Prairie Nursery is Neonicotinoid-Free. We do not use neonicotinoids in any part of our plant growing, or seed production processes.
Neonicotinoid pesticides (neonics) are a class of insecticides that have become widely adopted for use on farm crops, ornamental landscape plants, and trees. There is a growing concern about the environmental impact of these chemicals. Neonics can be sprayed onto plant foliage or applied as soil drenches, and are predominantly used as seed treatments. While seed coating is the most common application method, the other methods often use an even heavier amount of the chemicals. Neonics are highly water soluble, which allows a growing plant to absorb and transport the chemical throughout the plant tissue, affecting the leaves, roots and shoots. As a seed treatment, neonics are taken up by all parts of the plant as it grows. The systemic chemicals are then present in both the pollen and the nectar that pollinators will gather from the treated plant.
Both targeted and non-targeted insects are affected by neoticotinoids. Caterpillars that feed on the plants, butterflies that nectar on them, or any bees collecting pollen are at risk when they utilize plants treated with neonicontinoids. The chemical disrupts the central nervous system of insects and other invertebrates, and sufficient doses cause paralysis and death. Neonics are toxic to both honey bees and bumblebees, and are a causative factor in honey bee Colony Collapse Disorder.
Pollinating insects are responsible for more than one-third of our food supply. Over the years, the use of pollination services (commercial beehives) on agricultural crops has masked the decline in native pollinator populations. Importantly, a cultural awareness of Colony Collapse Disorder has contributed to a rising public concern about the threat of neonicotinoid chemicals to all pollinators, to the pollination of our food supply, and to the environment.
What You Can Do
Your contributions are essential to stopping the decline of native pollinators and invertebrates. You can make a difference:
- Promote native landscaping at home and in municipal settings, and through the creation of native habitat in parks.
- Avoid insecticide use. Familiarize yourself with this list of neonicotinoid chemicals used in agri-business and in products sold at garden centers.
- For more information visit the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.