Who wants to pull weeds by hand, if you can spray some magic potion to get rid of them effortlessly? The problem is that the magic potion is in fact a poisonous one, that may cost us all a high price in the long run. The active ingredients in the magic potion are called neonicotinoid pesticides, neonics for short. Neonics are a new class of pesticides chemically related to nicotine. Beyond the urban and suburban gardens, the problem is even worse in commercial farmlands. The neonics pesticides story reminds me of the tobacco scandal. It is an uphill battle of research and data gathering contrasting the convenience and the immediate benefits with the long term damage and our responsibility to care for our planet.
When people ask me what can I do to help the bees? I say, stop using chemical pesticides, use mulch to control weeds, and plant pollinator friendly plants, in particular those that flower when almost nothing else does, such as winter hazel and clethra.
Read more about recent studies on neonics and how they are slowly killing the bees.