Bunnings bans pesticide found to be harmful to bees

Bunnings Warehouse has announced it is going to remove a certain type of pesticide from their shelves because studies suggest it might be bad for bees. 

Not everyone agrees with the research and even beekeepers are sceptical, but the move appears to be part of a growing movement towards chemical-free gardening.

Bees are bountiful at the Auckland Botanic Gardens - where no chemicals have been used on the plants for 15 years.  

Curator Bec Stanley says more gardeners are visiting to check out what they might be able to grow in their own gardens without using pesticides. 

"Bees are pretty common here including native bees, so we have really good populations of butterflies and native bees as well as honey bees so yeah there's definitely been a positive response for the environment." 

In Australia, nearly 30,000 people signed a petition urging Bunnings Warehouse to stop selling a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids or "neonics". The move comes in response to research from Europe that found neonics residue was having a negative effect on bee reproduction. 

This so-called "colony collapse disorder" has not been seen in New Zealand where the Environmental Protection Authority has set firm rules, such as making sure people don't spray neonics when bees are foraging. 

In a statement, Bunnings Warehouse says it's erring on the side of caution and will remove neonics products, like Yates Confidor, from shelves by the end of the year. 

It says the timeframe will give them time to educate customers about natural alternatives. 

Kings Plant Barn say the sale of neonics is under review. 

Karin Kos, CEO of Apiculture NZ, told Newshub: "I think it's quite useful that they are looking at alternative uses for pesticides and considering what else they might be doing but it is really something we would like to see more research behind as well." 

While neonics have been banned in major hardware stores in America and Europe - Yates says their product is not harmful to bees when the instructions are followed. 


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