B&Q have announced they will be halting the sale of any plants that used pesticides thought to be harmful to bees.
Suppliers for B&Q’s flowering plant range, available from next February, are now banned from using “neonicotinoids”.
B&Q are the first retailer to take action against the use of the pesticides in flower growth, after they were banned in the EU from use in consumer products in 2013.
“As part of our commitment to supporting Britain’s wildlife, in 2013 we reviewed the use of neonicotinoids in our garden chemical products,” B&S sustainability manager Rachel Bradley said.
“As a result of the findings, and ahead of EU restrictions, we withdrew all pest control products containing the three substances most linked to the decline in bee population.
“We are now able to confirm that, to further support pollinators, we are encouraging everyone to do more for wildlife and to that end we will ensure that none of the flowering plants we sell will be grown using any pesticide containing any of the nine neonicotinoids.”
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The initiative comes amid the launch of the retailer’s The Nature of Gardens report, which reveals 64 per cent of people are concerned about UK wildlife and encourages the public to do more to help.
Other retailers have been urged to follow B&Q’s example by Friends of the Earth bee campaigner Nick Rau.
“The horticulture industry should stop using these pesticides as soon as possible – and label any plants containing restricted neonicotinoids until this is achieved,” he said.
“Planting bee-friendly gardens and other spaces is vitally important for the UK’s threatened bees. Gardeners should ask retailers for neonic-free plants. If in doubt people can always choose organic plants or grow them from seed.”