Pesticides Found On “Bee-Friendly” Plants Sold At Garden Centers

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“Here’s just another reason to start your plants from seeds and cuttings and bring them on yourself rather than buy from Garden Centers and Supermarkets. You could always buy them from a local guy you know and trust and keep the money in the community. Also buying organic certified plants may reduce your chances of pesticide exposure for you and the wildlife.”

Gardeners Beware (2014): Bee-toxic pesticides found in “bee-friendly plants sold at garden centers across the U.S. and Canada

Many “bee-friendly” home garden plants sold at Home Depot, Lowe’s and Walmart have been pre-treated with pesticides shown to harm and kill bees, according to a study released today by Friends of the Earth and allies.

The study, Gardeners Beware 2014, shows that 36 out of 71 (51 percent) of garden plant samples purchased at top garden retailers in 18 cities in the United States and Canada contain neonicotinoid (neonic) pesticides — a key contributor to recent bee declines. Some of the flowers contained neonic levels high enough to kill bees outright assuming comparable concentrations are present in the flowers’ pollen and nectar. Further, 40 percent of the positive samples contained two or more neonics.

The study is a larger follow up to a first-of-its-kind pilot study released by Friends of the Earth last August. The new study expanded the number of samples and number of locations where plants were purchased, and also assessed the distribution of neonic pesticides between flowers and the rest of the plant.

“The high percentage of contaminated plants and their neonicotinoid concentrations suggest that this problem continues to be widespread,” said Lisa Archer, director of the Food & Technology program at Friends of the Earth-U.S. “Most gardeners have no idea that their gardens may be a source of harm to bees. We’re calling on retailers to get neonicotinoid pesticides out of their plants and off their shelves as soon as possible. Until then, gardeners should buy organic plants to ensure the safety of bees.”

Continue reading “Pesticides Found On “Bee-Friendly” Plants Sold At Garden Centers”

UK/EU Facing Food Security Catastrophe Due To Honeybee Shortages

This report by the University of Reading highlights that the preservation of the honeybee is of the utmost importance. Europe has 13.4 million too few honeybee colonies to properly pollinate its crops. Demand for insect pollination is growing five times as fast as the number of honeybee colonies across Europe as farmers grow more insect-pollinated oil crops, such as oilseed rape and sunflowers and also fruit.

“We need a proper strategy across Europe to conserve wild bees and pollinators through habitat protection, agricultural policy and farming methods, or we risk big financial losses to the farming sector and a potential food security crisis.” – Professor Simon Potts

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Direct Link to Uni -report: http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/news/food-security/2014/140109-pr-europe-short-of-13m-honeybee-colonies.aspx

It also follows a two-year ban implemented in December across the European Union on insecticides that were linked to the serious decline of bees. These insecticides are said to potentially be a contributing factor in the CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder) that Hives have been experiencing over the last 5 years, the full causes of which are still yet unknown. I’ll be reporting more on CCD in future posts.

It sounds as though every little helps right now for the Bee populations so if you needed an excuse to plant bee friendly plants, maybe some native wild flowers then here it is.

Maybe you could go that step further and have a Bubblebee Hive or even keep some Honeybee’s and gain a yield in exchange for a lovely home. I plan to post more on that later too.