Spring is a busy time for honey producers. Throw in the destructive antics of some hungry bears and it can all add up to one giant and expensive nuisance. And this spring is no different than previous ones for one New Brunswick producer, except this year the marauding bears have been bringing along the family to sample the luscious, fresh honey.
Commercial honeybee colonies have had a rough run. And it’s not over yet. The annual loss rate for honeybees during the year ending in April rose to 40.7 percent, up slightly over the annual average of 38.7 percent, according to the Bee Informed Partnership, a nonprofit group associated with the University of Maryland.
The federal government is giving farmers three years to figure out what pesticides they can use to protect their crops from aphids and mites, but some say they aren't convinced about the alternatives. Health Canada confirmed plans Wednesday to gradually phase out two of the three nicotine-based pesticides — neonicotinoids, also known as neonics — that are currently approved for use in Canada. Plans to phase out the third have already been announced.
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