Bees are dying at a startling rate

When you plant a garden, you want to feel the sun warm your skin, smell the fresh earth as you dig, and listen to the sounds of summer. Yet more and more gardeners — as well as farmers, beekeepers, food-lovers and others — know something is missing: Nature's pollinators are dying off in massive numbers.

In recent years, beekeepers report they’re losing on average 30% of all honey bee colonies each winter — twice the loss considered economically tolerable.

Scientists point to several causes behind the problem, including global warming, habitat loss, parasites and a class of bee-killing insecticides known as neonicotinoids (or neonics).

When seeds are treated with neonics, the chemicals work their way into the pollen and nectar of the plants — which, of course, is bad news for bees and other pollinators. Worse, for the bees and for us, neonics are about 6,000 times more toxic to bees than DDT.

We're calling on the EPA to take bee-killing pesticides off the market, but in the meantime, there's plenty we can all do this summer to help save the bees. 

Plants bees love

Avoid bee-killing pesticides

Here's a list of common bee-killing pesticides to avoid: 

Imidacloprid: Bayer Advanced 3-in-1 Insect, Disease, & Mite Control, Bayer Advanced 12-Month Tree & Shrub Insect Control, Bayer Advanced 12-Month Tree & Shrub Protect & Feed, Bayer Advanced Fruit, Citrus & Vegetable Insect Control, Bayer Advanced All-in-One Rose & Flower Care concentrate, DIY Tree Care Products Multi-Insect Killer, Ferti-lome 2-N-1 Systemic, Hi-Yield Systemic Insect Spray, Knockout Ready-To-Use Grub Killer, Monterey Once a Year Insect Control II, Ortho Bug B Gon Year-Long Tree & Shrub Insect Control, Ortho MAX Tree & Shrub Insect Control, Surrender Brand GrubZ Out

Clothianidin: Bayer Advanced All-in-One Rose & Flower Care granules, Green Light Grub Control with Arena

Thiamethoxam: Amdro Quick Kill Lawn & Landscape Insect Killer, Amdro Rose & Flower Care, Maxide Dual Action Insect Killer

Acetamiprid: Ortho Bug B Gon Garden Insect Killer, Ortho Bug B Gon for Lawns, Ortho Flower, Fruit and Vegetable Insect Killer, Ortho Rose and Flower Insect Killer, Ortho Rose Pride Insect Killer

Dinotefuran: Green Light Tree & Shrub Insect Control with Safari 2 G Safari, Ortho Tree & Shrub Insect Control Plus Miracle Gro Plant Food

Tell your garden store: Stop selling bee-killing pesticides

Talk to your local garden center or nursery about taking bee-killing pesticides off the shelves. 

Want to take these tips with you? Download Go Bee Friendly tips to take with you the next time you go to the garden center so you know which plants are bee friendly -- and which pesticides are bee-killers.