You’ve probably heard of neonicotinoid pesticides – the group of chemicals that interfere with the ability of bees to navigate and have been linked with recent declines in the bee population.

Fortunately, we could celebrate a success for bees in April 2018 the EU permanently banned three of the most dangerous neonicotinoid pesticides (clothianidin, thiamethoxam and imidacloprid). These pesticides have often been used on crops of oil seed rape, so you can support bees by buying rapeseed oil from producers who have promised to avoid the use of pesticides.

Many rapeseed oil producers nationwide have committed to avoiding the use of pesticides, for example Stringers in Yorkshire (stocked by Unicorn in Chorlton) and Great Ness in Shropshire (stocked by selected branches of Tesco and the Cheese Place in Prestwich).

If you’d like to cut down on the food miles by buying from a producer in the North West, we now have two varieties of bee-friendly rapeseed oil to choose from: Calvia produced near Macclesfield and Wignall’s Yallo from Standish near Wigan.

Calvia is stocked by Nixon’s Farm Shop (Cheadle), Back’s Deli (Heaton Moor), On the Eighth Day (Oxford Road) and Village Greens (Prestwich). Wignall’s Yallo can be found in Cantor’s (Chorlton), and if you’re ever in west Lancashire Merlin’s at Burscough apparently also stock it.

You can find out more about the issues regarding rapeseed oil in our Shoppers’ Guide.