As everyone knows, the Ontario Beekeepers Association has been driven by an “anti-neonic” agenda since 2012. In that time they’ve wasted the time of industry, government, media and the general public with this misguided rhetoric. The Ontario Government passed strict neonic regulations under the guise of saving the bees (when in reality it just fell under their Eco-activism mindset), and have since moved on. NGO’s that were once committed to the plight of the honeybee have now switched to the plight of native pollinators, primarily due to the resistance they faced from the Canadian honeybee industry. All this was due to the OBA’s inability to look in the mirror and realize their biggest problem was themselves.
The audience the OBA once had is now gone, and they blew their best chance to actually help honeybees across Canada. Time was wasted on faulting neonics for the problems in our industry, and the real issues were not dealt with. Mites/diseases, replacement stock, food safety, and labour are the real issues that needed to be dealt with, and we no longer have the sympathetic audience that would help us find solutions to those problems.
To clearly illustrate just how badly the OBA blew it was in the August issue of Hivelights, which is the Canadian Honey Council’s (CHC) newsletter. Kevin Nixon, Chairman of CHC wrote an excellent article around the frustration and disappointment we all feel towards the OBA.