European retailer B&Q announced that they will no longer sell plants known to be grown with bee-harming pesticides. Starting February 2018, all of their flowering plants will be pesticide-free. This decision comes after scientific evidence continually proved that exposure to neonicotinoids in the field is threatening bee populations.
Bee populations have seen a drastic decline over the past few decades – some keepers reporting losses up to 90 percent. Pesticides are one contributing factor that threatens their habitats.
Studies have shown that bees exposed to neonicotinoids experience cognitive impairment that reduces learning and memory, reduces their immune system, effects their ability to communicate, harms their reproduction, and limits their ability to pollinate.
As bees are responsible for pollinating more than half the world’s crops, the pesticides are not only a threat bees, but the world’s food supply, as well.
In response to the drastic decline of bee populations, the European commission drafted legislation that would place a ban on the use of such harmful pesticides.
In 2013, the commission put a temporary ban on three particularly harmful neonicotinoids. The new ban, however, does not include plants that are a product of greenhouses. If approved by European Union members, the ban could go into effect as early as this year.
B&Q is the first company to make this drastic change. As the UK’s leading DIY and garden center, it’s their goal to create a bee-friendly environment and reduce any negative impact their practices could have on bee populations. Encouraging others to follow suite, B&Q will not carry any flowering plants that were grown with neonicotinoids.
If you’re concerned with dwindling bee populations, head over here and learn about a few ways in which you can help.