Valentine's Day celebrates the "birds and the bees." Lately, bees have not been doing so well. Saturday, thousands of people in five cities including Eugene will ask major retailers to remove certain pesticides and garden plants, blamed for killing bee populations.
Supporters want major retailers Home Depot and Lowes to stop selling pesticides and garden plants containing neonicotinoids . The chemical is used to fight aphids and other leaf eating insects. Lisa Arkin of the environmental group Beyond Toxics says neonicotinoids are found in the soil of plants sold at those stores.
Arkin: "The plant then takes this pesticide up into its vascular system and stores it in the flowers and the blossoms, the nectar and the pollen. Then later when that plant gets plant gets planted in your garden, it becomes a target for a bee, they want to go to it. And yet, it's containing a lethal does for a neonicotinoid."
Arkin says in most cases, there is no label on garden plants saying they contain neonicitinoids. This week, a committee in Salem advanced legislation that could restrict pesticides containing ingredients harmful to bees. The rally begins Saturday at 11:00 am at Home Depot on West 11th in Eugene.