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Don't buy plants from big box stores, and save the honeybees!

I saw the first honeybee today, so I hope it's doing alright. Report warns that widely used plant pesticide can harm bees:

Many home-garden plants promoted as “bee-friendly” are in fact pretreated with a class of pesticides that can kill bees and other pollinating insects, says a report to be released Wednesday in Portland by the environmental advocacy group Friends of the Earth.

Test results show that more than half of the garden plants from major retailers in 18 cities in the U.S. and Canada, including Portland, contain neonicotinoids, commonly used pesticides that are toxic to bees and many other organisms, according to the report.

Don't buy plants from "Garden Centers" at big box stores!

Of the plant samples that tested positive for the pesticides, 40 percent contained two or moreneonicotinoids, according to the report, which concludes that widespread use of the pesticides means that many home gardens have likely become harmful for bees.

Neonics are systemic pesticides, meaning they affect not just the surface of leaves of treated plants but are absorbed through the entire system, penetrating even into the soil, said Erin Forbes, a master beekeeper from Portland.

They are persistent, lasting as long as 15 years in soil, she said, describing neonics as “the most common class of pesticide mixtures in the world (and) the most common household pesticide.”


“They are absolutely a contributing factor to the increased decline of honeybee colonies in recent years,” Forbes said.

She said most plants that are started in soil and transported from one state to another have neonics in the soil. “Here in Maine, that’s the most common route of transmission,” Forbes said.

When there are farmer's markets, and seed catalogs, there's really no reason to go to a "Garden Center." They've spread blight, too.

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