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New bee yard at Hamilton port lands to help level population

It’s wonderful to see organizations, like Humble Bee and the Hamilton Port Authority, come together to
support pollinator populations and educate Canadians on the importance of bees in our ecosystem.
Honey bees, bumblebees, and many wild pollinators play a critical role in the production of fruits,
vegetables, and other crops; and few value this more than Canada’s farmers.

Despite the reported challenges that Canadian beekeepers have faced in recent years, data from
Statistics Canada show that the number of honey bee colonies has actually increased by nearly 40%
from 2011 to 2016. Bee health is complex and subject to a combination of factors. In a survey conducted
by The Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists (CAPA), Canadian beekeepers identified their
four main concerns with respect to bee health as being harsh and unusual weather conditions, failure in
monitoring for and managing the parasitic mite called Varroa destructor, inadequate fall food supply,
and low quality of queen stocks. Factors that may also impact honey bee health include other pests and
pathogens; climate change, habitat loss and poor hive management.

Concerns over neonicotinoids have overwhelmed the dialogue surrounding bee populations in recent
years, with rhetoric that unfairly paints farmers as being at opposition with bee health; when nothing
could be less true. In crop farming, neonicotinoids are often applied to seeds which are then planted
directly in the ground. This approach reduces the risk to non-target organisms because the amount used
is considerably less than would be needed for a foliar (spray) application and less likely to come in direct
contact with foraging bees. Dust created during planting has been identified as a potential point of
exposure to neonicotinoids. This risk is manageable, and farmers have made significant changes to their
farming practices to further reduce this risk including the use of fluency agents, dust shields on planting
equipment and improved communication with local apiarists.

Farmers understand their obligation to protect pollinators, and have adopted strategies such as
Integrated Pest Management (IPM), that take this into consideration when making pest management
decisions. IPM incorporates several methods of pest control including mechanical tools, biological and
cultural controls, and pesticides. This approach considers what’s best for the land, nearby wildlife and
pollinators, weather conditions, the time of year, and what is going to be effective in managing the pest.
Considerable effort has been made to boost and support pollinator populations on farms by
incorporating flowering plants as cover crops or into buffer zones, riparian areas, and marginal land.

It’s clear that agriculture has a role to play in bee health, but it’s important to not undercut the effort
made by Canadian farmers to protect and promote pollinators

Source : Farm & Food Care Ontario

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The Agricultural Revolution

Video: The Agricultural Revolution

Most of us know about the industrial revolution and how that era brought about an explosion of innovation that actually continues to this day. For all intents and purposes, we live in the world that revolution created. However very few of us speak about the agricultural revolution that preceded this era, even though it was just as important, if not more. How come? At the middle of the 18th century a wave of modernization in the agricultural sector created a spectacular increase in food production. This allowed societies to sustain larger communities, communities that then gradually left the fields to work in the new factories that were now popping up. So let's explore a bit this side of our history and find out how modern agriculture was born.