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NOT perfect for pollinators ....

Bee witchedBee witched Scottish BordersPosts: 1,099

Hi Everyone,

I've just been sent this link from my local beekeeping association (you don't need to be a facebooker to view it).

Unbelievably the Royal Horticultural Society takes no steps to ensure plants sold with their registered trademark label are free from systemic pesticides (neonicotinoids) that could harm pollinators. 

Bees must gather nectar from two million flowers to make one pound of honey   


  • Victoria SpongeVictoria Sponge WearsidePosts: 3,467

    To be honest I never took the Perfect for Pollinators label to mean it hadn't been treated with pesticides, only that the flower shape was suitable.

    For a while now I've taken to chopping the flowers off new purchases presuming any pesticides will have worn off the following yearimage

  • royd63kroyd63k Posts: 63

    I suppose the only answer is to grow from seed, but I have to admit I buy plug plants mainly, may think twice about that now.


  • HeftyHefty Posts: 370

    thats bad image

  • It never even occurred to me to think about it when I've bought plants in the past. I'm two years into changing my garden into a wildlife friendly one and I'm really glad that I decided to grow my perennials from seed this year because I get a lot of bees visiting the garden and I want them to enjoy it as much as I do.

  • Bee witchedBee witched Scottish BordersPosts: 1,099

    Hi Annie,

    The problem is that some seed is treated with the systemic insecticide know as a neonicotinoid. This is one of a relatively new class of insecticides that share a common mode of action that affect the central nervous system of insects, resulting in paralysis and death. They include imidacloprid, acetamiprid, clothianidin, dinotefuran, nithiazine, thiacloprid and thiamethoxam.

    The pollinators don't know, of course, that the flowers they are visiting are harmful to them .... until it is too late.

    So, it would be worth checking if your seed supplier can reassure you that the seeds they sell have not been dressed with this substance.

    Bees must gather nectar from two million flowers to make one pound of honey   
  • royd63kroyd63k Posts: 63

    How long does this last whithin the plant?

  • Bee witchedBee witched Scottish BordersPosts: 1,099

    Hi royd63k,

    I'm not sure that is known fully yet .... which is a tad worrying given its widespread use.

    Some beekeepers locally are convinced it stays in the soil of oilseed rape fields long after the crop has gone.

    Some research going on in Stirling University by Dave Coulson states:-

     It has recently emerged that neonicotinoids can persist and accumulate in soils. They are water soluble and prone to leaching into waterways. Being systemic, they are found in nectar and pollen of treated crops. Reported levels in soils, waterways, field margin plants and floral resources overlap substantially with concentrations that are sufficient to control pests in crops, and commonly exceed the LC50 (the concentration which kills 50% of individuals) for beneficial organisms.

    The same research paper also states:-

    Data on persistence of neonicotinoids once taken up by plants are sparse. However, vines treated in spring via irrigation maintain levels of imidacloprid sufficient to control pests through the growing season (Byrne & Toscano 2006), and levels of imidacloprid and thiamethoxam in citrus trees remain sufficient to suppress pests for 5 months following a single application (Castle et al. 2005). Similarly, a single application of imidacloprid to maple trees protected them against insect pests for 4 years (Oliver et al. 2010).


    Bees must gather nectar from two million flowers to make one pound of honey   
  • royd63kroyd63k Posts: 63

    That's scary, we will be eating crops that still contain this chemical also.

    Could be another silent spring"


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