Bees pollinate one third of all fruit and veggies, and help Aotearoa rake in $281 million in exports (thanks to the cure-all properties of Manuka honey). But bees have it far from easy - battling the parasitic varroa mite, a lack of bee-friendly habitat and, increasingly, the barrage of chemicals we douse on gardens and farms.
Neonicitinoids: Bad news for bees. Neonicitinoids like clothianidin, thiamethoxam and imidaclorprid are not only difficult to pronounce, but are still available in products like Confidor and Yates Rose Gun Advanced. Their usage has been restricted in Europe.
Round up?: Studies show glyphosate (Round Up’s active ingredient) has minor effects on bees. Last year the International Agency for Research on Cancer revealed that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic” to humans, affecting our DNA at a cellular level. It has also been detected in water and food, and has an average half life of 40 days.
Herbicides and pesticides are designed to kill. Reduce, rethink and research the types of chemicals you use.
Still spraying?: Minimise impacts on bees by avoiding flowers and spraying only in the late evening.