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Insecticide use


I am a newbie and will be starting my new Flow hive in April. I am more than excited. I have already arranged for there to be no insecticides spared on our lawn. We have had grub control put on our lawn in the past, but the active ingredient in the grub product is Imidacloprid. This is a neonicotinoid that I have been told is “okay” for bees. I am not sure if I believe this and may stop any grub control product. Any opinions? We have also used Seven on plants in our yard. Our roses were attacked by Japanese beetles last year and Seven controlled them quite well. I have read that Seven can also be bad for bees, but I have also read that bees generally ignore red roses and double roses. Any opinion on using Seven on roses? I am an avid landscaper and now will be a beekeeper. As far as I am concerned the bees come first. I would value any opinions.



Hi Brick,
In the past I have used pyrethrum and white oil in my veggie garden and on shrubs against various pests. Since the arrival of my bees last October I have not used any pesticides and noticed, when I had lice on my corn and okra, they cleared away by themselves. No idea how that happened. Did the bees suck out the lice?
It either is a good year or the bees help the plants somehow to be stronger.
I don’t know if white oil would even affect the bees.
Good luck with your pesticide free environment. It’s surely better for you, and the world.


Welcome and good luck with your new beekeeping adventure!

There has been quite a bit of discussion on this forum regarding neonicotinoids and bees…If you have not yet done so, tap the magnifying glass in the upper right and pop in ‘neonicotinoids’.

After a bit of research on google, I decided I’d stay away from using any of that stuff.

I also learned to watch out for seed that has been impregnated with neonicotinoids too.


Yes. DON’T DO IT!!! Please??? :slight_smile: The manufacturers lie. All the time.

If you mean “Sevin”, please don’t use that either. It is very toxic and very persistent. On roses, I would suggest “dish soap” (washing up liquid in the UK) in water sprayed onto aphids or beetles as a contact insecticide. You could even stir in a tablespoon of borax (I use 20 mule brand) for good measure. Better still, consider replanting with non-GMO disease-resistant roses (yes, they exist).


I am interested to know why you suggest non-GMO? Is there evidence against GMO roses? Aren’t most apiarists keeping GM-bees (to a lesser or greater extent)?


How are bees genetically modified?


@Dee Bred for certain traits, eg disease resistance, milder temperament etc. Does that not constitute manipulation on a genetic level? Also, not entirely sure, hence the question mark.


Ah I see
Not GM though which is the transfer of genes from one organism to another. I thought I’d missed something


Not using insecticides or pesticides helps your garden ecosystem develop a better balance, especially when coupled with clever planting.

Another option…biological warfare natural style :wink:



You can’t introduce any bug without considering what happens when their food source dries up (ie will they eat your plants?) but a good one that turns canabilistic when it’s prey isn’t available is the lacewing…


I suppose it depends on your definition of GMO. I meant the definition described in this article:

My concern with GMO is that an entirely unrelated gene is being introduced. We don’t know the long term consequences of this manipulation. Additionally, if you modified a rose to produce an insecticide, might that enter the nectar and poison bees? Personally, I wouldn’t risk it, but it is of course a personal choice.

By my definition, generally available bees are not strictly GMOs. They have not had DNA directly manipulated by transferring genes into individual cells. They do not have non-bee DNA in their cells which has been deliberately put there by human beings. I believe that it will happen over time, but I am not aware of it at this point. There certainly has been selective breeding over the centuries, but just as this has happened with dogs to create the numerous breeds of dog we now see, that does not make them truly GMOs. :blush: