One of the largestâ€”if not the largestâ€”home and garden supply chain, The Home Depot, began labeling its plants last year, informing customers if the plants were treated with neonicotinoids. “Neonics,â€ť according to TakePart, “are a systemic class of insecticide, meaning that the chemical is found in all parts of the plantâ€”from leaves to stems to flowers to pollen. So when a bee comes to visit the flowers on such a plant, the dose of pesticide it is exposed to can, if high enough, kill it immediately or cause nonlethal problems that can be devastating to the hive as a whole. As a result, many conservationists have targeted neonics as a primary cause of the massive bee die-offs observed in recent years.â€ť
While labeling the pretreated plants was a big step for the store, theyâ€™ve made an even bigger one this past Thursday. The Home Depot announced that it is no longer treating 80 percent of its plants with neonics and will continue to phase out the practice altogether by 2018, TakePart reports.
With over 2,200 Home Depot locations across the U.S., this may help some home gardens be safer for bees and other pollinators. The chain, however, will continue to sell insecticide products.
Should The Home Depot stop stocking products that contain neonics on its shelves or is it up to the consumer to stop purchasing them?