Neonicotinoids available now at your Garden Centre

Neonicotinoids available now at your Garden Centre

Neonicotinoids are being sold in garden centres all across New Zealand, what can you do about it?

What are Neonicotinoids?

Quoting the wikipedia article:-

Neonicotinoids are a class of neuro-active insecticides chemically related to nicotine. The development of this class of insecticides began with work in the 1980s by Shell and the 1990s by Bayer.

The neonicotinoids were developed in large part because they show reduced toxicity compared to previously used organophosphate and carbamate insecticides. Most neonicotinoids show much lower toxicity in mammals than insects, but some breakdown products are toxic.

Neonicotinoids are the first new class of insecticides introduced in the last 50 years, and the neonicotinoid imidacloprid is currently the most widely used insecticide in the world. Recently, the use of some members of this class has been restricted in some countries due to evidence of a connection to honey-bee colony collapse disorder.

The Full Wiki article is here:- wikipedia’s article on Neonicotinoids

Here’s our opinion of what we discovered

We went down to our local garden centre to get some bee friendly plants for the garden. We also looked at some shelves of products for weed management and were shocked to discover that neonicotinoids were being sold here in New Zealand! …this product is probably in your local garden centre too!

Over recent years there has been so much information coming from overseas about Neonicotinoids and the risks related to their use and as we understand, this chemical causes harmful long term affects in the soil, not to mention that this product has been banned in several European countries.

I have to ask – Why is a neonicotinoid pesticide, from the information we have read and which states this pesticide has been identified as one of the biggest contributors to the death of honey bees around the world – is being sold right here in clean, green New Zealand?!

The chemical component of these products is imidacloprid. This belongs to the class of chemicals called the neonicotinoids.

Neonicotinoid pesticides have been banned or use restricted in Germany, France, Italy, Poland, and Slovenia. We have established that it’s being sold here under the brand names of “Yates Confidor” and “Yates Rose Gun Advanced“.

It beggars belief, Why the hell is it still being sold here?

Nicotine Bees – A Good documentary about this issue
With seed crops we understand that this pesticide coated on the seed, I can only imagine that gardeners are sitting at home angry that the corporate food giants are using this crap on seeds, which could effectively poison their crops and consumers of their produce, however may well be oblivious to what they are spraying on their roses which kills any pollinators who would take the pesticide home with them, and would probably be wiping out all the neighbourhood bee hives in the process. Then they wonder why there aren’t many bees around these days and their amount of produce is not as it use to be!!!

Lets have a look at how and where these kind of chemicals have been developed

So we had a look and briefly here is what we found out….

We understand that Bayer is a producer of such chemicals initially created and designed for eradication of “pest” insects and “unwanted” weeds.

Bayer started as a company called Bayer AG in 1863 for the production of…….

The company lost rights to its name as part of the reparations after World War I, during World War II Bayer become part of IG Farben. Frighteningly we understand that slave labour was used in its production-line factories at that time. Notably the sub-camps of the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp.

Even more startling, wikipedia information states that IG Farben owned 42.5% of the company that manufactured Zyklon B, a chemical used to murder jews and other political prisoners in the death camps.

For further details about Bayers history, have a look at this site

So we ask, Why is this death in bottle being sold here?

What can you do about Neonicotinoids?

Write to Yates

We strongly support writing to the manufacturer, so as to make sure they are aware of the issues relating to these products.

Unfortunately there are disclaimers, “Will kill Bees – do not spray when active”‘ – which in our opinion is removing blame from the product to the users for any losses. If the companies are selling that disclaimer line – then we believe its clear they are blaming users of the products for any loss of Bees not the product itself…very clever lawyering, we wonder?!

It appears to us that they must know its harmful, why else would they state it even on their (yates) website?!

We also had a look at what effects does this product have on the soil, and the information we found states that this chemical has a half life of 27 to 229 days in the soil (meaning its half as strong as he day it was sprayed on a plant).

Our research has identified from sources that this chemical has been proven to be detected after use and remained detectable in the soil for 19 years later which in our opinion, means that it will continue to poison the environment…. So when exactly, are the bees not active during this period?

We found that there has also been evidence that, if this pesticide runs into a waterway, it has devastating effects on fish and aquatic life.

We encourage that you send a letter to:-

Yates New Zealand
P O Box 1109
Auckland 1
New Zealand

We recommend, based on our findings that, please tell your friends, nature lovers, food lovers, gardeners and anyone you know you know who cares about our environment, to avoid using these neonicotinoid/imacdichoprid based pesticides and any seeds coated with insecticides.

Be Aware – Neonicotinoid pesticides brand names

You may find this document useful, it matches pesticide that contain neonicotinoids to product names. This was produced by the Beyond Pesticides, The article is here 68 garden pesticides to avoid in order to help the bees. This is very handy to take down the Garden Centre on your next visit.

If anyone knows of a New Zealand list like this, please get in touch.

Remember, every dollar you spend on a product IS A VOTE for that product (and profit for a small group of board members!)

…so we ask you to please think before you purchase neonicotinoids, ask yourself if there is something natural you could use instead? …. Foodwise, check with your local producer by asking them if the produce you are buying is safe and free from any such chemicals.

Use Organic Pest Control Methods

Here is a good Extensive List of Organic Pest Control Remedies

Bee healthy out there and eat fresh! Do you agree with this post???

17 thoughts on “Neonicotinoids available now at your Garden Centre

    • Avatar photo
      Gary says:

      Thanks Melissa for the feedback, yes it does seem that way.

      I just hope it doesn’t take New Zealand getting CCD in order for the government to realise that we don’t need these chemicals.

      But we can all vote with our pockets as far as buying them for our gardens. I’m sure if a product doesn’t sell then it won’t be made.


  1. Avatar photo
    Joyce says:

    Hi Gary,nice work.try looking in the farm supply stores at the chemical range if you really want to get depressed yuk and did I perchance see the Bayer name as part of workshop on thurs.thats how they do it get on advisory panels!!!!! Joyce

    • Avatar photo
      Gary says:

      Hi Joyce, thanks for the feedback. Oh no won’t be looking at the farm supplies stores. Depressed enough 🙂

      Thats interesting that Bayer are going to the Hamilton day, I will see if I can have a chat with them…

      See ya…Gary

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    James Westaway says:

    A good alert thanks. Be careful to do your own reading before you publish otherwise your credibility becomes suspect e.g. ‘Pollinators will take this back and poison the colony’. I read that CCD is a result of affected bees losing the ability to navigate back to the hive which means they couldnt take it back.

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    Karli Thomas says:

    Thanks for this useful article. The ban on neonicotinoids just got a boost in Europe when it was passed by the EU last month (despite heavy lobbying from the chemical industry):

    For people who’ve forgotten how to put pen to paper, you can also tell Yates on their Facebook page that you’d like them to stop selling products containing neonicotinoids ( give them a call on 0800 693 297 or send your feedback via their website:

    Thanks again for the article – I hadn’t realised these were sold in NZ (though as someone above pointed out regarding our prolonged use of dangerous chemicals even after the rest of the world wakes up to their harm – it’s not really surprising, sadly).

    🙂 Karli

    • Avatar photo
      Gary Fawcett says:

      Thanks Karli for the feedback.

      Yes sadly we seem to follow America is our chemical purchases.

      My hope is that we don’t wait until we get the results of prolonged pesticide use such as CCD, before the government does something about.

      Perhaps the next election we can elect a parliament that acknowledges the issues with bees and does something about it.

      I live in hope.


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    unknown says:

    I live in Canada and we are extremely worried about neonics. I taught my Grade 6 class about them and we wrote a letter to Bayer. They wrote back to the principal to get me fired. Pure evil!

    • Avatar photo
      Gary Fawcett says:

      Wow that is crazy, seems pretty extreme trying to get you fired. I hope it all worked for you?

      Yep Neonics are very unfriendly to most wildlife, including humans. Its very brave of you teaching the kids about them.

      I commend your efforts in educating people and Children about them.

      Here is a new project for kids, stick these stickers on Neonics at your local garden or hardware store:-

      Thanks for the feedback…Gary

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    Andrew Mears says:

    As far as I am aware all pesticides will kill bees when they are wet including the organic ones so isn’t the issue one of educating people about how and when to use them safely instead of picking on one type that has probably been missused and overused which is what tends to happen in the US when they have massive cropping areas

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    Anonymous says:

    We can ask people who sell seeds for bee-loved plants and potted seedlings whether neonicotinoids or Roundup have been used on them so far? And walk away if they have? There are now many alternative sources for seeds and plants that will be much healthier for bees. We can also talk to our local councils about the sprays they use and support them in finding alternatives?

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