At Homestead Gardens we take environmental issues very seriously as our entire business depends on a healthy ecosystem – from soil and plant health to the health of pollinators and other wildlife. Our stores by their nature serve as a wonderful habitat to not only bees but butterflies, songbirds, hummingbirds and more.
As such we have been closely following the discussions about bees and neonicotinoids. We love and need the bees so this is a topic we do not take lightly.
Homestead Gardens is reducing our use of pesticides whenever possible and also works closely with our growers to improve pest management practices, encouraging them to minimize the use of pesticides and opt for natural solutions whenever possible. However, there are times when use of pesticides is necessary. The American Nursery & Landscape Association and The Association of Horticulture Professionals states that when used correctly, neonicotinoids are an effective pesticide with the lowest environmental impact on non-target insects, which includes bees.
We are constantly exploring and learning about new methods for pest control and continue to expand our organic offerings. We want to assure you that if we had something that was proven to be doing harm to something that benefits all of us, we would be the first to take it off the shelves. The best thing all of us can do is follow the instructions on the label when using any additive in our lawn and garden practices.
Tips for Safe Usage of Pesticides
- Read and follow ALL label directions and precautions carefully.
- Do not spray when it’s windy to ensure that pesticide does not drift into unintended areas.
- Do not spray when rain is in the forecast to ensure that pesticide does not wash off the landscape or driveway into streams or storm drains.
- Limit spray to target areas only.
- Apply insecticides when bees are not foraging. Typically at night between 8pm – 8am does not apply to systemics.
- Do not apply while plant is in bloom.
Feel free to explore more on the topic of pesticide use and environmental concerns. Below are a few sources we find to be credible and reliable.