Friends of the Earth U.K., Paul de Zylva
Late last week, protesters buzzed around the British Parliament, urging Prime Minister David Cameron to "give bees a chance." Honey bee populations have dwindled around the world and many hives aren't the busy little factories they used to be. Because of their crucial role in pollination, it's vital to find out what's behind bee colony collapse.
Some researchers believe a type of pesticide called neonicotinoids may be at least partly responsible. Just this week, the European Union voted for a two year ban on the pesticide -- a move my next guest says is long overdue.
Paul de Zylva is a Senior Campaigner for Friends of the Earth U.K., an environmental group. He was in London, England.
Ontario Beekeepers Association, Dan Davidson
Dan Davidson is hoping Canada gets serious about the issue of pesticides as well. He's the President of the Ontario Beekeepers Association. He was in Watford, Ontario.
Grain Farmers of Ontario, Kevin Armstrong
Health Canada says an unusually high number of bee losses were reported last spring, affecting more than 40 beekeepers. Residues of neonicotinoid insecticides used to treat corn seed were detected in approximately 70 per cent of the dead bees analyzed. It's believed they were exposed to the dust produced when the seeds were planted.
Tracy Baute is the lead investigator in the Field Crop Entomologist Program with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food. We aired a clip.
Corn planting season is starting up again, and the Ministry has some recommendations for the ways farmers might be able to help protect the bees. One of the farmers those recommendations are aimed at is Kevin Armstrong. He grows corn, wheat and soybean at his farm just south of Woodstock, Ontario. He's also the Director of District 7 with the Grain Farmers of Ontario. We reached him in Woodstock, Ontario.
Pest Management Regulatory Agency of Health Canada, Mary Mitchell
Mary Mitchell is the Director General of the Environmental Assessment Directorate with Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency. It's the organization monitoring the bee situation. Good morning.
This segment was produced by The Current's Liz Hoath and Vanessa Greco.
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Last Word - Deanna Durbin
Deanna Durbin died this week at the age of 91. Although she wasn't well-known to modern movie audiences, she was once one of the highest paid stars in Hollywood -- and she was born in Winnipeg.
Movie goers in the 1930s fell in love with Durbin's enthusiasm, fresh face and startling soprano voice. But she grew tired with the roles she was offered and gave it all up in 1949, settling in France for a life out of the glare.
It's obvious even from this distance what made Durbin a star. In 1936, she made a short concert film with another promising young teenager that showed off the range of their skills. The song isn't much -- but the performances by Deanna Durbin and Judy Garland blew the roof off the joint.
Today's Last Word is from the film Every Sunday.
Other segments from today's show: