Wickes will remove products containing neonicotinoids, chemicals linked to the decline in the bee population. B&Q has also pledges to follow suit.

B&Q is banning the only product it sells containing imidacloprid, one of the neonicotinoid family of insecticides, and Wickes will later this year take off products containing the related thiamethoxam compound.

Along with a third compound, clothianidin, these are the three neonicotonoids identified by the European Food Safety Authority as threatening serious damage to bees. Bee health has been a concern for several years. The role of pesticides is disputed, but the landmark pronouncement by the EFSA has found that there is an undeniable link between their use and the death of bees, giving added strength to campaigners.