Bees and Neonicotinoids: Behnke Policy Statement
May 30, 2014

Behnke Nurseries is aware that neonicotinoid insecticides have been implicated as part of a complex of factors, including mites and viruses, that collectively cause bee colony collapse disorder.  We also are aware that the misapplication of many other pesticides will weaken or kill foraging bees and other non-target organisms.

In order to reduce damage to bees and other pollinators, we have developed a Behnke policy on pesticides:

  • Application of Neonicotinoid-Containing Insecticides at Behnke Nurseries: We pledge to never apply neonicotinoid pesticides to plants on the Behnke property, either in ground or in pots.
  • Sale of insecticides in General: We will recommend use of least-toxic effective remedies: soaps, horticultural oils, neem oil, pyrethrin, etc.
  • Sale of Neonicotinoid-containing Pesticides:  We will discontinue sales of all neonicotinoid-containing products. We will sell existing stock, and not reorder.
  • Pesticide-application Safety Warnings: Warning Signs will be posted in our chemical sales areas.


  • Know what pest insect you are trying to control and make sure the product you are using is the correct one: Bring a sample and ask us for advice.
  • Always follow label instructions.
  • Don’t apply pesticides to plants when they are in bloom.
  • Insecticides containing neonicotinoids (eg, imidacloprid or Merit) are implicated as a factor in bee colony collapse disorder. Be particularly cautious in your use of these products.
  • Behnke Nurseries is phasing out our sales of neonicotinoid-containing insecticides.

Plants that We Sell:

  • We will write a letter to the growers of outdoor plants that supply Behnke’s, expressing Behnke Nurseries’ concern about the use of neonicotinoids.
  • We will request that our growers reduce or eliminate the use of neonicotinoids on outdoor plants. (Annuals, Perennials, Woody Plants).
  • We will tell them that we are prepared to give buying preference to growers who are neonicotinoid free.
  • Once we have lined up sources of neonictinoid-free plants, we will only use those plants on our display tables that are promoting pollinator gardens.
  • The letters will be sent out no later than June 15, 2014.

       Alfred Millard, President
             May 30, 2014


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