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UPDATE: Bayer Garden hits back at 'bee-killing' insecticide claims

Published: 22 February 2013
Horticultural supplier Bayer Garden, which was named as one of the manufacturers of neonicotinoid insecticides by campaigners earlier this week, has hit back at claims that its products are harmful to bees.
UPDATE: Bayer Garden hits back at 'bee-killing' insecticide claims
Three specific neonicotinoids have been linked to bee decline by the European Food Safety Authority, imidacloprid, chlothianidin and thiamethoxam. The European Commision has proposed restrictions on the use of these ingredients on specific agricultural crops.

But in a statement released today, Bayer Garden has said that amateur use of products containing these chemicals accounts for an extremely small proportion of the total use of these actives, and that the recommended application means the risk of bees coming into contact with the chemicals is "negligible".

"The contribution of bees as pollinators of both crops and wildflowers is essential to the ecosystem and so it is important their health is taken seriously and its decline in the UK and elsewhere is a concern," said Bayer Garden's Alison Mulvaney.

"Peer reviewed research attributes this decline to the Varroa mite and other parasitic mites; bacterial, fungal and viral diseases; habitat loss and degredation; and genetic factors. More research is needed to understand better the impact of these factors and how they can be effectively tackled.

"Unproven claims suggest the decline is due to the use of these neonicotinoids. There is no room for complacency, but provided the products are used according to the instructions there is no risk to bee health."

Bayer Garden added that the only one of its products to contain one of these particular neonicotinoids is its Provado Lawn Grub Killer. If gardeners follow the instructions, Bayer said, and mow the lawn prior to the application they will remove the issue of bees foraging in this part of the garden so there will be less risk that a bee will come into contact with the product.

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