Bumblebee flying towards cosmos flower

Homebase finally says no to bee-harming pesticides

17 Nov 2017
Garden centre and retail giant Homebase has announced it will stop using bee-harming pesticides called neonicotinoids. It's a great win for Friends of the Earth's Bee Cause campaign which has been urging the firm to act.

Homebase has agreed to stop using these chemicals on garden plants. And it will clear its shelves of garden products containing neonicotinoids by the end of 2018.

Earlier this year research by leading bee scientist Professor Dave Goulson revealed that 70% of the plants tested from a number of stores contained neonicotinoid pesticides – including 3 pesticides restricted across Europe that have been found to pose a ‘high acute risk’ to honeybees. Plants bought at Homebase were among those that tested positive for the restricted pesticides.

The announcement by Homebase now means that all the top 10 leading garden centres in the UK have rejected neonicotinoid pesticides. We revealed in August that Homebase was the only major flower and plant retailer not to end the use of these chemicals.

This is great news for our bees, and for the many thousands of people across the UK who urged Homebase to act.

Friends of the Earth bee campaigner Nick Rau

Thousands sign our bee petition 

18,000 people signed our petition urging the firm not to sell flowering plants grown with 3 neonicotinoid pesticides. Earlier this week we sent our giant bees down to a store in Wandsworth to hand it in.

Over three quarters of the British public (78%) agree that garden centres and retailers should not sell plants grown with pesticides that are harmful to bees – according to a Friends of the Earth YouGov poll.

Giant bees outside Homebase before new policy was announced
Giant bees outside Homebase before new policy was announced

 

Bee campaign making a difference

The change of policy by Homebase is the second great piece of news for our Bee Cause in a week. It comes right on the back of the government's announcement that it will support tougher restrictions on these bee-harming chemicals.

Tougher restrictions on neonicotinoids are essential for our precious bees and the wider environment – and a significant victory for the public and supporters of organisations like Friends of the Earth who have called for tougher action on these chemicals.

Friends of the Earth’s chief executive Craig Bennett

Help save bees – have you signed our petition?

It's been a great week for bees, but we can't let up. Our pollinators are still being exposed to these harmful chemicals.

Soon the UK will be taking part in an EU vote on banning bee-harming neonicotinoids. Tell Environment Secretary Michael Gove that you support a full and permanent ban.

Say no to bee-harming pesticides