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Ontario beekeepers are calling on the federal and provincial governments to beef up regulations for spraying pesticides on crops to protect their hives.

The call comes after 2013’s season came with a devastating loss of honey-producing beehives with bee yards in Ontario reporting losses of up to 90 per cent.

Neonicotinoids are a type of insecticide commonly used to protect seeds from insects. They affect the central nervous system of insects, causing paralysis and death.

It’s believed the chemical treatment can become airborne in dust during planting in dry conditions and the chemical dust also contaminates flowers foraged on by honey bees.

According to Health Canada chemical residues were found in about 80 per cent of bee yards where dead bee samples were collected and analyzed.

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