Stop Advertising Bee-Killing Plants as ‘Bee-Friendly’


Target: CEOs of Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Walmart

Goal: Stop home improvement stores from selling bee killing plants as “bee-friendly”

A new study has shown that plants marketed as “bee-friendly” by Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Walmart contain high levels of neonicotinoid pesticides. The high level of these pesticides have been shown to harm or kill bees. This false advertising leads consumers to believe that they are helping to save bees while adding to their garden, but in reality these plants are detrimental to bees and the environment as a whole.

The introduction of neonicotinoids as pesticides was first thought to have low-toxicity to many insects. However, a dramatic decrease in wild bees and increase in annual beehive losses spurred a study which revealed the high-toxicity of neonicotinoids when in contact with honey and bumble bees. This pesticide does not just kill bees, it also negatively affects their ability to function. Neonicotinoid pesticides impact bees’ ability to forage and to learn and remember navigation routes to and from food sources. They also compromise bees’ innate immune system which makes them susceptible to viral infections to which the bees would normally be resistant and have a detrimental effect on bumble bee colony growth and queen production. Neonicotinoids also promote colony collapse disorder, which is a phenomenon in which worker bees abruptly disappear.

The dangers associated with neonicotinoids are not only highly detrimental immediately, they also persist over time. Tested soil where these pesticide treated plants are grown show that the pesticides are present at low levels for up to two years later. Additionally, pollen gathered from neighboring plants are shown to be contaminated with these pesticides as they are pollinated by the bees.

Home improvement stores such as Home Depot, Lowe’s and Walmart are falsely marketing plants contaminated by neonicotinoid pesticides as “bee-friendly”. Deceitful practices such as these are unconscionable and contributing to the rising bee epidemic. Not only does this false advertising hurt the environment, but also tricks environmentally conscious consumers into purchasing products they believe will help the environment but instead actually perpetuate this horrible problem. The greed and lack of integrity by major corporations illustrates the need for skeptical consumerism, and action must be taken against these anti-nature crimes.


Dear CEO of Lowe’s Robert A. Niblock, CEO of Home Depot Frank Blake and CEO of Walmart C. Douglas Mcmillon,

All of your stores claim that integrity is an essential part of your ethical policy, and that you are committed to your customers. This is in direct opposition to your actions in selling falsely advertised plants to trusting customers. If integrity is so important to your companies, shouldn’t you tell the truth to the customers which keep your companies running?

Plants marketed as “bee-friendly” at your stores are actually extremely harmful to both the environment and many species of bees. Bees are already rapidly declining and you are perpetuating their deaths. Please test your plants to see if they contain harmful chemicals such as neonicotinoids, and stop selling harmful plants as “bee-friendly”.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Wikipeder via Wikimedia Commons

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