People power: ban neonicotinoids on garden centre plants
B&Q’s announcement that from next February, it will stop their suppliers from using pesticides toxic to bees on any of the flowering plants they sell.
This has been met with a great deal of delight in the environmental world and has sparked the question – why don’t other garden centres do the same?
Beekeeper Martin Corbett has launched a petition on 38 Degrees asking Homebase and other garden centres to do the same.
The online petition reads: “Toxic pesticides are killing our bees. They’re so dangerous that they’re banned from our fields, but garden centres are still selling plants and flowers treated with them. The very flowers that bees feed on in our own back gardens.
“Bees pollinate three-quarters of the world’s crops – apples, strawberries, onions, carrots and many many more of our fruit and veg.
“We really wouldn’t last long without them. But the pesticides, called neonicotinoids, are lethal – they scramble bees’ memories and damage their navigation leaving them lost and confused.
“38 Degrees members have won this sort of campaign before. When 150,000 of us pressured the big supermarkets to switch to selling paper cotton buds instead of plastic ones that litter our beaches, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, and Boots all fell like dominoes – and we won. We can do that again.”
If you’d like to sign the petition, visit https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-selling-plants-treated-with-bee-harming-pesticides.
Count flowers for bees in Ireland
Citizen science web portal Zooniverse has launched a new project – Count Flowers for Bees, aiming to create a flower map of Ireland to help conserve pollinators.
Bees, hoverflies, and butterflies need pollen and nectar from flowers and need a variety of foods to stay healthy. Unfortunately, Zooniverse doesn’t know where or how many flowers there are across the countryside and needs help in crunching the numbers.
The resulting flower map will help experts figure out where in Ireland is good or bad for pollinators and which areas need the most help. The map will also help planners make more informed decisions about how we use land, now and in the future.
Count Flowers for Bees is part of the FLOMAP project which is funded by the Irish Research Council – Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellowship Scheme 2014.
To find out more, visit www.zooniverse.org/projects/eileenfranklin/count-flowers-for-bees.