Who Speaks for Canada’s Wild Bees?
The news for honey bees is grim. Again.
The Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists (CAPA) delivered their national report on winter-kill of honey bees. Ontario’s loss at 58 %, a jaw-dropping number, is homogenized into the average for the country at 25% – still considered high when compared to the “acceptable” winter losses considered to be 15%. CAPA cites the same litany of possible causes – weather, poor queens, weak colonies in fall, Nosema, Varroa and pesticides.
It’s essential that CAPA tracks the state of honey bees in Canada. But who’s tracking wild pollinators, bumblebees and more insects critical for our food supply. Certainly wild pollinators face the same challenges of disease, pesticide exposure, habitat loss and climate change.
In just a few weeks, Canada’s network of 44 leading pollinator researchers, CANPOLIN, shuts its doors. After five years, there are no more funds for this unique, integrated approach to bringing policy makers and the public the information and tools needed to reverse the decline of pollinators. There is no political will to continue to support Canada’s world class pollinator scientists to work together just when we need them the most.
RIP CANPOLIN. Now who will speak for the wild bees?