‘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:

Alias
Allectus
Aloft
Arena
Assail
Atera
Aura
Bithor
Bounty
Caravan
Coretect
Derby
Dino
Dominion
Equil Adonis
Flagship
Flower, Rose & Shrub Care
Gaucho
Grub-No-More
Grubex
Grubout
Hawk
I Maxxpro
Ima-Jet
Imi Insecticide
Imid-Bifen
Imida-Teb Garden SC
Imidapro
Imigold
Lada
Lancer Gold
Malice
Mallet
Mantra
Marathon
Meridian
Merit
Nuprid
Optigard Flex
Pasada
Pointer Insecticide
Pronto
Prothor
Rotam
Safari
Sagacity
Scorpion
Starkle
Tandem
Trimax
Triple Crown Insecticide
Tristar
Turfthor
Wrangler
Xytect

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.

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Related:
Bee-Friendly Landscaping

177 comments

Nicolas Nasrallah

These big fat bull headed corporate executives will eventually eradicate all species for the sake of making money.
None of them are working to benefit man kind , only to fill their bank accounts with money the cannot take with them when they die. Only solution is for the governments to start working to protect the people not the corporations.

Panchali Yapa
Panchali Yapa2 years ago

Thank you

John S.
Past Member 2 years ago

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

Kamia T.
Kamia T.2 years ago

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.

Dale O.

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.

Geoff P.
Geoff P.2 years ago

Mmmm

Jinny L.

Oops...sorry...TO stay

Jinny L.

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

Ela V.
Ela V.2 years ago

thanks

Caili W.
Andrea W.2 years ago

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!