Canada launches neonic special review for squash bees
The Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) has initiated a special review of the neonicotinoid insecticides, clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam, because of potential environmental risks related to squash bees (Peponapis pruinosa). The insecticides are used on cucurbits such as pumpkins, squash and watermelons. At any time during the special review, the registrations of the insecticides may be amended if such action is deemed necessary to deal with a situation that endangers the environment, the PMRA points out. Separately, the Agency is re-evaluating the value of neonicotinoids and the potential effects on pollinators from all agricultural uses of the insecticides. The province of Ontario is seeking to reduce by 80% the area planted with maize and soybean seed treated with neonicotinoid insecticides by 2017. Meanwhile, there has been an unexplained 70% reduction in the number of bee deaths associated with neonicotinoid insecticides reported to the PMRA this year.