Home Environment and health Sign petition against bee-harming pesticides

Sign petition against bee-harming pesticides

Bees on lavender. Picture; Vanessa Sundin

People power: ban neonicotinoids on garden centre plants

Bee chives
Help to save our bees

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.

Vital pollinators

“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.

Bee Sedum
Garden plants like this Sedum are a prime food source for bees

“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

Bee Spiraea
Counting bees for 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.

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Mandy Watson is a freelance journalist and an incurable plantaholic. MandyCanUDigIt grew from the tiny seed of a Twitter account into the rainforest of information you see before you. Gardening columnist for the Sunderland Echo, Shields Gazette and Hartlepool Mail and editor of the Teesdale Mercury Magazine. Attracted by anything rebellious, exotic and nerdy, even after all these years. Passionate about northern England and gardens everywhere. Falls over a lot.


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