January 27, 2015
This seems to be a buzzword lately, and we do get many questions regarding neonicotinoids. Here are some frequently asked questions about neonicotinoids.
What is a neonicotinoid?
Neonicotinoids, or neonics for short, are a group of insecticides that typically affect the central nervous systems of the insects. This eventually causes the death of the insect. They include imidacloprid, acetamiprid, clothianidin, dinotefuran, nithiazine, thiacloprid and thiamethoxam (www.beyondpesticides.org).
Insecticides are widely used in the green industry, so what’s the big deal about neonicotinoids?
Well, as you know, bees are insects that may interact with your flowering plants. Certain neonicotinoids are considered highly toxic to bees, and other pollinators. There is concern that neonicotinoids are contributing to the decline of bee and pollinator populations. New research points to potential toxicity to bees and other beneficial insects through low level contamination of nectar and pollen with neonicotinoid insecticides used in agriculture (http://citybugs.tamu.edu/factsheets/ipm/what-is-a-neonicotinoid/). Case studies can be found here.
Why haven’t neonicotinoids been banned if they are so bad?
Neonics have been banned in some European countries, but not in the USA. It is often speculated if neonics are banned, the use of older and less effective insecticides, such as organophosphates and pyrethroids would take the place of neonics in commerical farming, and these chemicals are just as toxic to bees. While there are case studies and research on the effect of neonics on bees/pollinators, many researchers say there is not enough to support banning them. Read more here and here.
Are neonicotinoids only used commercially?
No. Some neonicotinoids can be found in insecticides you buy for home use. If you do not wish to use neonics, you should read the labels on your insecticides carefully and avoid buying any that include imidacloprid, acetamiprid, clothianidin, dinotefuran, nithiazine, thiacloprid and thiamethoxam.
How do I know if neonicotinoids have been applied to plants that I have purchased?
You won’t know unless you specifically ask the grower. There is no law or mandate that requires plants to be identified as such.
Does Plantworks Nursery use neonicotinoids?
No, Plantworks Nursery does not use any neonicotinoids.
If you’d like to discuss neonicotinoids further, you can always call us at (919) 732-6594 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
January 22, 2015
Many of you have been asking about planting our material this time of year. Some of our greenhouses are minimally heated, and some are heated up to 50 degrees. When planting tender groundcovers, its important to pay attention to the weather. If the low temperatures at night are going to be close or below freezing, you will see some cold damage on these plants if they are exposed. We do not recommend planting ferns or ornamental grasses this time of year. If you have questions about a certain plant, please call the office and I’d be happy to help you or answer any questions you may have.
Is everyone as ready for spring as I am?
October 23, 2014
October 16, 2014
October 9, 2014
October 2, 2014
September 26, 2014
September 18, 2014
September 11, 2014
August 29, 2014
We just love this video that BASF made. Enjoy!