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How toxic pesticides in ‘insect-friendly’ plants sold in garden centres could be killing endangered bees

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Daily Mail
May 15, 2017

Most ‘insect-friendly’ plants sold in garden centres and supermarkets are laced with chemicals that could be killing endangered bees, a study found.

More than 70 per cent of ‘pollinator-friendly’ specimens studied by scientists tested positive for pesticides.

Of 29 plants examined at Sussex University, 27 contained the chemicals. And one type of heather bought from the Wyevale chain contained five insecticides as well as five fungicides.

While the level of contamination is unlikely to pose a risk to human health, experts are concerned at the threat the plants pose to bees and other insects.

All tested specimens are on the list of ‘pollinator-friendly’ plants produced and promoted by the Royal Horticultural Society. It compiled the list to encourage gardeners to buy plants that benefit bees, whose numbers have fallen dramatically.

The 70 per cent that tested positive were found to contain traces of neonicotinoid or ‘neonic’ insecticides. These included three banned in agriculture across the EU due to the threat to bees.

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This article was posted: Monday, May 15, 2017 at 9:59 am

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