Whether you rush off to Knights to get your discount, or to another garden centre, in the next few weeks – please remember wildlife when planning a new or changes to the current garden. One of the best ways to do this is to watch your bug-killer. The best thing is not to use it at all of course but if you do have to then please check the ingredients. The following have been linked to the dramatic collapse in the population of bees and other insects - Acetamiprid, Imidacloprid, Thiacloprid, Thiamethoxam.
These are the key ingredients in what are called “Neonicotinoid” pesticides. Many domestic gardening products on sale in hardware stores and garden centres contain these chemicals– so avoid them if you can. Even better – help persuade our retailers not to stock products that contain them!
My 2013 New Year resolution is to “garden for wildlife”. This is remarkable considering the roe deer ate all my expensive roses last year. I am planning more “rough corners” (my excuse for doing less tidying up), wood piles
and looking to plant flowers for Bumble Bees and other beneficial insects. Bumble bees in particular always remind me of the British summer. They had a tough year in 2012 weather-wise and their numbers are in serious decline.
Current research is unable to tell us whether the bee declines are causing the plant declines, or vice versa, or indeed whether the two are locked in a vicious cycle in which each is affecting the other. It’s also not clear as of yet what the ultimate causes of the declines are, although land use change, agricultural chemicals and climate change are all important factors. So we should do everything we can to help.
Useful sites for further information include - http://www.soilassociation.org/groworganic & www.helpsavebees.co.uk