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‘Bee-Friendly’ Plants That Could Kill Bees

‘Bee-Friendly’ Plants That Could Kill Bees

A new study released by Friends of the Earth reveals that many “bee-friendly” plants sold at garden centers have been pre-treated with toxic pesticides shown to harm or kill bees.  The pilot study co-authored by the Pesticide Research Institute found that 7 of 13 garden plant samples purchased at top retailers like Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Target in Washington, DC, San Francisco, and Minneapolis contained nervous system toxins (neurotoxins) that research demonstrates harms or kills bees.

The study found more than half of the garden plants tested contained neonicotinoids (also known as neonics), which are used in agriculture and on garden plants. Neonics have been cited as a key factor in global bee die-off rates that are staggeringly high. The European Union has scheduled the suspension of neonics later this year after the European Food Safety Authority found that the pesticides pose a serious threat to bees.

In an article, Lisa Archer, director of the Food and Technology Program at Friends of the Earth said:  “Bees are essential to our food system and they are dying at alarming rates. Neonic pesticides are a key part of the problem we can start to fix right now in our own backyards.”

Emily Marquez, staff scientist at Pesticide Action Network says: “Studies indicate that widespread use of systemic pesticides like neonicotinoids is contributing to major bee kills around the globe. And even at doses that don’t kill bees, neonics weaken bee immune systems and impair critical brain functions, making it hard for bees to find their food sources and return to the hive.”

According to EcoWatch, an environmental news service, neonicotinoids are found in many common products used in nurseries or retailers and sold to consumers for home garden use.  They list the following products as sources of neonics:

Equil Adonis
Flower, Rose & Shrub Care
I Maxxpro
Imi Insecticide
Imida-Teb Garden SC
Lancer Gold
Optigard Flex
Pointer Insecticide
Triple Crown Insecticide

What You Can Do:

-Stop shopping at retailers that are selling neonicotinoid pesticide-containing plants and falsely advertising them as “bee friendly.”  Not only is this practice potentially detrimental to bees it is also duping consumers.

-Stop using the above list of neonic-containing pesticides at home or in your garden.

-Take the list of common names of neonic-containing pesticides with you when you buy garden plants and get the retailer/nursery to confirm they are not used.

-If you are using any of the above neonic-containing pesticides properly dispose of them at hazardous waste disposal centers. Do NOT flush them or pour them out in your yard.

-Write a letter to your municipal government asking them to stop using pesticides on public land and parks.  You’d be surprised to learn how many still use them.

-Sign the Care2 petition to help save bees.

Subscribe to my free e-magazine World’s Healthiest News to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow me on my site, Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook.

Bee-Friendly Landscaping

Read more: Community Service, Conscious Consumer, Conservation, Eco-friendly tips, Environment, Lawns & Gardens, Make a Difference, Michelle Schoffro Cook, Natural Pest Control, Nature, Nature & Wildlife, News & Issues, Smart Shopping, , , , , , , , , ,

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Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international best-selling and 15-time book author and doctor of traditional natural medicine, whose works include: 60 Seconds to Slim, Weekend Wonder Detox, Healing Recipes, The Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body Detox, The Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, and The Phytozyme Cure. Subscribe to her free e-magazine World's Healthiest News at to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook.


+ add your own
3:07AM PDT on Aug 1, 2014

Thank you

3:51AM PDT on Mar 21, 2014

I only plant from seeds, but I'm cheap.

10:00AM PDT on Mar 13, 2014

To solve this problem, I'm no longer buying any plants at nurseries or the big box stores. Instead, I've taken to purchasing a wide variety of perennial and annual seeds, and am seeding them myself into flats filled with organic soil, so I don't have to worry. It's healthier, safer for all the insects, and cheaper besides, which helps on this big a property.

10:33PM PDT on Mar 9, 2014

Toxins such as neonicotinoids and other pesticides do not mix well with bees or any other life. These are deadly to wildlife, domestic pets, people and the environment and certainly all nations should follow Europe's lead.

10:27PM PDT on Mar 9, 2014


3:39PM PST on Dec 6, 2013

Oops...sorry...TO stay

3:38PM PST on Dec 6, 2013

Action completed. I'm trying really damn hard to help keep these bees stay life and Mother Earth depends on it. Thanks for sharing.

7:43AM PDT on Nov 1, 2013


12:59PM PDT on Oct 31, 2013

I don't use any of the products on this list and don't touch harmful pesticides. I stick to organic gardening practices and only work with organic seeds and bulbs that I grow myself. I wish more people would do the same. Petition gladly signed!

4:31AM PDT on Oct 24, 2013

This is SERIOUS...very serious! BIG OIL owning 98% of these Chemical companies (largest being Monsanto & Monrovia) is bent on Killing this planet and it's occupants...or making them so sick, we will all be dependent on BIG OIL's Drug companies to live a drug induced life of hell. Please, please...DO NOT BUY any of these products....NOR support retailer's like Home Depot, Costco, Lowe's, et al whom retail these plants/products. We CAN make a difference!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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Thanks for posting this.

I signed the petition. I sincerely hope the best for her.

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