Study: Home Garden Plants Treated with Bee-Killing Pesticides

Jun 25, 2014

A honeybee drinks by a pond.
Credit Quisnovus / Creative Commons

A new study suggests that major garden and home improvement stores may be contributing to the decline of bees through the plants thet sell.

"It is important to note that most gardeners have no idea that their gardens may be a source to harm bees," said Chad Churchill, a greenhouse nursery manager.

Speaking at a gathering in Portland today, Churchull said that a Friend of the Earth study showed that plants sold as "bee friendly" at major chain stores are routinely pre-treated with neonicotinoid pesticides, which can kill bees.

"This 'Gardeners Beware 2014' study represents a snap shot of a market that paints a disturbing picture," Churchill said.

Thirty-six out of 71 of garden plants in 18 cities contained the bee-killing pesticides.