Bachman’s, a wholesale nursery and retail business based in Minnesota, has taken measures to address the steady decline of bees and other pollinators, including eliminating the use of neonicotinoids in some of its own production.
A statement from the company released in March says “Bachman’s values nature and takes seriously that our unique position in the community can encourage healthy, environmentally friendly choices in our gardens and landscapes.”
Bachman’s recently joined a panel led by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, at the direction of the Minnesota State Legislature, to address the issue and help develop new best practices for all industry leaders.
In the meantime, Bachman’s has made changes within its business, as well.
“Some of our customers have expressed a concern about neonicotinoid pesticides and the potential role they might have in bee decline,” the statement says. “Considerable research is still taking place on the topic of bee decline, which is complex and appears to have many factors. However, in the interest of allowing scientists more time to thoroughly evaluate the possible role of neonicotinoids among the many causes of bee decline, beginning in 2014, we at Bachman’s are taking the precautionary step of eliminating the use of neonicotinoids in producing our own Bachman’s-grown nursery stock and outdoor plants at our growing range near Lakeville.”
Bachman’s is also discussing the effort with its other outdoor plant suppliers. It has also removed outdoor homeowner products containing neonicotinoids from store shelves and will work with customers to find alternatives.
“Pesticides, including neonicotinoids, are important tools in the effort to control problematic and invasive insect pests. Science is ongoing to determine whether or not they have a role in bee decline,” the statement says, “In the meantime, Bachman’s will continue to follow best industry practices to combine proper scouting, the planting of resistant varieties and balancing chemical, biological and cultural controls in all plant health activities to minimize the use of pesticides, while ensuring we produce high quality plants that meet the needs and demands of our customers.”