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“Bee-Friendly” Plants May Harm Bees

BEE KILLEUGENE, Ore. — A new report found so-called “bee friendly” plants that are on sale at Lowe’s, Walmart and Home Depot may actually be harming bees.

The study was released by Friends of the Earth and allies, including Beyond Toxics.

Researchers found 51 percent of garden plant samples purchased at top garden retailers in 18 cities in the U.S. and Canada contained neonicotinoid pesticides.

Plants were also tested in Eugene, but none of them contained toxic pesticides.

Still it affects the food crops we depend on every day.

Bees and other pollinators are essential for two thirds of the food crops we eat, and these pesticides are key contributor to recent bee declines.

In response to the new report, Lowe’s says it has been closely monitoring the situation and, “we expect all of our vendors to abide by EPA guidelines regarding application and labeling of all pesticides.”

Home Depot says it will also require all of its live good suppliers to label plants that they have treated with neonicotinoids by fourth quarter 2014.

Walmart sent us the following statement: “Walmart shares the concerns of others regarding pollinator health, including the health of bees. Like many other environmental and social issues in agriculture, the neonicotinoid issue is very complex.  We are monitoring the science on this very closely, and we look forward to the findings from the White House’s National Pollinator Health Task Force, announced in the last week.  We are actively engaging with many stakeholders, including scientists, suppliers, farmers and customers, to explore additional steps we can take to enhance the health of bees and other pollinators in the food and garden supply chains.”

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