The bee-killer in your backyard

Lisa Archer —

Bees dead in their hives

Poisoned by yard, garden & farm pesticides.

Friends of the Earth just released a first-of-its-kind report that found bee-killing pesticides in more than half of the “bee-friendly” home garden plants sold at stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s — with no warning to consumers.

As a mom and organic gardener, I was shocked to learn that I may have unknowingly filled my backyard with hidden bee-poisons.

Help us put Home Depot’s CEO Frank Blake and Lowe’s CEO Robert Niblock on notice.

Write to them now, insisting that they stop selling plants laced with bee-killing pesticides immediately and pull all bee-killing poisons from their shelves.

Our report shows this problem is widespread and that many unsuspecting home gardeners are purchasing plants pre-treated with pesticides proven to kill bees.

The toxins in question are the world’s most popular pesticides, neonicotinoids (or neonics), implicated as a key factor in escalating global bee die-offs.

From 50,000 bumble bees found dead in a Target parking lot in Portland to beekeepers across the country losing up to 90 percent of their bees last winter, stories of bee die-offs are emerging from around the world. We must act now to stop this global disaster or risk losing the more than 2/3 of our food crops that are pollinated by bees, from apples to almonds to watermelons.

You may have already signed our petition back in May asking all retailers to stop selling these poisons. Now will you join us in writing directly to Frank Blake and Robert Niblock?  As the CEO’s of two of North America’s biggest garden retailers they have a responsibility to help protect bees.

Neonics can kill bees outright and, even at low doses, can weaken their immune systems and impair critical brain functions, making it hard for them to find their food and return to the hive. Neonics also remain in the plants and the soil of our gardens for months or even years, continuing to poison bees.

Europe has already banned bee-harming pesticides, and top retailers in the U.K. are refusing to sell them. Now Home Depot’s and Lowe’s CEOs need to make the same commitment here.

We can protect bees in our own back yards right now by rejecting neonics and demanding that Frank Blake and Robert Niblock pull these poisons from the shelves at Home Depot and Lowe’s.

For the bees and our future…

Lisa Archer is Food and Technology program director, Friends of the Earth