A serious danger to bees

shllnzl Posts: 1,810 ✭✭✭✭✭

Warning: I was just given a couple of lantana plants that were left over from a friend's yard. The plants were still in store pots. I noticed a plant marker in one of them that said you don't have to worry about aphids because the plant was pre-treated with neonicotinoids and the EPA says they are safe.

The label stuck to the side of the pot had a cancer warning at the bottom of it.

Alarm bells went off in my head: Here is a flowering plant that attracts, then kills bees!! (And possibly causes cancer to humans.)

I threw the plants in the garbage. I think she bought them at Walmart.



  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,402 admin

    Good warning to everyone who might be purchasing some of those "factory" produced potted plants. Always best to find a local grower.

  • nksunshine27
    nksunshine27 Posts: 343 ✭✭✭

    @Lisa K yes i noticed that about Bonnie too. they have green houses right next to the snake river here in Idaho and now i noticed the miracle grow symbol on their sign.and they are supposed to be organic here

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,215 admin

    It is like a lot of food products in stores. If you see a redesign of a package or a name change, quite often the product contains one or more new ingredients, and it usually is not a positive or healthy change.

  • kbmbillups1
    kbmbillups1 Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have been buying my plants and veggies from a local grower's outlet for the last several years. But last year we were at Home Depot so I couldn't help but check out the plants in the garden center. I was shocked at how many of them were pre treated with neonicotinoids. I didn't buy any! But what upset me the most was how many people had their carts loaded with them! I think you have to be on one of these forums or into health or should I say alternative health to have even heard how detrimental neonicotinoids are.

  • Suburban Pioneer
    Suburban Pioneer Posts: 337 ✭✭✭

    Hi, NK! I'm in Boise. I had NO idea Bonnie was anywhere around here! Where on the Snake are they located? I have purchased a few plants from them, but not very many. They feel a bit too "commercial" for me and I prefer the less run-of-the-mill varieties, anyway. MiracleGro does now have organic products, but my thought is that there are differences among different types of "organics". Some just don't seem to have what I would consider to be a true, living energy or the right "ethos". Is there a way to get up to the place and possibly take a tour? Do you know?

  • JodieDownUnder
    JodieDownUnder Posts: 1,481 admin

    @shllnzl good thing you got rid of them. Neonicotinoids last either 12 or 24 months. Badly effect pollinating insects and could cause hormonal disruption in humans and brain issues, especially babies. In Australia, lantana is a noxious weed, once it gets a hold it wipes out areas of bush, hard to get rid of as it grows anywhere, especially in inaccessible country, more so on the coast. Hard to believe pot plants are treated with the stuff. Wish the aphids would kill my lantana!

  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,810 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jodienancarrow Lantana is one of the few plants that can survive our desert heat with flowers. Luckily I don't believe they are invasive here.

  • nksunshine27
    nksunshine27 Posts: 343 ✭✭✭

    @Suburban Pioneer sorry it didnt alert me that you had mentioned me in a comment. Bonnie is on hwy 78 close to givins hot springs. not exactly sure if they will let you do tours or not. since your not far from me we should get together some time and talk herbal stuff if your interested.

  • ltwickey
    ltwickey Posts: 369 ✭✭✭

    Thank you for the warning! I try to rely on local growers, but sometimes they don't have what I am looking for, especially since I move every 2-3 years.. Will watch the labels much more closely.

  • Leediafastje
    Leediafastje Posts: 97 ✭✭✭

    @shllnzl thank you for sharing. Even after all of these years your information helped. I never heard of this compound before and now I'm on the lookout for it.

  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,810 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Leediafastje You're welcome. I'm always worried about the bees and other wildlife. I try to balance my use of pesticides with the possible harm to other creatures.

  • kfoto
    kfoto Posts: 108 ✭✭✭

    @shllnzl thanks for the warning. I haven’t been happy with big box store plants. Now I know what to look for. Last year I would see their plants were always so stressed and stunted. I try to get plants from growers I can trust.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,535 ✭✭✭✭✭

    All box store plants have been tampered with and even a lot of the local small greenhouses that sell plants.

    Its best to buy from a really small business and ask about their plants. Ite better if those businesses start their own plants and hopefully do not use chemicals for fertilization or chemically based plant food. I now start all my perennial plants. Thye are so much hardier. I do admit I still buy a few plants when they are on sale but I watch them carefully

    I love it when I can find local plant swaps.

    I had a friend who worked for years at one of the big box stores and she told me their one plant variety was bred to fail after about three years. The reason - so people would have to come back and rebuy it. I was one of their most popular native plants and everyone wanted it - so fix it to fail.

  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,810 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Monek Marie I guess I shouldn't be surprised that the gardening business can be corrupt too. I don't think that way about living things.

    I am the type to try to find good homes for plants as if they were a puppy or kitten. I even hate to toss the prunings from plants if they will root and turn into new plants. I reuse old containers, wait until roots are partially developed and then give the plants away with growing instructions.

    Sentimental me.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,535 ✭✭✭✭✭

    LOL, I am the same way. I have two friends that thin their gardens every year and I have to ask for their old plants each year. They tend to just compost them...

    They ask what I do with all theses plants and I tell them, use them or give them away. I do have one of the prettiest forest edges around ;)

  • water2world
    water2world Posts: 1,046 ✭✭✭✭

    @ shllnzl Thanks for the warning--makes me want to make a sign to put in the area where they are being sold!

  • thelinda
    thelinda Posts: 21 ✭✭

    About 4 years ago I purchased grape plant from Lowes. When planting it I found a small tag down in the soil saying the same thing. My son mowed over the grape before it ever bloomed, so no worries here.

  • annbeck62
    annbeck62 Posts: 980 ✭✭✭✭

    This is an enlightening thread. I've purchased plants at home depot and lowes before and never noticed a warning label.

  • nicksamanda11
    nicksamanda11 Posts: 713 ✭✭✭✭

    I had no idea about this either. I generally don't purchase big box store plants- but i have before😬. I am looking at a poinsettia on my shelf someone gave me from wal-mart😬. Whoah

  • RustBeltCowgirl
    RustBeltCowgirl Posts: 1,403 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Found this article on Mother Earth News website.

    Green Groups Sue EPA to Combat Bee-Killing Pesticide

    Two groups are suing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to demand the labeling of seeds coated with neonicotinoids – insecticides known to kill bees. Without federal regulation, farmers currently decide whether to use neonicotinoids, but, as the Center for Food Safety and Pesticide Action Network allege, many seeds escape labeling requirements. So, how’s a farmer to know what they’re using?

    https://ogden_images.s3.amazonaws.com/www.motherearthnews.com/images/2022/02/28140825/bee-lavender-470x297.jpg There was an error displaying this embed.

    Image by Adobestock/Rawf8

    Neonicotinoids have proven toxic to bees and threaten other pollinators.

    Neonicotinoids have been a flashpoint in the fight between chemical companies and environmentalists for more than a decade. In 2018, under pressure from activists and amid growing evidence of harm to bees, the European Union banned all outdoor use of the three most common neonicotinoids. Meanwhile, their use in America has gone on unabated, despite a 2014 report from the EPA that noted, “[Neonicotinoid] seed treatments provide negligible overall benefits to soybean production in most situations.”

    The causes of bee population declines are myriad, but the scientific evidence is abundant and clear that neonicotinoids play a role. It’s been shown that plants take up the insecticides and incorporate them into their stems, fruits, and flowers, thereby threatening anything that eats those parts of the plant. It goes to show, even for plants, you are what you eat.

  • Cornelius
    Cornelius Posts: 872 ✭✭✭✭

    I have not heard of this before and have never scene one of the warning labels on any plant I have bought. I am concerned about my 2 grape vines now. 😱