Probably when we plant seeds or bulbs we don’t give much thought to them beyond the fact they came from a reputable company and the end result will be a beautiful garden which will be the envy of our neighbours. But do we really know exactly what we are planting? Recent concerns for the use of chemicals which are fatal to bees has had divided support. The commercial reasons for wanting a product which will kill insects indiscriminately does not really give much thought to those whose prime motive is money.
The big problem arises when we don’t know or even think about what we are planting, we just accept that the higher echelons of the gardening world know it all. So unless we care about what we plant and what insects it affects, we also have to share the blame for the consequences.
Neonicotinoids are used commercially to coat seeds and bulbs as a pre-treated insecticide which kills not only unwanted insects but also the beneficial ones – the pollenators. It can affect neighbouring wild flowers and even the soil. It can even be taken up by trees, all of which can have an indirect effect on pollinators. Some countries have recognised the danger of allowing the dangerous chemicals to be used whilst others are fighting to ignore the facts. The EU have almost banned it’s use leaving an ‘unless it’s essential’ clause regrettably. Neonicotinoids can find their way ultimately into the food we buy including honey.
This is the reason I prefer to buy organic produce and seeds etc. Our lives are filled with chemicals we are told are necessary for continued health but the health benefits are more likely to be for the wallets of the companies producing them. The species has survived for hundreds of years before the commercial chemical companies started ruling them. I only buy from companies that provide and sell responsibly, not being single-minded, but can consider which plants make good neighbours for each other and fit into the ecological balance of all flora and fauna. Bees and other pollinators need to be nurtured and appreciated for the work they do. There is plenty of information on bees on the internet so it’s worth having a look to see just how much work those busy little bees do. It’s worth buzzing into Buzzaboutbees to learn more about them.
Photographs courtesy of www.public-domain-image.com
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2 thoughts on “Think First And Bee Responsible”
For years, butterfly bushes (buddleia) were promoted (especially by certain big box stores who had a huge ad campaign) for home gardeners to grow to help support the declining butterfly population. Little did consumers know that the plants were all grown with Marathon, an insecticide that is a systemic, taken up by the roots and spread throughout the plant, making all parts, including the petals, pollen and nectar poisonous to all insects, including butterflies. Now, there is a special tag that growers can purchase to put in their plants if they are safe for butterflies, so consumers can know. But, I wonder if unscrupulous stores purchase the tags and put them into contaminated plants? There’s no law or testing at present.
That’s something I didn’t know, thank you for adding that. I can’t imagine the developers of such insecticides are ignorant of of these facts but are happy to hoodwink the public to think they are doing the right thing. By promoting Buddleia, they must know what they are doing and what effect it will have. I admit to getting frustrated at the lack of interest some people have in what they eat and what they feed their children, so going beyond their eating habits will be of no interest as to how it was produced or whether something caused a breakdown in the ecosystem.