A few weeks ago, I wrote about the current loss of the honey bee population. This included facts on how important the honey bee is to America's agricultural needs. Without the honey bee there would be a large loss in fruits and vegetables that many of you eat on a daily basis.
My hopes were to inspire you to put out some “bee friendly” plants of your own as every little bit helps. Since stating that, I feel that it is imperative that I inform you to stay away from “bee friendly” plants from big gardening centers like Lowe's and Home Depot.
These companies are selling so called “bee friendly” plants with no warning on the product. Studies, done by Friends of the Earth, found that these plants have been laced with bee killing pesticides. If you remember in my last bee article, this is one of the main contributors to the current downfall in the bee populace. 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.
My last article mentioned the possible causes of the current bee population drop off. The main one was pesticides and now it seems that these neonicotinoids have been found in over half the agricultural and garden plants. Although these chemicals are not given in doses large enough to kill off the bee, it weakens the bee's immune system inevitably causing thousands of bee's deaths. It also messes with their brains making them confused and unable to find their way back to their hives so they starve to death. These chemicals are unmarked on these plants allowing for unsuspecting, happy urban gardeners to buy them, helping to kill off more of the bee population.
Beekeepers across the country lost 90% of their bees last winter. At this rate, bees will soon be on the extinction list. Many house hold products also contain neonicotinoids like Bounty, Wrangler, and many others. I'm not suggesting that you never use these products again but I am suggesting that you never flush them or pour them into the yard. Make sure you properly dispose of them. For the list of products that contain bee killing chemicals, check out Care2 for the full list.
Before I said to plant some “bee friendly” plants like lavender. Now I have another way to help out our buzzy friends. Friends of the Earth have started a petition against Lowe's and Home Depot to do something about their bee killing plants. Help out the bee population and send in your thoughts to the murderous corporations.
Let me remind you that bees pollinate close to 70% of our agricultural products making it impossible to continue without the honey bee. So if you want to keep eating apples, blueberries, cherries, broccoli, celery, pumpkins, and many more delicious fruits and vegetables, do your part in saving the honey bee.
1.“'Bee-Friendly' Plants That Could Kill Bees”, Cook, Michelle Schoffo September, 9th 2013, http://www.care2.com/greenliving/lowes-home-depot-sell-bee-friendly-plan...