I recently heard about a group of folks in Minnesota who are as concerned about the decline of the honeybee as anyone (click here to read the story). They gathered on a frigid morning at a local Home Depot, carrying signs and wearing antennae and black and yellow stripes. Their goal? To urge the garden center to stop selling pesticides suspected of harming bees.
It’s all part of a nation-wide movement to restore the population of honey bees to its pre-2006 level. Since that year, the bee population has declined annually—a phenomenon known as colony collapse disorder.
Researchers are making the case that there may be a link between certain pesticides and the dwindling colonies. Known as neonicotinoid pesticides, the products are applied directly to the soil and taken up into the plant. While they don’t kill bees directly, they interfere with bees’ ability to search for nectar and find their way back to their hives.
The folks gathered outside their neighborhood garden center are hoping that large national chains will take the bold step of removing neonicotinoids from their shelves.
If you’d like to avoid buying these products, check the label for the list of active ingredients. If one of these is listed, the pesticide contains neonicotinoids: Acetamiprid, Clothianidin, Dinotefuran, Imidacloprid, Nitenpyram, Thiocloprid, Thiamethoxam.