ecostore New Zealand Blog

Bee-friendly sprays for your garden
Posted On August 1st, 2013

Beehive

If you’re a gardener you might already know about neonicotinoids and the effect they’re thought to be having on bees. For anyone who hasn’t yet heard of them, neonicotinoids are a group of pesticides made with similar chemicals to nicotine that are suspected to be contributing to colony collapse disorder (the abrupt disappearance of worker bees) and the death of millions of bees worldwide.

These pesticides persist in the environment for a long time and have been affecting bees in unexpected ways through dust, pollen and nectar. In fact earlier this year the European Food Safety Authority stated that neonicotinoids pose an unacceptably high risk to bees, and that the industry-sponsored science upon which regulatory agencies’ claims of safety have relied may be flawed. On April 29 2013, the European Union passed a two-year ban on neonicotinoid insecticides, while they conduct further research, because of the potential link with bee colony collapse disorder.

Despite this neonicotinoids make up at least a quarter of the world’s insecticides and reliance on them continues to increase.

Here in New Zealand where they are mainly used on crops and as a seed treatment there are no such restrictions. In a recent Stuff article a spokesperson for federated farmers said that New Zealand’s less restrictive but cautious approach with neonicotinoids is appropriate, until a scientific consensus can be formed about them, but is it worth the risk? How many bees will have to disappear before we also put better protections in place or better still, ban them altogether?

Neonicotinoids are also used in many garden insecticide sprays but it’s actually pretty easy to make your own at home using ingredients from your kitchen cupboard.

Recipe for an all-purpose insect spray for organic gardens:

  • Chop, grind, or liquefy a garlic bulb and a small onion.
  • Add 1 tsp of cayenne pepper and mix all ingredients with 1 litre of water.
  • Let the liquid steep for about an hour before straining through a clean piece of cheesecloth or fine muslin.
  • Add 1 tabsp of ecostore dishwashing liquid to the strained liquid and mix well.
  • Pour into a clean, labelled spray bottle.
  • Spray your plants thoroughly, including leaf undersides.
  • Mixture can be stored for up to a week in the fridge.

Bee-friendly practices in your garden:

  • If you’re buying a pesticide spray from a garden centre then please check the label and make sure it does not contain neonicotinoids.
  • When using pesticides in your garden, spray in the evenings after the bees have gone to bed.
  • Plant bee-friendly flowers.

If you have any other bee-friendly tips to share we’d love to hear them.

Enhanced by Zemanta
This entry was written by , posted on August 1st, 2013, filed under tagged . Bookmark the Permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL

4 responses to “Bee-friendly sprays for your garden”

  1. Joanna Hill says:

    YES loving this Idea PESTICIDE FREE!

  2. Keri Louie says:

    Treat our bees – you can’t go wrong planting lavender in your garden. The bees love it, it looks beautiful and smells divine!

  3. Kenny Juthen says:

    there are overall less and less bee breeders in my region and many who have bees have problems with diseases and so on. this is quite nice suggestion to try to protect them.

  4. hard says:

    witch hazel as toner for acne

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Find a Store

Enter your location and find a store in your area.

Shop Online

Select your favorite products and have them shipped to your door.

Visit our online Shop
No Nasty Chemicals

We help protect your health by minimising exposure to harmful chemicals.

Learn more about us