A Letter from the Lanark Beekeepers Association

I am writing this letter on behalf of the members of the Lanark County Beekeepers’ Association listed below. We are concerned about the County’s plan to spray county roadsides and ditches with the herbicide ClearView to control wild parsnip.

The spraying of this herbicide could have far-reaching effects on bee colony health, honey production, and honey quality. Roadside plants such as dandelion, sweet clover, goldenrod and wild mustard are attractive to bees and are a major source of nectar and pollen for many beekeepers. If these plants are killed by widespread spraying, this loss of bee forage could affect honey production and colony health. As well, any contaminated nectar and pollen that is collected from sprayed plants will be carried back to the hive where it is either stored or fed todeveloping bees. The effect of ClearView, a relatively new herbicide, on developing bees is not known. We do know that this herbicide is very stable in water; it would therefore likely persist in honey, compromising the product that we sell as “pure” and “natural”.

We urge Council to reconsider the plan to spray herbicides to control wild parsnip and opt instead for targeted mowing that would have far less impact on our bees, our livelihood and the health of all pollinators in Lanark County.

Shelley Neilson
for the Lanark County Beekeepers’ Association
Shelley Neilson Michael Seidenbusch, Sandy Parks, Pat Neumann, Susie Osler, Donna Mae Klassen, Brian Scott,Glenn Chapple, Steve Bolger, Helen Carigo, Jack Kelly, Louise Kelly, Brad Mills, Shawn Kavanagh, Tim Snider, Sue Cole, Neil Carter, Carol Passfield, Amanda Brown, Jeff Brown,Tony Wilcox, Monica Wilcox, Richard Walker, Nancy Rattle, Terri Wright, Dianne Dawson,Monika Vogel, Martin Vogel, Robert MacKinnon, Krystal Kehoe, Ian MacLeod, Phil Laflamme, Mel Latham