Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Monrovia response

Yes, at times we use neonicotinoid insecticides. They are not used on every plant nor for every insect pest. The attachment below provides a description of our policy for using insecticides at our growing locations. 

Best regards, Gilbert Resendez, Customer Care at Monrovia 

Practices to Protect Pollinators at Monrovia Nursery Company
Monrovia is an environmentally conscious producer of plants and continually strives to reduce our use of pesticides. Monrovia also recognizes the potential for transporting pests and diseases in the plants that we ship, and we are committed to only shipping high quality, pest free plants. We will use pesticides when warranted to meet this commitment, or when pesticides are required by federal or state regulations for shipment. However, pesticides are our last line of defense. We strive to prevent pest occurrence on our nurseries by vigilant scouting and cultural control methods that reduce pests. Beneficial organisms are also applied to control certain insect pests, and we have created growing environments which encourage naturally occurring beneficial organisms to thrive and help reduce pest pressure. This helps us reduce our dependence on pesticides.
Recently there has been a lot of press regarding one class of insecticide, the neonicotinoids. Although some groups have already concluded that neonicotinoids are the cause of bee decline (which has been referred to as "colony collapse disorder"), the science on this disorder is still uncertain as to the role the neonicotinoids play. A 2012 report from the USDA concluded that “it is not clear, based on current research, whether pesticide exposure is a major factor associated with U.S. honey bee health declines in general.”* Scientific consensus is building that colony collapse disorder is caused by complex set of factors, the most important one being the parasitic Varroa mite. Viruses, bacterial infection, nutritional factors, stress from moving bees for pollination services, and pesticides have also been implicated. Some of the recent concern regarding neonicotinoid products results from an unfortunate application of a pesticide to a flowering tree by a landscape contractor. This was not colony collapse at all, but rather a misapplication of pesticide.
Monrovia recognizes the importance of insect pollinators and the need to minimize any impacts to them through the responsible use of pesticides. Therefore, when pesticide applications are required, Monrovia will use the following practices to protect honey bees and other pollinators:
  • The pesticide label is the law and is regulated by the State and Federal EPA. Monrovia always applies
    pest control products according to the EPA-approved label. These regulations include protections for
  • Repeat applications of neonicotinoids are avoided and are only used as part of a pesticide rotation
  • The use of neonicotinoids is limited to those crops with specific pest problems that warrant their use.
    This reduces the total amount of pesticide used.
  • At our Visalia, CA nursery, which is located in California's largest citrus growing area, pesticides with bee
    warnings on the label are applied at night during the citrus bloom, or during the day when temperatures
    are below 55 F, to avoid the conditions when bees are flying.
  • Neonicotinoid use on flowering plants as a spray is avoided when bees are actively foraging.. Plants that
    must be treated because of insect problems are treated with drenches or dry granules to reduce the
    exposure of bees to pesticides.
  • Control of common overwintering pests, such as aphids and spider mites, are controlled during the
    dormant winter season using horticultural oils when there is no bee activity on the plants.
    We will modify our pesticide application practices as it relates to protection of pollinators as additional information becomes available.
* Report on the National Stakeholders Conference on Honey Bee Health. National Honey Bee Health Stakeholder Conference Steering Committee. United States Department of Agriculture. October 15 - 17, 2012 


Hillary said...

This might be a long shot since it looks like this post is from some years ago, but I figure I'll give it a try anyhow.

Where did you find this post from Monrovia? Was it a response to an inquiry you made with them? Any idea why part of it is in un-readable script?
I currently work at a small, family-owned nursery that buys many plants from Monrovia. As a person who is greatly concerned about the use of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides (not only because of their detriment to the immune systems of our pollinators -- honey bee, bumble bee, digger bee, miner bee, leaf-cutter bee, etc. -- but because of their long-term health effects and the death they cause to the living soil we rely on to produce our food.) I have tried on my own to contact some of our growers, but because I am somewhat low in the hierarchy of things here, my voice is not always heard of respected.
So, I am curious to know if you have contacted Monrovia at all since this post from 8 years ago? I wonder if their song has changed at all.
Thanks so much!

Green Bean said...

Hillary, I just cut and pasted their response and put it in here because I did not know how else to store it. I received this response from Monrovia in or about May 2014. Here is the post that I wrote about Monrovia and a native plant nursery that both confirmed their use of neonics. http://www.greenphonebooth.com/2014/05/poisoning-paradise-are-your-plants.html

This was in response to an email from me. I would be happy to forward their actual response to you if you would like more information after reading my post on the Green Phone Booth. You can leave your email address if you would like to see their actual response. Thank you for caring about this issue as a nursery owner!

Hillary Ann said...

Ms. Green Bean,
I did forget to send you my email address. It is ms.hillary.jensen at gmail dot com
For some reason I had read incorrectly that your post was from 8 years ago...don't know how I managed that. Unfortunately I don't actually own the nursery, nor do I have much say in any of their practices. But I try to make my voice heard nonetheless...sometimes it gets really exhausting, though because it doesn't feel like anything is changing. I'd love to get in touch with you and chat about this some more. Use my email address above. Thanks so much!

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