Success: Bee-Killing Pesticides Restricted


Target: Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Jeff Leaf

Goal: Applaud the restriction of bee-killing pesticides

A new regulation passed in Ontario, Canada, restricts the use of toxic neonicotinoid pesticides, which have been linked to declining honeybee populations around the world. Ontario plans to decrease its neonicotinoid use by 80 percent by 2017, and could begin to implement restrictions as early as the summer of 2015. A previous petition on ForceChange called for the pesticides’ prohibition, and while the toxic chemicals have not been banned entirely, their restriction is a huge step in the right direction.

The three-point plan laid out by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs intends to restrict the use of neonicotinoids by 80 percent over the next three years, limit the number of honeybee deaths during the winter by 15 percent by 2020 and develop a comprehensive plan to promote the health of the pollinators. The ministry says the initiative will ensure a “productive agricultural sector” and protect “healthy ecosystems.”

A survey conducted in Ontario to determine the rate of honeybee deaths over the winter found that 58 percent of the province’s honeybees died over the 2013-14 winter, a record high at more than three times the average rate of deaths in all other provinces in the country. The pesticides were found to have a harmful effect on all pollinators, but neonicotinoids are specifically harmful to honeybees. The toxic pesticides are typically used to treat corn seeds and soybean crops. As well as killing bees, the chemicals cause disorientation in the pollinators, which can lead to colony failure.

Rapidly declining bee populations correlate directly to agricultural production. Without healthy pollinators, crops fail. Our pollinators represent a vital connection in our food chain and without them we cannot survive. Support and commend Ontario’s decision to drastically restrict its neonicotinoid use and take responsibility for the well-being of these instrumental insects by signing the petition below.


Dear Minister Leaf,

The use of neonicotinoid pesticides has been linked to the rapid decline of honeybee populations around the world. Ontario’s record 58 percent death rate among honeybees over the 2013-14 winter is a clear sign that something must be done to save them. Thanks to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Ontario’s responsibility was not ignored.

Ontario has become the first North American jurisdiction to restrict the use of neonicotinoids to help stem this tragic loss. The government’s comprehensive plan to limit the chemicals and restore a healthy ecosystem should stand as a role model for how the world must go forward in order to save global agriculture.

I support and applaud this monumental step to saving our tiny, irreplaceable friends.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Ricks via Wikimedia Commons

Original Petition: Protect Honeybees from Toxic Chemicals

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  1. This is a start, but only a start. Good for Canada. These neonics need to be totally banned – but the U.S. on this issue, as on most issues of importance to the people, lags way behind the civilized world.

  2. Karen Remnant says:

    Good move by Canada! Now someone explain to me why other countries aren’t doing the same?

  3. While the reduction of neonicotinoid use by 80 percent by 2017 is a start, it is nowhere near a proper level of reduction, which should be 100 percent by no later than January 1st. 2015.
    The world needs Bee’s, we the people need Bee’s and most of all our FOOD CROPS need Bee’s.

  4. Yes, good on ON’s Minister Leaf for at least taking a more positive step away from neonics’ deadly nerve toxin. Hopefully this will serve as a template for all the other Cdn provinces, since our in-bed-with-evil Prime Minister “Harpo” stubbornly refuses to ban neonics in the entire country, as he’s been called upon to do by the public. Like the US politicians, he too is in bed with Monsanto, Syngesta, et. al., ALL of whom need to be brought down to their knees for good. (note: also don’t buy nursery plants from Lowe’s, as their soil is already pre-laced with systemic neonics)

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