Cornucopia’s Take: Increasing consumer awareness is clearly encouraging stores to consider pollinators as they procure garden plants for sale. Voting with our forks as well as our gardens is changing what is available in the marketplace.
Big progress is being made on one small battlefield of the war to protect bees and other pollinators from neonicotinoid insecticides.
In a third survey of neonics in “bee-friendly” plants sold by large retailers to gardeners in 14 U.S. cities — including Minneapolis — anti-pesticide advocates found a dramatic reduction this spring from levels detected previously.
Only 23 percent of the plants tested positive for neonics, compared to more than half the plants tested in 2013 and 2014. No plants purchased in Minneapolis contained the insecticides.
The survey began as a pilot project in just three cities, again including Minneapolis, with a clear goal of embarrassing large retailers into halting sales of both neonic-treated plants and also neonic-based garden treatments formulated for home use.