Home Gardeners – Killing Millions Of Bees

Gardeners could be to blame for the decline of bees. A study showed that bees collect the majority of their pollen from plants other than crops, even in areas dominated by farmland.
American researchers found that pollen was actually contaminated by both agricultural and urban pesticides. They warned that the problem grows in summer months when gardeners increasingly use bug sprays, fungicides and weed killers to beat pests.

Lead researcher Dr Elizabeth Long of Ohio State University said “If you care about bees as a homeowner, only use insecticides when you really need to because bees will come into contact with them.”

Since 2006, beekeepers in Britain, Europe and North America have lost about a third of their managed bee colonies each year due to “colony collapse disorder”.

The team collected pollen from Indiana honeybee hives at three sites over 16 weeks to learn where the bees sourced their pollen and whether it was contaminated with pesticides.
Only a minority of pesticides in bee pollen had come from crops.
Although the area was blanketed in corn and soybeans, only around one third of pollen came from the crops.

The main pesticides found in the pollen were pyrethroids, which are typically used to control mosquitoes and other nuisance pests in flowering plants. Although toxic neonicotinoids which are traditionally sprayed on corn and soybean were also present, they were not in the large numbers that the researchers had been expecting.
Christian Krupke , professor of entomology at Purdue University in Indiana said “Our study bees were exposed to a far wider range of chemicals than we expected.”

The sheer numbers of pesticides found in pollen samples were astonishing. Agricultural chemicals are only part of the problem. Homeowners and urban landscapes are big contributors, even when hives are directly adjacent to crop fields.

The most common chemical products found in pollen from each site were fungicides and herbicides, typical crop disease and weed management products.
The toxicity of insecticides can increase when combined with certain fungicides, themselves harmless to insects.

Not from the USA. Please leave me comment about your home town and country.

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Why is common sense so uncommon?
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12 responses to “Home Gardeners – Killing Millions Of Bees

  1. Unfortunately, many large companies that don’t have the best interests of people and planet at heart get away with misleading advertising and labelling. I think a dramatic change in this area, advocating complete honesty and transparency with simple labelling and advertising would help. Many people want to make their choices count but can be led down the garden path, so to speak, with clever marketing and labelling. Many, on the other hand, are complacent. Maybe if the plain and simple truth was presented to them without all the colourful wrappers, they might start to think. (Would be good if political campaigns were reduced to this also! lol)

    Liked by 1 person

    • As I indicated to another reader: I should have noted in my post that infections with Varroa and Acarapis mites, malnutrition, various pathogens and genetic factors all contribute to Bee colony collapse.

      Home owners and gardeners I think are bigger contaminators than farmers and ranchers. Many people believe more is better. Many can’t do the math to properly mix chemicals in accordance with it’s instructions. Many can’t figure out how many ounces of chemicals are need in a 2 gallon hand sprayer, hence they apply chemicals at 2 or 3 or 4 times the recommended rate.
      Chemicals come with a Warning sheet that few read or adhere to.

      To top that off many resort to chemical warfare when natural insect killers and repellents would be just as effective. Weed control is easy using grand dads Hoe, but to do that one must get off their butt and allocate a little more time and effort to gardening and landscaping.

      Happy weed free Gardening

      Liked by 1 person

      • I agree that home gardeners are probably a bigger source of the problem than most people would think, the ‘conventional’ methods have been used in home gardens for generations. My Dad and other people I know still just reach for the chemical solution as it’s what they’ve always done and it ‘works’ (most of the time). I pull weeds by hand. This time of year is crazy for weeds but lucky the ground is also nice and soft, making the job easier. I don’t panic when I see weeds and bugs, I do what I can without the chemicals, occasionally I lose the battle. The internet is great for looking up alternative solutions when faced with a problem. I think conventional gardeners find it harder to change as I suspect that a garden kind of needs to recuperate after years of chemical use before there can be a balance again, so organic methods might not appear to work straight away.
        Thanks for letting me have my little say here, happy gardening to you to, weedy or otherwise 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I have been diligently plantjng more bee friendly plants each year and don’t use insecticides or weed treatments. it makes me sad to know bees are endangered being so vital to our environment.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I should have noted in my post that infections with Varroa and Acarapis mites, malnutrition, various pathogens and genetic factors all contribute to Bee colony collapse.

      I to try to plant at least some flowers that are not only nice to see but also serve as a food source for domesticated and wild bees.

      Happy gardening

      Liked by 1 person

  3. For bee’s sake, garden without the chemicals. Our ancestors did. Our grandkids lives will be better if we leave some bees alive.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sad that many people don’t recognize the obvious. We have to diligently create greater awareness about this otherwise the Monsanto’s of the world will ensure our extinction.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Not defending any business. Monsanto like all businesses only produce products that sell and return money to the business in the form of profits. Consumers have a much larger voice on the market than most people think. If consumers demand better, safer products and refuse to send their money back to any business soon the business will close or they will design, redesign it’s products.

      Consumers set the standards, Not companies like Monsanto, DOW, DuPont, Bayer and all the other agricultural chemical producers.

      I can’t speak for you but, sometimes I am guilty of using / over using pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. In search for that perfect cucumber, more tomato’s per vine and so on.

      Happy Gardening

      Liked by 1 person

      • What is sad (IMHO) is that the manufacturers/producers of said chemical concoctions know that most consumers are ill-informed about the inherent dangers or they simply don’t care. This explains, in many cases, why enterprises such as Big Pharma spend billions to market directly to consumers. They are acutely aware of how uncaring and ignorant many Americans are. We ought to be advocating for permaculture and sustainable farming methods that don’t seep toxins into the soil, water tables and ultimately, our bodies. Off my soapbox.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Grin… I also get on my soap box from time to time.
          You are correct, follow the money.
          I seem to remember you saying you live in the middle of a pepper growing region so you are well aware that to often consumers seeking ‘cheap’ perfect shaped, perfect size insect and blemish free produce.

          This forces farmers to resort to chemical warfare against insects and weed pest. To stay in the farming business, make a reasonable living for their families they must compete with foreign growers often paying a few dollars a day for farm labor and using tons of chemicals, many of which are forbidden to use in the USA.

          Gardeners will eat, sometimes brag about produce from their gardens that are over/undersized fruits and vegetable with blemishes that they will reject when seen on supermarket displays.

          ill-informed consumers must come to terms with the facts of growing vegetables/fruits and nuts. They don’t come from the field being uniform size and blemish free.
          In bad years I have seen as much as 40 percent of vegetables like tomato’s, potato’s, onions and watermelons left in the field to rot because they were over/undersized misshaped or blemished.

          Sad Smile… what America needs in every town is a ‘Ugly’ fruit and vegetable store.

          You put it so well, “I’m Off My Soap Box.”

          Happy Gardening

          Liked by 1 person

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