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Bee and pesticide die off expert visiting from UK - interview opportunity in Ontario

Tuesday, November 12th 2013 9:06:38am

Friends of the Earth Canada welcomes expert

Who: Professor Dave Goulson, a UK biologist who specializes in bees.

He has published over 200 scientific articles on the ecology of bees and other insects, and is the author of Bumblebees; their behaviour, ecology and conservation (2010, Oxford University Press) and A Sting in the Tale (2013, Jonathan Cape), a popular science book about bumblebees.

In 2010 he was BBSRC "Social Innovator of the Year" and in 2013 I won the Marsh Award for Conservation Biology from the Zoological Society of London.

In 2006 he founded the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, a charity devoted to reversing bumblebee declines.

When: November 12-14, 2013. Professor Dave Goulson is available for over the phone interviews and when possible in person one-on-one interviews. To schedule an interview please contact Bea Olivastri, CEO Friends of the Earth Canada at 613 724 8690.

What: He will be sharing his insights on the European Union’s experience in deciding to place a two year ban on neonicotinoid (neonics) (a pesticide that is deadly to bees). The ban begins on December 13, 2013.

In light of his visit Friends of the Earth Canada commissioned a poll to discover if Ontarians want action to protect local honey bees. The results are coming out just days before Premier Wynne is scheduled to release the report on options to act from her Bee Health Working Group. The poll demonstrated that:

  • Eight out of ten Ontarians (79%) believe honey bees are important to agriculture in Ontario.

  • More than eight out of ten (84%) support a suspension of neonics to mirror the European Union action.

  • More than eight out of ten (82%) want the federal Minister of Health to act to suspend neonics.

  • Failing action by the federal government, eight out of ten Ontarians (78%) would support suspension of neonics by Ontario's Minister of Agriculture, Premier Wynne.

Background: Professor Dave Goulson studied Biology at Oxford University, and then did a PhD on butterfly ecology at Oxford Brookes University. Shortly afterwards he got a lectureship at University of Southampton, where he stayed for 11 years. It was there that he began to specialize in bumblebee ecology and conservation. In 2006 he became Professor of Biology and Stirling University. He is a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He is currently a professor at the University of Sussex.