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Bees and Neonicotinoids: Behnke Policy Statement
November 10, 2018


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 are also 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 developed a policy statement on pesticides on May 30, 2014. The following represents our updated policy.

  1. Application of Neonicotinoid containing Insecticides at Behnke Nurseries: We pledge never to apply neonicotinoid-containing pesticides to plants on the Behnke property, either in pots or growing in the ground.
  2. Sale of Insecticides in General: We will recommend use of the least toxic effective remedies: soaps, horticultural oils, neem oil, pyrethrin, etc.
  3. Sale of Neonicotinoid-containing Pesticides: Behnke Nurseries discontinued the sale of neonicotinoid-containing pesticides in 2014.
  4. Pesticide – application Safety Warnings: Warning signs are 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 (e.g., Imidacloprid or Merit) are implicated as a factor in bee colony collapse disorder. Be particularly cautious when using one of these products.
  • Behnke Nurseries no longer offers neonicotinoid pesticides for sale.


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