Capilano Call For Reassessment of Neonicotinoid Use

09/11/2016

While Capilano Honey has grown exponentially since 1953 the core values, established by founders J.C. (Tim) Smith MBE and his brother H.A. (Bert) Smith, of quality, innovation, safety and a true ‘hive to home’ experience continue to drive the company to this day.

It is because of these values that we feel dedicated to safeguarding the future of Australia’s bee population. Their welfare is of paramount importance to our daily operations and we are 100% committed to ensuring a sustainable future for honey supply and the 600 Aussie beekeeping families that we support across the country.

As a result, we continue to invest in a range of initiatives to promote bee health, effective biosecurity and to support beekeeper education. All of which will remain an ongoing priority for Capilano Honey.

In the late 1990’s, neonicotinoids came under increasing global scrutiny over their environmental impacts and have been linked to honey bee colony collapse disorder (CCD) in the USA. Subsequently, the European Union (EU) and several non EU countries have restricted or banned their use.

Increasingly, global research has indicated that neonicotinoids may be harmful to the health of honey bees. Capilano is committed to the health and wellbeing of Australia’s honey bees and, as such, does not endorse the use of neonicotinoids.

Following a government industry symposium on the matter, we are now certain that the registrations of neonicotinoids in Australia should be reviewed, reduced or removed entirely.

With this in mind, on the 1st November, 2016 we provided the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) with a submission detailing some of the concerning scientific findings in relation to bees and their interactions with neonicotinoids in the environment. This submission forms part of the APVMA’s Roadmap for insect pollinator risk assessment in Australia.

While Australian farmers need to be able to manage their crops for maximised returns, the incorrect perception (and marketing) that neonicotinoids are completely harmless may be leading to their inappropriate overuse, particularly as a prophylactic treatment when pests aren’t even present.

We are now calling for extreme caution to be used when considering the use and regulation of neonicotinoids in Australia.

Capilano looks forward to further discussions with the APVMA on this issue on behalf of our beekeepers. In the interim, we will be working closely with The Australian Honey Bee Industry Council (AHBIC) who has commissioned further research on neonicotinoids and we will assist them in any actions resulting from the research findings.

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