Thursday, March 24, 2011

UN report on Pollinators and a Toronto perspective

On this blog I try to point out the fun and positive things we can each do to preserve pollinators in our garden and our environment. The flip side of this is that there are problems, sometimes severe problems, pollinators are facing.

A new United Nations report outlines the magnitude of the problem. The summary of the report points to a variety of causes, and focuses on honeybees. However as we heard at Canada Blooms, the problem is acute for most bee species, not just honeybees. Professor Laurence Packer told us last Saturday that is his view the biggest problems are pesticides, disease,and the worst of all words combination of these: many pesticides that don't kill bees outright weaken their immune systems. So while the immediate cause of death of a colony may be a disease, the original cause was sublethal doses of pesticides the colony was exposed to. A group of French scientists have demonstrated this for one disease-pesticide combination. There have been persistent rumors of US government scientists whose research on this issue was suppressed by higher-ups. For a farmer-oriented summary of this, look at Farmer Fred's Rant.

This is a fairly down, unhappy report, so I'm going to leave it at that for now. I'll be back soon with some interesting pollinator plants for the spring pond and wetland garden.

Gosh, no pretty pictures? Must be that I find this side of the equation too sad to sweeten it with photo icing.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations, Clement! Your remarkable efforts are very much appreciated by those who care passionately about the natural world.

    I would like to put a notice in the next issue of the Blazing Star about the NAPPC award and the work you have done to deserve it. I need to clarify a few points. Would you e-mail me please at Thanks very much,
    Irene Fedun