As the debate on neonicotinoid pesticides and their potential harmfulness to bees rumbles on
, B&Q is launching the B&Q Bee Friendly Campaign and signing up to support Friends of the Earth's call for stakeholders to protect the UK's bee population with a National Bee Action Plan.
B&Q was one of the first retailers
to remove neonicotinoid products from its shelves earlier this year as the debate reignited.
To mark the first anniversary of the Friends of the Earth's 'Bee Cause' campaign, B&Q has officially pledged to support the call for all stakeholders to participate in creating a National Bee Action Plan. This would include measures to manage the potential impact of neonicotinoid chemicals until such time as conclusive evidence is available.
Last month the UK government abstained
in a European Council vote to ban the use of neonicotinoids for two years, and has commissioned further scientific studies to investigate what impact the chemicals may be having on bees.
B&Q's director of corporate social responsibility Matthew Sexton said: ""As the UK's largest garden centre, we're proud to be supporting Friends of the Earth's call for a National Bee Action Plan and to be launching the B&Q Bee Friendly campaign today. Having removed pesticides containing Imidacloprid from our shelves earlier this year, we're encouraging other retailers and garden centres to follow our lead and we'll be helping gardeners from across the UK to think bee-friendly when they garden this season."
Friends of the Earth nature campaigner Sandra Bell added: "It's fantastic that the UK's biggest home and garden retailer is taking action to protect these vital species which are in worrying decline. Friends of the Earth welcome all measures to help bees and continue to call for the complete ban of all neonicotinoids for garden use. Bees now need swift decisive action from government to help protect them from all threats, including habitat loss."
In addition to withdrawing pesticides containing imidacloprid and signing up to the need for a Bee Action Plan, B&Q is also launching its Bee Friendly campaign to help customers understand the bee crisis in the UK and what they can do within their gardens to help protect and welcome bees. This will involve in-store and online activity encouraging consumers to choose bee-friendly products and create bee-friendly gardens.
This will be activated through B&Q's wider One Planet Home programme which will promote greener gardens.