and presentation on April 22 at Dakoda’s in Kelowna.
Pest Management, products and
application techniques in the tree fruit industry are becoming increasingly
more complicated and require better understanding of application methods.
This meeting is meant to generate discussion and improve professionalism
amongst applicators, companies and various government agencies. It is also an
excellent opportunity to have one on one interaction with leading pest
management experts in the tree fruit industry.
Dinner is at 5:30 and
presentations start immediately after.
2 CEC credits available
for those that attend the approx. 2 hrs of presentations
Guest speakers will have a short presentation
followed by an open forum and Q&A session.
Hugh Philip, PAg Insect Pest Management
Specialist SIR Program
fruit fly and Spotted Wing Drosophila
Susanna Acheampong Entomologist BC Ministry of
Agriculture Plant Health Unit
Please respond by April 15 if you will be attending this informative
There is no cost
other than the dinner which is not mandatory to attend. The presentations will
likely get underway around 6:30 so plan to be there a bit earlier if you're not
expecting to attend the dinner. There will be a sign up sheet at the session
for you to register and for credit tracking.
Space is limited so book now.
Please pass this on to other applicators and companies that would benefit by
Government of BC is currently proposing revisions to the Integrated Pest
Management Act and Regulation. Under the current
legislation, one certified applicator can supervise up to four uncertified
individuals. The revisions propose:
requiring that all people
applying pesticides to public land, rights-of-way, forest land or on a
fee-for-service basis be trained;
removing the provisions allowing
uncertified applicators to apply pesticides under the supervision of certified
establishing an assistant applicator
category that may perform some, but not all, of the duties of a certified
are interested in soliciting feedback on these proposed revisions, specifically
from services licensees and authorization holders that would be affected by
The survey has now closed and the ministry is compiling the results. When they are available we will post them to this site.