One of the biggest threats to bees is the use of insecticides in home gardens, farms, orchards and market gardens. They are designed to kill good and bad insects, including bees so please avoid them. Sprays and coated seeds containing neonicotinoids are linked to bees disappearing around the world. Unfortunately they persist in the environment for a long time, so keep on affecting bees. The European Union have banned neonicotinoid insecticides for two years until further studies have been carried out. This is fantastic!
Avoid products that contain these:
Tui, one of New Zealand's gardening suppliers, says that “the solution is to reduce the risk of insect attack, by keeping plants healthy, well watered and well fertilised to maintain a strong plant. Insects are more likely to attack weak plants. If insect problems do occur, choose one of the natural based insect control options available” They have a range of bee friendly products and you can also purchase natural based insect controls such as Easy Trap, Kiwicare and Yates products.Or you can make your own all-purpose garden spray by using ingredients from your kitchen cupboard, there's loads of recipes online.
If you have to spray:
One major problem is that there are many pest controls, including neonicotinoids, used on produce and as a seed treatment, there seems to be no restrictions in place. How can we stop this happening?
- Grow our own fruit and veges
- Preserve your own food
- Buy from your local farmers market and ask the producer how they handle pests
- Eat organic produce and food. Hopefully this will then increase the supply of organically grown food and decrease the amount of sprays being used in crops.
Read more on looking after our NZ bees here: