ROCHESTER, Wash. - Bee advocates on Wednesday released a report they say found some plants marketed as ‘bee friendly’ actually contain pesticides that can harm or even kill honey bees.
The group Friends of the Earth released the report that says 7 of the 13 plants they purchased from major retailers tested positive for neonicotinoids, a class of pesticides that some tests have shown interfere with bees’ ability to navigate.
“It affects their central nervous system and their ability to charter a course out to forage and back,” said Washington State Beekeeper Association President Mark Emrich. “ Sometimes they get lost in the field trying to get to forage or get back to the hive.”
The EPA is currently studying neonicotinoids and told KING 5 that pesticides are one of several stressors associated with honey bee declines.
Wednesday's report named several large retailers that carry products that tested positive for the pesticide, including Home Depot, which proved KiING 5 with this response:
“We haven’t reviewed the study yet, but we certainly appreciate the importance of the bee population and will be reaching out to the study groups to learn more about their findings and methodology.”
Friends of the Earth suggested gardeners ask retailers if their bee friendly products contain pesticides and should avoid them if they do.