Pesticide lawsuit seeks damages for bee deaths.
A Quebec beekeeper is taking on two of the biggest producers of pesticides in the country.
Steve Martineau is taking on Bayer and Syngeta for $20,000 in damages from deaths in his bee colonies.
The companies in question will both be trialed for their use of ‘neonicotinoids’. These pesticides have been linked to bee deaths, and the evidence keeps mounting.
In recent years, bee populations across the world have been dwindling. At first it seemed like a mystery, but soon a link was found.
High levels of pesticides, specifically neonicotinoids were found to be damaging bee health, and leading to mass population decline.
Bee deaths in such high numbers have been catastrophic for beekeeper like Martineau, and he hopes to reclaim the money that he has lost.
Martineau’s lawyer Samy Elnemr said:
“We’re suing on behalf of Quebec beekeepers whose bees were non-productive or killed,”
“We’re not seeking an injunction or anything; it’s a straightforward damage case,”
A recent study published in the Environmental Science and Pollution Research found that insecticides are, for the most part, useless and unnecessary.
Neonicotinoids are nicotine-based pesticides which are used widely on crops to kill all manner of bugs from spiders to aphids.
For years these chemicals have been sprayed on crops across the country, with little thought to what it might be doing to the animal infrastructure.
Agrochemical firms like Bayer and Syngeta see insects simply as a nuisance which get in the way of profits. But wiping out huge numbers of insect populations has a much greater effect higher up in the food chain.
It was only when the bees started dying out that the extent of the problem was realized.
Martineau decided to launch his lawsuit after watching his bee numbers dwindling, and the bees that did survive were unable to perform as they had done previously. He performed some tests on his bees and found they tested positive for neonicotinoids.
A recent review into neonicotinoids found that the chemicals have little to no effect on the bugs they are meant to be destroying. It was found that they have “generally little effect on crop yield,” because of how quickly the insects are able to develop a resistance.
Elnemr said he is confident that his client will get the result he is hoping for.
“We are confident that once we get to trial that the science will show that these pesticides are harmful to bees and the losses are caused by the product,”