Letter writer: Pesticide raises concern about effects on bees, people

Graphic by Lori Deaton

I recently visited the garden center at Home Depot and happened to see a group of coneflowers, also known as echinacea, in full bloom. I saw many bees collecting pollen from several of the flowers. I want to try beekeeping in the springtime, and it seemed that these plants would be good for bees and butterflies. They are also used in herbal remedies.

I purchased four plants and eagerly took them home and planted them in my garden. After planting them, I noticed a plastic tab stating that the plant was treated with neonicotinoids (neonics). Note: Look up this pesticide on the Internet. It is linked to the honeybee decline, and what about the herbal benefits of this plant? What is the effect to our systems and general health?

— John Vascellaro

Editor’s note: When contacted, Home Depot spokesman Matt Harrigan said that the company is partnering with the Environmental Protection Agency and other scientific groups to understand the effects of the insecticide on honeybees. Home Depot is one of a few retailers requiring suppliers to label neonics-treated plants so that concerned customers won’t purchase them unknowingly, he says, adding that most nurseries have at least some plants treated with the pesticide. In the meantime, “we are partnering with suppliers to come up with possible substitutes for neonics,” Harrigan says.

About Letters
We want to hear from you! Send your letters and commentary to letters@mountainx.com

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.