Better For The Bees


A bee gathers pollen from a park in Kensington, Md. With bee health in mind, home and garden products giant Ortho has announced it will phase out neonics, a class of pesticides, from its outdoor products. Allison Aubrey/NPR

We never expected to be publicly thanking a company like this one for an action it has committed itself to, but credit where it is due:

Home And Garden Giant Ditches Class Of Pesticides That May Harm Bees

A leading brand of home and garden pest-control products says it will stop using a class of pesticides linked to the decline of bees.

Ortho, part of the Miracle-Gro family, says the decision to drop the use of the chemicals — called neonicotinoids, or neonics for short — comes after considering the range of possible threats to bees and other pollinators.

“While agencies in the U.S. are still evaluating the overall impact of neonics on pollinator populations, it’s time for Ortho to move on,” says Tim Martin, the general manager of the Ortho Brand.

The announcement comes on the heels of state legislation passed by the Maryland General Assembly to restrict the sales of retail home and garden products that contain neonics. The bill is now before Gov. Larry Hogan; his office tells us that he is currently reviewing it. Other states are also studying pollinator health and considering action, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

As we’ve reported, neonics are widely used in agriculture. Currently, at the direction of the Obama administration, the Environmental Protection Agency is assessing the effect of neonicotinoid insecticides on the health of bees.

A growing body of scientific evidence suggests that neonics can negatively influence bee health and may make bees more vulnerable to mites and other threats.

Now, the amount of neonics used in home lawn-and-garden products is dwarfed by what farmers use on crops…

Read the whole article here.

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