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Local bee advocates warn about Neonicotinoid insecticide in spring potted flowers

Posted at 10:04 PM, May 02, 2019

AKRON, Ohio — Local beekeepers and ecological experts are calling it a serious breach in our ecochain.

The insecticides are called Neonicotinoids. Beekeepers report they are banned in much of Europe.

But here in the U.S., if you purchase flowers from a big box store, chances are they will be treated with Neonicotinoids.

They are series of pesticides beekeepers report are having a terrible impact on our environment.

Michele Colopy, Program Director with the Pollinator Stewardship Council, sounded the alarm about the Neonicotinoids being applied to many of the flowers being sold this spring.

Bee keepers report the pesticide caused 50 to 90% losses among these critical pollinators last year alone.

"It’s a huge issue environmentally because that we need all of our pollinators not just the honeybees," Colopy said.

"These bee are critical to our food supply, they pollinate all of the flora and fauna that we have in our environment, whether it’s trees shrubs and flowers."

Colopy said the Neonics are sprayed into the soil, the flowers and plants then pull the pesticide into the plants vascular system.

"The Neonicotinoid pesticides, which there about seven to eight different actual active ingredients in the class of Neonic pesticides, can stay active for up to three years," Colopy said.

Scott Rose, with Donzell's Flower and Garden Center told News 5, many American growers are starting to respond by moving away from Neonics and instead are using biological insects to keep pests away.

"Consumers should definitely ask the store if pesticides have been applied," Rose said.

"They should read the labels, and if they have questions retailers will respond back."

Still, Colopy said the Pollinator Stewardship Council is urging American consumers to become more informed.

"Certainly I encourage people to buy local, grow local. even instead of just buying potted plants, start with seeds," Colopy said.