‘Bee friendly’ plants may actually be toxic to bees

gardeners_beware_sm_3by GARY CHITTIM / KING 5 News

Bee advocates on Wednesday released a report they say found some plants marketed as ‘bee friendly’ actually contain pesticides that can harm or even kill honey bees.

The group Friends of the Earth released the report that says 7 of the 13 plants they purchased from major retailers tested positive for neonicotinoids, a class of pesticides that some tests have shown interfere with bees’ ability to navigate. See the blog here.

“It affects their central nervous system and their ability to charter a course out to forage and back,” said Washington State Beekeeper Association President Mark Emrich. “ Sometimes they get lost in the field trying to get to forage or get back to the hive.”

The EPA is currently studying neonicotinoids and told KING 5 that pesticides are one of several stressors associated with honey bee declines.

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