Update: 12 Jan 2018
Yesterday we received some news: we heard Bunnings Warehouse had made a private decision late last year to phase out neonics (bee-killing pesticides) by the end of 2018. We’ve been working over the last 24 hours to corroborate this.
At the time we launched the campaign, and at that the time of writing, these pesticides are still on the shelf at Bunnings and it looks like they will be at least until the end of this year. Whilst we’d like to see it happen quicker, it is nonetheless great to see Bunnings take this proactive step and we thank and congratulate them for looking out for the bees.
Whilst it is great news for the bees that Bunnings has made this decision, there are still a number of other major retailers selling these harmful pesticides across Australia. We’ve made enquiries to each of them to find out whether they have plans to phase them out and we’ll keep you informed when we hear back.
Original post: 8 January 2018
Bunnings Warehouse is selling pesticides that are killing bees.
In North America, our people-powered campaign has already convinced major hardware stores to get bee-killing pesticides off their shelves. And in Europe, Governments are starting to take action and ban bee-harming pesticides.
But here in Australia, you can still buy Confidor at your local Bunnings.
Confidor belongs to a class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids (or neonics). Neonics don't simply coat the surface of plants, they're absorbed into every part of the plant itself. All the way down to the pollen.
This means that bees - the creatures who pollinate a third of all the food we eat - accumulate the chemical in their bodies as they wander from flower to flower.
Scientists believe that the neurotoxin in Confidor scrambles bees’ system of navigation and other critical parts of their brains.
It also alters their immune system, making them more vulnerable to parasitic infections that are spreading through bee populations like wildfire in other parts of the world.
The fact is, Bunnings doesn’t need to sell these pesticides. There are plenty of alternatives which aren’t harmful to bees.
Across the world beekeepers, scientists, and SumOfUs members like you have led the charge protecting bees. And we’ve made huge progress.
France has recently decided to ban a number of neonic pesticides like Confidor because of the harm they do to bees. And hundreds of thousands of us are pushing the European Union to decide on an historic ban on those pesticides across the Continent.
In the US over 700,000 SumOfUs and Friends of the Earth members campaigned relentlessly to pressure Home Depot and Lowes - America’s two biggest hardware stores - to drop all neonic pesticides from their shelves.
And together, we won! Both mega-retailers phased out all neonics.
We can do the same in Australia.
Thankfully the full-fledged crisis that has swept through bee populations in the rest of the world hasn’t yet hit Australia in quite the same way.
But experts believe it’s only a matter of time before it does. That’s why it’s so important that we do everything we can now to protect bees in Australia so we don’t end up facing the mass die-offs seen in other parts of the world.
And that means it’s time to get tough on big retailers like Bunnings that are knowingly profiting from harming bees.