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Behnkes Takes Action on Neonicotinoids!


Behnke Nurseries is concerned about the health of bees and other pollinators.  Working with the environmental group Friends of the Earth, it’s developed a company policy regarding the sale and use of neonicotinoid-containing insecticides. While the scientists continue to work on the causes of bee Colony Collapse Disorder, Behnkes feels it’s prudent to reduce the use of neonicotinoids because they’re implicated as one of the factors contributing to this problem.

As a gardenblogger I know this is not only an important issue but a tough one for businesses to respond to, and I’m thrilled to see Behnkes take this move.

Posted by Susan Harris.

Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

This Post Has 35 Comments

  1. Thank you for beginning the process of eliminating neonicotinoids! This is so important to protecting bees and other beneficial insects, and we really appreciate your leadership. Now I know that I can shop freely! Thank you for providing plants that are beneficial to us and our natural world!

  2. Thank you! We have 3 bee hives at our educational garden and we are so appreciative of your effort to keep them safe!

    Charla Wanta

  3. I very much appreciate Behnke’s policy. I never use insecticides and most of my neighbors don’t either. The flowering plants in my garden are covered with bees of all shapes and sizes and I get a lot of pleasure seeing them alive and buzzing.

    Martha Feldman

  4. Thank you from another grateful customer for eliminating neonicotinoids. It makes it worth driving to Beltsville to support your business.

  5. This is a great move, much appreciated. We’ll be sure to tell our gardening friends (and our beekeeper friends too). Hope your business benefits.

  6. This is wonderful!!! I now have a nursery I can go to. Many thanks. And the bees/butterflies etc and my grandchildren all thank you

  7. Thank you so much for doing this; it’s so important. I will be there this weekend stocking up on perennials (better late than never)!

  8. Thank you! This is a very welcome policy move.

    This is also a smart business decision. The possibility that plants bought from Behnke’s would have been sprayed with neonics was a major concern for me. I’m glad to hear that I’ll soon feel safer patronizing you again!

  9. Thank you, Behnke’s. I have yet another reason to shop at your wonderful nursery. It’s so good to be able to patronize a business that helps protect the environment. Way to go!

  10. Thank you for beginning the process of eliminating neonicotinoids! This is so important to protecting the pollinators – we NEED them!

  11. Thanks very much for showing integrity and leadership in the industry. All of us who enjoy the (often literal) fruits of healthy pollinators thank you.

  12. Thank you for taking a stand. Every little bit counts and it is truly inspiring to see someone in the “industry” taking a risk for the greater good. I’ll definitely spread the word and will work to make my own much smaller difference in my garden …

  13. Thank you soooo much for making our little part of the planet safer for pollinators and people. This is a brave step and I want you to know how much I appreciate it. I will let others know and hope some nurseries in Virginia will follow suit.

  14. Behnke’s has been my favorite nursery around, but now I really won’t buy plants or garden supplies anywhere else! Thank you!

  15. I live in DC and am embarrassed to admit I hadn’t even heard of your store before this. But I wanted to say thanks and let you know that in spite of the drive, you’ve just gained a new customer.

  16. Thank you so much for taking such a big step to keep our pollinators healthy. It is wonderful to be able to recommend a local nursery to people to buy plants that we know will be ‘safe.’

  17. What a great step forward! Thank you for leading the charge to begin eliminating neonicotinoids from our gardens!

  18. Thank you everyone for your positive responses! I am happy to report that the letters went out this summer to our suppliers and we are pleased that most of them already had stopped using neonicotinoids. Take care,
    Stephanie Fleming

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