Bee Informed: Neonicotinoids

 

Bee Informed: Neonicotinoids

At English Gardens, we know there has been much focus in recent years on the use of neonicotinoids and their effect on the bee population.

While sudden loss of bee colonies has been documented as far back as 1869, in 2006 and early 2007, losses reached dramatic new highs. “Colony collapse disorder” was the description coined to describe what was happening in the U.S.

Most of Europe reported similar large losses of honey bees. The causes of bee die-off are still undetermined, with probable causes being pesticides; mites; malnutrition; pathogens; lack of genetic diversity; urbanization (loss of habitat); immunodeficiency; beehive transportation; electromagnetic radiation; or a combination of several of these factors.

Today, the focus of research seems to indicate a combination of factors is the cause of bee die-off. Those primary factors being researched are neonicotinoid pesticides, Varroa mites carrying viruses, and the fungus Nosema. It is still possible that other factors are causal.

We support the stance taken by AmericanHort, and the Society of American Florists which is when used correctly, neonicotinoids are not only a vital part of the plant industry, but are the most effective pesticide with the lowest environmental impact on non-target insects, which includes bees.

We want to be sure that the industry and our customers are doing everything possible in order to keep the bees safe, while controlling the pests that can be detrimental to the plants we all work so hard to keep bountiful and beautiful. That starts with training our staff on all the products we carry, and instructing everyone to always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use that’s printed on the label.

At English Gardens, we love and need the bees too. We want to assure you that if something we sold was proven to be doing harm to something that is of benefit to everyone, we would be the first to take it off the shelves and look for alternatives to get the job done.

We’re doing our best to learn more about the situation every day, and working with our network of growers to ensure they follow good growing practices.

The flowering plants we sell help feed the bees, and without those bees, our business would not be sustainable. We would not want to harm any living thing that is so vital to both the natural environment and our continued success.

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To learn more about this, go to: http://americanhort.org/bees