Neonicotinoids & Bees

It’s hard enough to say, much less spell, but neonicotinoids have been the talk of the horticulture industry the past year and recently in major newspapers.  If you haven’t heard of them, probably your first thought is what’s the big deal.  Neonicotinoids are a class of neuro-active insecticides that have been developed over the past several decades to kill various pests that have become resistant to previous chemicals.  Since many of these neonicotinoids are systemic, the insecticide remains part of the plant for a long time.  The recent research is that the neonicotinoids not only affect pests, but also the immune system of pollinators, like bees, that come to the plants once they are planted outside, making them susceptible to viruses.  Bees are not only important for honey, but without pollinators many of our fruits & vegetables will not develop fruit without their help.

We have been working for over 5 years to eliminate the use of chemicals on the farm & greenhouse, for our own family’s health, as well as growing better, healthier plants.  The farm is certified organic & we have been living by the same philosophy in the greenhouse.  We do NOT use any neonicotinoids on our spring plants, since we only use beneficial insects & all-natural insecticides to control our pests. (pictured below is a sachet of beneficial “good” bugs on our broccoli plants)

You can know that the plants you buy from Pork & Plants have not been treated by neonicotinoids, since we grow everything we sell.  Unfortunately you don’t always know where your neighbors are buying their plants, so it’s to your benefit to make them aware as well.  Besides creating a bee-friendly neighborhood, you can make sure to plant vegetables, herbs & flowers with lots of pollen to encourage their activity & hang mason bee hives for the natural pollinators in our area.

Beneficial bugs