The Craig Fahle Show

The Plants You Buy For Home May Be Killing Bees

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Photo courtesy: Flickr Creative Commons

Colonies of bees have been suffering throughout the United States for several years. Disease, pathogens, mites and habitat loss have all contributed to a disorder among bees called colony collapse. But local bee experts say the major factor is pesticides -- otherwise known as neonics. These pesticides are used on 140 different crops and are also sold in garden stores.

Melissa Cooper Sargent is an Environmental Health Educator for Ecology Center. She says the organization would like to see retail stores stop carrying plants and products that have neonics, but she says a push to ban neonics altogether may also be on the horizon.

"It can be done," says Sargent. She says France has taken action against neonics since 1999 and has since seen bee populations rebound. "There are many other ways to take care of insect pests that don't involve pesticides."

Read the BeeAction report on neonics in Detroit here. The report shows: "Thirty-six out of 71 (51 percent) of garden plant samples purchased at top garden retailers in 18 cities in the United States and Canada contain neonicotinoid pesticides -- a key contributor to recent bee declines. Some of the flowers contained neonic levels high enough to kill bees outright assuming comparable concentrations are present in the flowers' pollen and nectar. Further, 40 percent of the positive samples contained two or more neonicotinoids."