B&Q Put Bees First
It’s always heartening when a big company makes the right decision. Recently the news was broken that, as of February next year, B&Q will stop selling any plants that have been grown using bee-harming pesticides. B&Q’s sustainability manager, Rachel Bradley, explained their decision: “We are encouraging everyone to do more for wildlife and to that end, we will ensure that none of the flowering plants we sell will be grown using any pesticide containing any of the nine neonicotinoids.”
This decision was taken following a highly publicised study of five major plant retailers, which revealed that 70% of plants marketed as “pollinator-friendly” actually contained neonicotinoid insecticides. In fact, only two of the 29 plants bought, a Narcissus and a Salvia variety, were completely pesticide-free.
Neonicotinoids, or “neonics”, have been shown to harm bees’ reproduction, immune system, communication and foraging ability. At the moment, there is a partial ban on three neonicotinoids on outdoor flowering crops such as oilseed rape. However, these neonicotinoids continue to be used on crops like wheat, resulting in the contamination of wildflowers and hedgerows, and the continuing harm to our wildlife. That’s why we’re calling for a total ban.
At a time when we need our pollinators more than ever, it’s encouraging to see a major retailer putting them first. We hope B&Q will inspire other plant retailers to follow their example.