Amidst “insect apocalypse” Ace Hardware steps up and takes action on bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides
by Tiffany Finck-Haynes, pesticides & pollinators program manager
The 2019 gardening season will be a win for the bees. Ace Hardware has confirmed it is eliminating bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides from the products that it sells. For the first year, all major garden retailers are on record committing to eliminate the use of neonicotinoid (neonic) pesticides on the products and garden plants that they sell.
Bees are essential to our food system and are responsible for pollinating many of the delicious and nutritious food on our plates — from apples to avocados to almonds. But they’re dying at alarming rates. Forty percent of invertebrate pollinator species are on the brink of extinction. Last week, a comprehensive global meta-analysis of insect decline concluded the world’s insect species could go extinct within a century, largely due to widespread use of neonicotinoids and other toxic insecticides used in industrial agriculture, threatening a “catastrophic collapse of nature’s ecosystems.”
Given this dire situation, Ace Hardware’s commitment comes at just the right time. Ace Hardware is the country’s largest retail cooperative with over 5,000 stores around the world. It joins over 140 garden retailers including Home Depot, Lowes, True Value, Walmart, Costco, Kroger and Whole Foods in taking steps to protect bees and other pollinators by making commitments to eliminate neonicotinoids on plants and/or products.
The company disclosed that it has nearly eliminated neonicotinoids in its supply chain. Ace Hardware customers can shop with peace of mind knowing that 95 percent of the insecticide product offerings distributed by Ace are neonic-free and all of its private label lawn and garden products are neonic-free. The company also stated that in 2017, over 97 percent of its distribution center insecticide sales were neonic-free products and since 2016, the company has added over 90 new products that are natural and organic.
Forty percent of invertebrate pollinator species are on the brink of extinction.