Friday, March 21, 2014

Learn How You May Be Contributing To the Death of Honeybees

Most of you know that honeybees are dying at alarming rates.  If this is not stopped, it will also mean our death since the majority of food plants are pollinated by bees.  You may reply, "What can I do? I'm not a farmer."  There is a lot you can do, so please read this blog. It is up to all of us to make sure our corner of the world is not contributing to the destruction of our environment and the creatures in it.

There is a big issue you may not be aware of. Since I learned this fact, I have changed my gardening habits.  Once you read this blog, I hope you decide to change yours as well.

Do you buy nursery plants from Lowe's, Home Depot, or any of the large chains?  


Most of us have at one time or another. If you visit Home Depot, the place is full of consumers buying flowers and plants of every kind. So what's the problem?

These nursery plants are pretreated with deadly neonicotinoids.  These neonicotinoids are implicated in the die-off of bees. Research conducted by the Friends of the Earth and Pesticide Research Institute proved that 7 out of 13 garden plants purchased in stores like Lowe's and Home Depot contained neurotoxic pesticides known as neonicotinoids. This pesticide is manufactured by Bayer CropScience and Syngenta.  It is a synthetic pesticide and is being manufactured at an alarming rate. You will find this bee killing insecticide in many common products found at your local discount hardware and garden store.

What kind of pesticides are you using in your garden?

Several European countries, including France, Germany and Italy, have banned agricultural neonicotinoids. Bee Raisers in those countries sued these pesticide companies after suffering huge honey bee losses. It took the loss of these important bees to get the government in those countries to act.  The US government does not heed the warnings from Europe, even though the evidence is blatant.  They are being sold here as we speak.

It seems that backyard use of this pesticide is greater problem than in agriculture land, "“For homeowner use products, for backyard plants, the amount of neonicotinoids used is like 40 times greater than anything allowable in agricultural systems,” said entomologist James Frazier of Penn State University."

Backyard gardeners overuse pesticides like these often.  An excerpt is included below from an article on the problem of these pesticides and back yard overuse. In agriculture the pesticide is applied at 4mg per square foot of land. In backyard usage, that dosage can be applied at up to 250 mg to a three-gallon pot.  This equals a dose that is a killer to bees. How well do you adhere to the label directions when using these products?  Research shows that a high number of people do not follow directions properly.

"Not everyone may follow instructions, either. “Gardeners have no training in their use, and will often overdose,” said bee biologist Dave Goulson of Scotland’s University of Stirling, co-author of a recent paper on neonicotinoids and hive health. Goulson said in an e-mail that “gardens and fruit-growing areas are potentially interesting/bad.”

Read the full article here. It is very important that you realize what you may be doing to add to the problems of our honey bees.  

Here is a partial list of products containing these pesticides in this article located here.

What can I do?  

  • Write Lowe's and Home Depot that they should stop selling garden plants where this pesticide has been applied. 
  • Stop buying garden plants from these stores and grow your own from organic seeds.  Try to support nursery stores that offer organic grown alternatives.
  • Grow flowers and vines in your yards that have not had this pesticide applied.
  • Use only organic pesticides that do not kill honeybees and other pollinators.
  • Check your garden products now and throw out the ones that contain harmful pesticides. 

I hope this article alerts you to information that you need to know to help in the honey bee problem.
Thanks for reading.

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Thanks, Kate Freer, The Herbladyisin


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