GROW WISE BEE SMART, is a new AmericanHort website devoted to bee knowledge and health, and how to ‘bee part of the solution‘ to turn around declining bee populations. Interestingly, it defends the use of neonicotinoid pesticides.
The Grow Wise Bee Smart website is produced by the Horticultural Research Institute, the research arm of AmericanHort (a peak body for the USA nursery, horticultural and landscape industry), in partnership with American Floral Endowment and the Society of American Florists.
AmericanHort is also promoting the ‘Million Pollinator Garden Challenge‘, where people wanting to do more to support bee populations buy plants from their local garden center, plant them, and then register their site on the SHARE map – an acronym for ‘Simply Have Areas Reserved for the Environment’.
On the Bee Health page on Grow Wise Bee Smart, the paragraph called ‘What about neonicotinoids‘ states that they are “a much safer alternative for consumers, professional applicators and the environment” and that the USDA’s 2013 report into bee health “listed pesticides near the bottom of the long list of factors impacting bee health”.
Given the spreading bans on certain types of neonicotinoids, such as imidacloprid, in Europe and some USA states, this is a surprising stance. Are neonicotinoid pesticides being safer than “older, broad-spectrum pesticides” enough to promote their use?