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Below seasonal temperatures having a negative impact on bees, says expert

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Mike Arsenault
On Camera Presenter/Field Reporter

Thursday, August 28, 2014, 5:42 PM -

People aren't the only ones disappointed by the cooler summer in southern Ontario. 

The below seasonal temperatures are also causing havoc for bees. 

"We like temperatures in the 20s, 22 to 25," says David Schuit, owner of Saugeen Country Honey. "We need rain to make things grow, but the thing is if we persistent rain and cold weather, it will affect the bees in the sense that they can’t go out in the foliage, but they’re still happy and healthy at home."

The cooler weather is one problem, pesticides are the other. 

"Neonicotinoids is a pesticide they coats the seed...the seed goes in the ground and becomes a water base," Schuit says. "When the plant grows up, it draws up the water with the pesticide; so the entire plant is systemic. Basically it affects the nervous system, the body shuts down, the legs become paralyzed, tongues sticking out, crucial pains, venom dripping out of their stinger. It’s terrible." 

"What the pesticide does to the bees is it kills them. It kills them by the millions. One seed of treating corn is enough to kill one entire hive. If you’ve got a good hive, you've got anywhere between 80 and 90 thousand bees in a hive." 

The chemicals are also said to be impacting earthworms and birds while posing a significant risk to the environment.

For more information on the Colony Collapse Disorder, check out our series of articles online:

BELOW: Try not to tense up as two of our very own reporters get up close and personal with the bees.

Study: Bees rely on mental maps for navigation, not just sun-compass readings
Bees in decline
Conservation and science leaders demand government protection of wild bumblebees

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