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Navigating Neonicotinoids

Articles: Navigating Neonicotinoids

Common garden borage (Borago officinalis) provides pollen and nectar to pollinators like this honeybee. Photo: Trevor Shirk

This is an excerpt of a web story that first posted on Genevieve's blog, North Coast Gardening—Gardening in the Pacific Northwest. You can read the full story, which includes resources for purchasing neonicotinoid-free seeds and plants, further honest discussion with industry professionals, and take away action, at www.northcoastgardening.com search: Buying Bee-Friendly Plants.

Recently I’ve heard from a number of wildlife gardeners who say they are no longer buying plants from regular retail nurseries because there is no way of telling whether or not the pollinator-attracting plants they are purchasing have been treated with neonicotinoid pesticides. Neonicotinoids (imidacloprid, etc.) are a class of pesticide that many studies indicate contribute strongly to colony collapse disorder in honeybees, and can also kill other bees.

However, the pesticide isn’t all bad. Neonicotinoids are often used because the application process is so safe in comparison to spraying. Neonicotinoids ar...

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