Flowers and honey bees have a mutually beneficial relationship, which helps sustain our flora as well as support the health of honey bees and their hives. As gardens begin to blossom in the spring and into summer, this symbiotic relationship begins and, in turn, creates bee-autiful blooms and nutritious food for us to eat. Treating and caring for your plants is essential in gardening and farming in order to keep other pesky insects and pests from eating your vegetables and flowers.

Sometimes using a toxic chemical is unavoidable, and in that case I hope you or your landscaper will opt for one that is not on the toxic list. Highly toxic pesticides and insecticides with residual toxicity longer than 8 hours are responsible for most of the bee poisoning incidents reported on the West Coast, primarily those in the following chemical families:

  • Organophosphates (such as acephate, azinphosmethyl, chlorpyrifos, diazinon, dimethoate, malathion, and methamidophos)
  • N-methyl carbamates (such as carbaryl)
  • Neonicotinoids (such as clothianidin, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam)
  • Pyrethroids (such as deltamethrin, cyfluthrin and lambda-cyhalothrin).

There are plenty of options for non-harmful chemicals. Essential oils, vinegars, and co-planting are just a few. To learn more check out this excellent link from the Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides.