Maryland is poised to become the first state to ban the use of bee-killing neonicotinoids by consumers, reported the Washington Post.
Gov. Larry Hogan is expected to sign the legislation into law in April, to take effect in 2018. It will put the pesticide in the hands of farmers and pesticide professionals. Doing that is expected to go a long way toward helping bees, who feast on the poisonous topicals in consumers' gardens.
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Around 12 more states are debating taking similar measures to help rescue their honeybee populations, which have plummeted.
Neonicotinoids, or neonics, are nerve agents that share a class with nicotine. When applied to plants, they absorb the chemicals into their cells, making every part of the plant - even the fruit - toxic to insects.
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Home improvement stores like Lowe's and Home Depot have been selling such plants to the public for years. Lowe's vowed to stop the sale of plants grown from neonic-treated seeds by 2019.
And Home Depot will phase out the pesticides in plants completely by 2018. It said it will remove neonics from 80 percent of its flowering plants this year.