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“Bee Safe” Plants Found to Contain Harmful Insecticides

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Despite the efforts of home gardeners to grow plants in a manner that is safe for bee,  many gardeners are actually filling their yards with deadly insecticides.

Bee die-off rates have reached staggering proportions within recent years. Last winter, beekeepers reported a loss of 40-90% of their bees. There are a few known causes contributing to this death toll, from commercial insecticide use to Colony Collapse disorder, a phenomenon discovered in France in the 1990’s, in which the adult bees mysteriously abandon the hive, leaving even their queens behind. Now it seems some of the problem is coming from the very people trying to preserve the bee population.

Even cautious green-thumbs have been growing plants laced with harmful pesticides. Home Depot Lowe’s and other top garden centers have deceived customers by selling plants labeled as “bee friendly”, many of which have been pre-treated with insecticides shown to harm bees. Seven out of thirteen plants samples from stores in Washington D.C. and San Francisco were found to contain neurotoxic pesticides, which are known threats to bees, as they have been known to poison them. They are a danger to other natural pollinators as well, including butterflies, bats, and ladybugs. These insecticides enter the plants through the root and travel upwards, eventually spreading throughout the entire plant and reaching the pollen and nectar. Minor exposure is enough to debilitate bees by impairing their brain function. Direct contact can kill them.

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Image source: images.google.com

On average, one-third of every bite a person takes was pollinated by bees. Meanwhile, two-thirds of all crops, including blueberries and almonds, rely on the pollination of bees. Honey bees in particular contribute $20 million to the U.S. economy annually. Overall they garner $217 million towards the global economy.

Since the release of the study 175,000 people have demanded Home Depot and other stores prohibit the sales of plants treated with these insecticides.

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