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Neonics

As Growers We Know & We Want You To Know
Updated 4/12/16

At Gertens, our roots started almost 100 years ago, with growing vegetables. We continue to follow the practices of growing the best variety and quality plants, trees and shrubs. For three generations, as
growers, Gertens strives to be stewards of an ecologically balanced
approach to growing plants.

Gertens is very aware of issues and questions concerning the use of neonicotinoids and other insecticides. Gertens refrains from using neonics on any bedding plants grown in six count pacs, veggies, and culinary herbs. Also the seed sources from which our plants come from are neonic free. We do selectively apply neonicotinoids to some larger planters, hanging baskets and 4.3/4 in. potted annuals. This selection process is based upon certain plants having particular vulnerability to specific pests and/or terminal plant diseases spread by those pest. If necessary, we try to apply early in the plant growth cycle which reduces total amount of product used and environmental impact later once the plants are moved outdoors. Also there is a chance that some starter plugs that we purchase from propagators could have been treated with neonics.

In the nursery, occasionally various batches of certain plants (roses,trees and evergreens) may require treatment with neonics to control insect problems. We do not treat any perennials, natives, or ornamental grasses with neonicotinoids.

We do everything possible to minimize the use of all pesticides including neonics in all growing areas of our greenhouses and nursery fields.

Being aware of the issues associated with the multiple and diverse concerns from the decrease of the bee population and colonization collapse, neonics may be one of many contributing factors to this complex and diverse problem. http://www.forbes.com/sites/jonentine/2014/02/05/bee-deaths-reversal-as-evidence-points-away-from-neonics-as-driver-pressure-builds-to-rethink-ban/

In 2012 a panel convened by the USDA and EPA concluded that colony collapse disorder (CCD) is the result of multiple causes including parasites, diseases and overworked bees. In addition the prevailing theory among scientists in the EPA, USDA and global scientific and regulatory community is that the general declining health of honey bees is related to complex interactions among multiple stressors including:

  • pests (e.g., varroa mite), pathogens (e.g., the bacterial disease American foulbrood) and viruses.

  • poor nutrition (e.g., due to loss of foraging habitat and increased reliance on supplemental diets);

  • pesticide exposure;

  • bee management practices (e.g., long transportation routes to support pollination services); and

  • lack of genetic diversity.

More details on the current understanding of the health of honey bees in the United States are available in the following report: http://www.usda.gov/docuhttp://www.forbes.com/sites/jonentine/2014/02/05/bee-deaths-reversal-as-evidence-points-away-from-neonics-as-driver-pressure-builds-to-rethink-ban/ments/ReportHoneyBeeHealth.pdf

As stewards of sound growing practices, Gertens strongly believes in offering all customers an eco- balanced diversity of flowers and plants. With minimal use of any insecticides or pesticides, we constantly monitor applications in order meet or exceed guidelines established by the USDA,EPA, and Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

As a locally owned family business, growing for three generations, we are committed to continue to monitoring, engaging, and studying all environmental issues. With CCD we will bee awarebee honest, and bee upfront.