A Protest Against Neonics

A bee wearing a gas mask

By Keira, a Friends School of Minnesota 7th grader

At a farm in Canada, 37 million honeybees were found dead because of neonicotinoids, one of many chemicals found in pesticides that can kill honeybees. Bees are so important to our ecosystem. Bees pollinate plants, and plants provide 98 percent of our oxygen.

There are a few ways we can help and protect bees. One, we should stop using neonicotinoids. Two, we should plant bee-friendly plants. Finally, we should educate ourselves about bees. The more people know, the less scared of bees they are.

There are lots of people and websites telling growers not to use neonicotinoids. Neonicotinoids are actually bad for bees. They impair their larval development, communication, foraging behavior, and homing ability. Usually, after a while, the bees get sick and die. In recent studies, neonicotinoids are showing a negative impact on humans. Studies have shown that they are affecting human and animal nervous ­systems. They especially can affect unborn babies and their development.

One thing you can do to help bees is plant bee-friendly plants, using the bee symbols Ω throughout the catalog. Also, leave most of your flowering weeds until prime bee season is over (usually in the summer). Then you can weed your lawn, or trim your bushes. Flowering weeds—including dandelions—­provide nectar for bees and their hives.

 Many people don’t like bees because they sting. However, if you learn more about bees, they will seem less scary. There are community classes about everything. If there are none about bees, check your food co-op, colleges/universities or bee advocates for classes. If taking a class isn’t your preference, you can do some research on you own. Also, you could do a beekeeping class, which teaches about bees and their habits, and also what makes them angry.

After reading this, I hope you realize the importance of not using neonicotinoids. Also, I hope you learned a little about what you can do to help the bees. Remember, some things you can do to help bees are to plant a bee-friendly garden, and keep your weeds through prime bee season. Finally, learning about bees is interesting, and will help diminish fear of them.

I hope you realize the importance of not using neonicotinoids. Remember, whenever you think of using neonicotinoid, think of the 37 million bees that died in Canada.

Friends School Plant Sale Policy on Neonic Pesticides

Friends School Plant Sale is committed to doing everything we can to bring you plants grown without the systemic pesticides called neonicotinoids. Until neonics are banned, we will continue to ask about neonic exposure in the plants that we order, particularly new plants from new growers, and to refuse to sell any plant we have concerns about. 

Because neonics stay in plants and soil over time and the nursery business and growing practices are complex, we cannot absolutely guarantee that every plant at the sale is free of neonics. We can, ­however, guarantee that we have done the ­necessary background research, and that we will never knowingly sell you a plant that has been neonic-exposed. 

If you’d like to find out more about our efforts, email or talk with us at the Info Desk during the plant sale.

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