bees

Bee Killing Pesticides at Lowes and Home Depot

 

So disappointing that the gardening industry would put all natural bee populations at risk by selling pesticide laden plants to unsuspecting customers.

An independent study found plants sold at Lowe’s and Home Depot tested positive for Neonicotinoid pesticides.  This is the same pesticide that many nations are reviewing as a contributor to bee colony collapse.  Although using a small sample size, the study completed by Pesticide Research shows that those concerned about their local bee populations might look elsewhere for bee-friendly plants.   The sites selected for this study were San Fransisco, Washington DC, Minneapolis.

Plants selected were non-woody flowers and vegetables, and 7 of 13 samples contained insecticide, two of which were above the 150 ug/kg and could be toxic in a single feeding from the plant.  Some also showed multiple insecticides within the plant.

Fig 1.  From Gardener’s Aware Report @ http://libcloud.s3.amazonaws.com/93/60/a/3130/Gardeners_beware_report_8-13-13_final_updated.pdf

I for one will no longer purchase any plants bees might browse from a Lowes or Home Depot.  So where should you shop if you want to do your part and keep a beautiful garden?   I suggest for plants here in the west looking to places like High Country Gardens whose reputation for providing native varieties and ecologically sound plant selections for the western gardener.  Their response to my question about pesticide use was the following.

We do not use any pesticides other than neem oil and other natural products as we care for the long term condition of our products. We are a small grower and do all our growing on site, ship from the warehouse next to the growhouse to ensure the best selections being sent.

Also be aware of the following home Garden pesticides as they too have neonicotinoids.  Notice the FLOWER, ROSE and SHRUB care product listed below.  This could be sold under the Ortho or other brands.  Although I had requested Bayer provide the active ingredient for their Rose care product, I never got more than the response that it didn’t contain neonicotinoids.

I am hoping that with more recognition of this problem, a pesticide labeling requirement will be put into affect so consumers can be informed, and make better choices for their local bee populations.

Fig 2.  From Gardener’s Aware Report @ http://libcloud.s3.amazonaws.com/93/60/a/3130/Gardeners_beware_report_8-13-13_final_updated.pdf

I am hoping that with more recognition of this problem, a pesticide labeling requirement will be put into affect so consumers can be informed, and make better choices for their local bee populations.

For more information also see:

http://www.nbcnews.com/science/bee-killing-pesticide-found-garden-store-plants-what-does-it-6C10919523

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