Ace And TrueValue Hardware Consider Maybe Not Selling Insecticides That May Harm Bees

Bees are important: they aren’t just cool-looking and producers of delicious sweeteners, but they’re essential to pollinate plants and to produce the food that those plants grow. Yet sudden deaths of bees have been linked to a new class of pesticides, neonicotinoids, which some experts say has a devastating effect on the nervous systems of bees.

The environmental group Friends of the Earth is encouraging True Value and Ace, two supplier co-ops for locally-owned hardware stores nationwide, to stop carrying plant-care products that contain neonicotinoids. Larger home-supply stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s are working toward ridding their stores of the products, but the co-ops haven’t done so yet.

Why? A spokesperson for Ace explained to the Chicago Tribune that the company wants to obey the law, so you won’t find any banned pesticides in their stores, but they want to strike a compromise between giving customers what they want and protecting the environment. “Ace Hardware is committed to providing our customers with products that not only meet their needs but that are also in compliance with applicable laws and regulations from environmental agencies and regulators,” they explained.

True Value said that they do offer “alternative pesticides,” including Milky Spore and insecticidal soaps, in it stores, and that the company would like to phase out products containing the controversial substances… as soon as there are effective alternatives.

Bayer, one of the manufacturers of neonicotinoid pesticides, says that they do not affect bees when they’re used “responsibly and properly, and according to label instructions.”

Ace Hardware, True Value urged to drop pesticides said to hurt bees [Chiacgo Tribune]