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Oregon Bi-Mart Plant Supplier Uses Neonics

October 9, 2015

Do not buy the new fall flowers at the Bi-Mart in Eugene . They come from Spring Creek Nursery and have been treated with neonics as young plants.  I was told by the personnel at Bi-Mart that the nursery assured them that the neonics are all gone by the time the flowers are purchased and planted.  But we know this is not true.  Neonics are systemic, which means they remain in the plants , and every cell of that plant delivers poison to the bees who visit it.

Folks at this worker-owned store and customers who buy there are given misinformation or no information at all in this respect.  My dear elderly neighbor across the street who loves bees fills his garden with store-bought mums, which may or may not be poisonous to the bees he wants to help.  I must admit I have not the heart to ask him where he gets his flowers.

Here is what you can do about Bi-Mart, as a sympathetic employee told me.  Mail the “Did we get it right?” pamphlet with your protest of the use of neonics to the district headquarters.  Don’t leave it off at local stores, as they have no power to change this.

Currently there is little nectar available for local bees, so they will readily come to that small patio pot.  Make sure it does not contain bee poison!

Every time you purchase a blooming flower, be sure to ask whether its supplier uses neonics.  Good news in our area is that Peoria Gardens does not use these– and supplies Grays and Down to Earth. And as documented here, Home Depot and Lowe’s are planning to eliminate them. Wilco Farm Store’s suppliers also do not use neonics.

Thank you to all who helped to make this change.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. Duane permalink
    October 9, 2015 1:49 pm

    Thank you for this post, Madronna. It’s good to know Peoria Gardens doesn’t use these toxins.

  2. October 9, 2015 2:19 pm

    Thank you for your response. And I just modified the post, since I got a call from Wilco Farm Store that I have been waiting for. Their vendors do NOT use neonics either. One did in the past, but has completely discontinued this use.

  3. October 9, 2015 6:29 pm

    Yes, thanks for letting us know. I usually call before I buy any plants. It seems to me I called Spring Creek Nursery in the Spring. I think they said they didn’t put neonics on any plants that could be eaten (like squash) which is what I was buying at the time. I will call them again to let them know I will NOT be buying from them again unless they stop using neonics.

    • October 15, 2015 9:26 am

      The ornamental plants are the issue now. And we might be aware that they said neonics are only used on those when they are young– and some buyers have the idea that these disappear in time.
      Thanks for all you do to help us protect our honeybees and native pollinators!

  4. Becky permalink
    April 12, 2016 7:42 am

    I was directed to your website this morning by a concerned customer and I want to set the facts straight. I am one of the current owners of Spring Creek, and just read the article about our use of neonicotinoids.First of all, it is not true that we use neonicotinoid products on our plants. I do not know where this information came from. Secondly, commercial nurseries such as ourselves (and most other nurseries) receive plant starts from all over the world. We have no way of knowing how the very young plants were treated before they arrive at our facility, although many of our suppliers are also neonic-free. To make a factual statement that Spring Creek uses neonics on flowers is not true, and we appreciate our customers that take the time to speak to us directly rather than making assumptions or trusting third-party information. We have gone to great expense to eliminate this class of chemicals and have introduced biological controls to our nursery. Uninformed articles such as this do a great deal of damage to local companies like ours that are trying to do the right thing.

    • April 12, 2016 9:18 am

      Hello Becky,
      I am happy to address your concerns. I was given this information on Spring Creek practices by an employee of Bi-Mart at the 18th and Chambers site in Eugene. Specifically, she told me that Spring Creek assured Bi-Mart that they only use neonics on plant starts and thus the neonics are gone by the time the plants are sold. However, neonics are systemic, which means that they stay in any plant the entire life of the plant, providing hazards to pollinators during this entire time. If you treat your plant starts, that is, they have neonics forever.
      I am sorry that you cannot guarantee that your suppliers are neonic-free (if I understand your statement about “global suppliers” properly). However, I would take issue with the idea that NO commercial nursery has this information. In fact, they can (and many do) use seed and soil that is certified organic; others are quite conscientious in tracing the origin of their stock to make sure it is neonic-free. This is not without its complexities, but the beekeeping community certainly appreciates it. And as for the global arena, I understand British hardware stores have banded together to insist their plant stocks are neonic-free.
      I was sorry to post this information concerning Bi-Mart, as I very much appreciate the fact that they are worker-owned. I would be most happy to revise my post at any time that they can certify their nursery stock is neonic-free.
      Thank you once again for allowing me to address your questions.

      • Becky permalink
        April 12, 2016 11:46 am

        Hello Madronna
        We do have non-neonic statements from most of our suppliers and I will begin the process of making sure the other suppliers are, also. And please be assured that our company has not used any neonics since the very first part of 2015.

      • April 12, 2016 1:27 pm

        Thank you for letting us know– and for doing this on behalf of pollinators!

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