Aug 14, 2018

By Michael Kramer

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Ottawa is moving to phase out the use of nicotine-based pesticides linked to a rising number of honey bee deaths.

Tomorrow, The Pest Management Regulatory Agency of Canada is due to announce a three-year phaseout of two of the three main neonicotinoid pesticides – approved for use in Canada.

The agency has already announced plans to phase out the third pesticide in all outdoor uses – meaning it can’t be sprayed or used to pre-treat seeds before planting.

Neonicotinoids, or neonics, are a class of pesticides used by farmers and hobby gardeners – to manage pests like aphids and spider mites. Scientists blame the chemicals for weakening bees, making them more susceptible to disease and bad weather.

Ottawa’s decision will mark the completion of nearly six years of work by the agency –  and follows a similar ban by the European Union taking effect at the end of the year.

Environmental groups welcome Canada moving ahead with a ban – but say five years is too long for the full ban to take effect.

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