A Toxic Eden: Poisons In Your Garden

An analysis of bee-harming pesticides in ornamental plants sold in Europe

Publication - 24 April, 2014
This study reports results from the laboratory analysis of ornamental plants sourced from garden centres, supermarkets and DIY-stores in ten European countries.

The samples comprised more than 35 popular varieties like viola, bellflower and lavender which are attractive to bees. Overall, contamination with pesticides was found to be significant and relatively consistent across the samples as a whole. Of the 86 samples analysed, pesticide residues were found in 84 (97,6%) of these flowering plants.

It appears likely that plants which are treated with bee-harming pesticides and which are marketed for planting outdoors represent a relevant exposure-path and therefore a significant risk to bees and other pollinators. In fact, usage of various bee-harming pesticides to produce flowers which will eventually be grown in domestic gardens, balconies and public parks is significant.

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