The Environmental Impact of the Cut-Flower Industry

Curator’s Words


The Environmental Impact of the Cut-Flower Industry


Troy Dhoran


This is a lovely painting with an inspiring story that makes us think. The widespread use of pesticides has negatively impacted pollinators, leading to a drop in honey bees, resin bees, and other pollinators. This is known as the bug apocalypse. Pollinators exchange pollen between flowers, increasing fruit and seed formation. This close contact with flowers makes many pollinators very susceptible to pesticides and herbicides put on blooms to improve production. This impact has been known since the early 1900s but has only recently gained popularity. Pesticides and herbicides reduce the availability of flowering plants, thereby diminishing a nutritional resource for pollinators. In 2013, neonicotinoids used on blossoming Tilia trees killed around 50,000 bumblebees in Oregon. Many nest-forming pollinators can acquire significant pesticide loads by using poisonous materials such as leaves, flowers, and plant resins to build their nests.