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The Independent October 10, 2013 : Page 1

Ignore us at your peril: Wind groups to Wynne Vol. 1, Issue 6 3 3 1 1 Now Delivering To Wyoming Thursday, October 10, 2013 Heather Wright The Independent Enniskillen Mayor Kevin Marriott says municipalities who don’t want industrial wind turbines in their communities are tired of being ignored. And they’re planning to block highways to get some attention. Since May, when Premier Kathleen Wynne commented that only municipalities who are “willing hosts” would have wind energy projects, 71 rural municipalities have passed motions saying they are “not a willing host.” In a news release, the municipalities say this has happened as a response to activities by wind turbine companies in areas not previously affected by projects and an understanding that Ontario does not need more electricity at this time.” Marriott helped to organize the municipalities to speak as one voice at a recent Association of Municipalities meeting this summer. At the time, the provincial government was preparing to release new guidelines and contract requirements for the projects. That hasn’t happened yet. The group adds the government’s proposals for community benefit programs and community sponsorship do not address the core problems being created when wind turbines are located too close to people. As Mayor April Jeffs of Wainfleet says “municipalities are looking for solutions to the real problems, not public relations gimmicks.” The government has held a series of public meetings, all in urban areas. And Marriott says rural communities, which have the most to lose in the effort to produce wind energy, have been largely ignored. Marriott says it is as if the province was saying “’we’ll reach out to the ones we want to reach out to’…how can you ignore 71 municipalities?” Marriott says the municipalities are growing weary of waiting and have planned to block the 402 near Forest on Oct. 19 to make their point. See NOT WILLING on Page 3 Heather Wright Photo John Bryans of Munroe Honey in Alvinston checks one of his beehives behind his main facility. Bryans, along with other beekeepers, wants the federal government to ban the use of neonicotinoid pesticides on corn and soybeans be-cause they believe it is killing off the bee population. Bryan’s crop has been cut to less than 25 percent this year. Beekeepers want ban before it’s too late Heather Wright The Independent John and Davis Bryans were ready to expand their growing honey business in Alvinston. But those plans have been put on hold as the brothers who run Munroe Honey and Meadery weather the storm in their industry. Beekeepers across the province have been facing shocking losses in their hives. Queen bees which are supposed to live and produce bees for three years are dying and some bees never return to the hive. The industry says a new pesticide for corn and soybeans is to blame. Several years ago, seed companies introduced a new “seed coating” using neonicotinoid to treat corn and soybeans to reduce bug problems. Two years ago, many beekeepers, including the Bryans, began to notice problems with their hives. “We noticed funny things going on in the hives and we weren’t sure what was causing the problem,” says John. They heard about neonicotinoid on seeds and some of the problems being detected and dealt with in Europe’s bee colonies because of it as they watched the health of their bees decline last year. The chemical is in the soil and affects the ground water the bees drink. They become confused and can’t come back to the hive. Bryans says this year the problems are stark. As he stands in front of 100 barrels of this year’s honey crop he says it is less than a quarter of what his business produced five years ago. The Bryans are not alone in their problem. Beekeepers Bill Ferguson of Hensall and Bernie Wiehle, who happened to be at Munroe’s, say they’re experiencing the same problems. Ferguson says a queen will generally lay 2,000 eggs per day. They aren’t doing that now and he says they’re finding queens dead beside the hives. See Beekeepers on Page 2 4219 Oil Heritage Road, Petrolia 519-882-1090 1-855-864-4962

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