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Bees play an important role in our food production

(NC) It's easy to see why both bees and pesticides are essential to the success of agriculture.

Bees pollinate many important crops while pesticides protect those same crops from pest damage. Beekeepers also rely on pesticides in their hives to protect against various pests such as the Varroa mite. As such, the plant science industry is committed to ensuring that both bees and pesticides can help agriculture thrive.

Bees, birds, butterflies and other beneficial insects pollinate over 75 per cent of Canada's flowering plants. This means that approximately one-third of the crops used to produce foods and beverages are dependent on these wonderful creatures. This is why the plant science industry strives to ensure its products do not negatively impact bee health.

Insecticide-treated seed evolved as a way to protect seeds and crops while minimizing potential exposures of non-target insects, such as bees. “Coated seeds make a lot of sense because they do away with the possibility of over spraying and allow farmers to reduce the number of spray applications on their crops,” says Pierre Petelle, vice-president of chemistry at CropLife Canada.

In contrast to a traditional spray treatment, where 100 per cent of a field is treated, less than one per cent of the field is treated when a modern seed treatment is used.

“These newer and more effective products have allowed growers to not only reduce or eliminate their use of foliar sprays, but also reduce soil and water erosion through the use of minimum or no-till production practices," says Steve Denys, past-president of the Canadian Seed Trade Association. “This would not be possible without seed treatments like those in the neonicotinoid insecticide family.”

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