Are your lawn care sprays harming the bee population?

Experts say you should ask yourself if those chemicals are necessary before spraying them

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – With spring comes dandelion season, and spraying herb and pesticides to keep the weeds at bay.

Eric Barett of the Ohio State University Extension says those chemicals shouldn’t be the first resort.

“A lot of times the first question we get is, ‘What can I spray?’ and we try to back people up and say, ‘Well what’s the issue? What’s the problem? What’s happening?'”

He says the sprays can affect pollinators, like bees.

Bob Chmelik, who has his own bee removal service, says both insecticides and pesticides pose a threat to pollination.

“One is no better than the other. They’re both very harmful to the bees.”

Chmelik says the most harmful sprays are called neonicotinoids, or neo-nics for short. The chemical attacks the insects’ central nervous systems.

Last month, the Ohio-based garden care company Ortho said it will stop using the chemical because of the threat to honey bees.

“A colony of honey bees, you can have 30,000 to 40,000 bees at a time,” Chmelik said. “If you have…several hundred of them dying at one time, it’ll plug up the hive.”

When tending to your landscaping and lawn care this season, Barett says you should ask yourself:

“Do you really need to use this? Does it need to be sprayed on this crop or this flower or whatever it is?”

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