Popular herbicide products widely available at hardware and garden stores contain undisclosed “inert” ingredients that can kill bumblebees, according to a new study published in the Journal of Applied Ecology.
The study compared several products, most of which contained the herbicide glyphosate, which is best known as the active ingredient in Roundup products. They found highly variable toxicity to bumblebees, including one formulation that killed 96% of the bees within 24 hours. Yet another herbicide formulation was found to cause no harm to bumblebees.
Unlike the active ingredients in pesticide products, such as glyphosate, these so-called inert ingredients are not subjected to a mandatory set of tests by the Environmental Protection Agency. But the study shows these inert substances can be toxic and harmful in their own right, including some that appear to block the bees’ breathing holes and gas-exchange systems, essentially drowning them.
Full article here: Center for Biological Diversity