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Beekeepers warn that these pesticides — used to treat flowers — are ruining the environment

Posted at 11:29 AM, May 03, 2019

AKRON, Ohio — Local beekeepers and ecological experts are calling it a serious breach of the ecochain.

Neonicotinoids are a series of pesticides used to treat flowers and plants. They're banned in much of Europe, but are often used to treat flowers and plants at big box stores — and beekeepers say they are having a terrible impact on the environment.

Michele Colopy, Program Director with the Pollinator Stewardship Council, sounded the alarm about the Neonicotinoids being applied to many of the flowers being sold this spring.

"It’s a huge issue environmentally because that we need all of our pollinators not just the honeybees," Colopy said.

"These bee are critical to our food supply, they pollinate all of the flora and fauna that we have in our environment, whether it’s trees shrubs and flowers."

Colopy said the Neonics are sprayed into the soil, the flowers and plants then pull the pesticide into the plants vascular system.

"The Neonicotinoid pesticides, which there about seven to eight different actual active ingredients in the class of Neonic pesticides, can stay active for up to three years," Colopy said.

Scott Rose with Donzell's Flower and Garden Center said many American growers are starting to respond by moving away from Neonics and instead are using biological insects to keep pests away.

"Consumers should definitely ask the store if pesticides have been applied," Rose said.

"They should read the labels, and if they have questions retailers will respond back."

Still, Colopy said the Pollinator Stewardship Council is urging American consumers to become more informed.

"Certainly I encourage people to buy local, grow local. even instead of just buying potted plants, start with seeds," Colopy said.