Determining Policy Options for Sustainable Honey Bee Populations: The Case in Ontario

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This study examines approaches to improving the sustainability of honey bees in Ontario. The use of pesticides, specifically neonicotinoids, by crop producers is associated with increased honey bee deaths and represents a threat to the health of honey bees. Three case studies, as well as nine interviews with experts, are used to identify policy options for Ontario. The analysis reveals that policies should seek to limit the expansion of neonicotinoids in the environment, mitigate their environmental consequences, encourage evidence development, and target other factors affecting honey bee health. Based on these findings, policy options are proposed and analysed according to seven criteria. I recommend implementing an adaptive management strategy targeting beekeepers and crop producers, and restrictions on the use of neonicotinoids by crop producers. A combination of these policies would meet the short-term objectives to improve honey bee colony health, develop strategies to reduce honey bee losses, and measure results.
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