Quebec is putting new restrictions on pesticides.

The changes mean farmers will need permission from a certified agronomist to use certain pesticides on their crops.

The tighter rules target five pesticides, including three that are nicotine-based, known by their shortened name ‘neonics.’

Studies have linked the product to a decline in the honeybee population.

“The product accumulates itself in pollen, in the wax, in the nectar and the bees consume it during winter and you end up finding your hive dead when the springtime comes,” explained Maggie Lamothe-Boudreau of the Quebec Federation of Beekeepers.

Quebec is also putting restrictions on Atrazine, which can run off into water supplies.

“It has long been established that once in surface water it can impact the sexual development of frogs, for instance -- transforming male frogs into female frogs basically, changing their organs,” said Louise Henault-Ethier of the David Suzuki Foundation, which is pushing the federal government to ban the pesticides altogether.

“For now, what Quebec is doing is one step in the right direction. We would have hoped it would have been already banned, but what we see is a sensitivity towards this transition,” she said.

“A controlled, rigorous and responsible use of pesticides is the key to limiting the risks they entail,” said Sustainable Development and Environment Minister Isabelle Melancon.

While beekeepers and environmental groups welcome the changes, Quebec's grain producers say the government is going too far.

“We have enough the way it is and we're able to regulate ourselves I believe,” said William Van Tassel of Quebec Grain Producers.

Van Tassel said the reality is farmers rely on the pesticides to protect their crops and their livelihood.

“Like it or not, when there's an insect, you have to use something. If the insect is killing or eating your plants, you need to have something. So we'll be using using different products which don't necessarily work as well and can be even harder on the environment,” he said.

The changes will be phased in gradually, starting next month and continuing until spring 2019.